VGC Be Safe brief April 2021
This is your April 2021 Be Safe brief
There are two versions of the safety brief – a video version and a text version.
Please watch or read the version that you prefer.
See it, share it
Congratulations to this month’s See it, share it winner. The award goes to Miroslav Terziyski on our Balfour Beatty A2 Bean junction improvement contract. He spotted a HIAB lorry that had deployed its outriggers, but one of the outriggers had no plate on the bottom. Miroslav stopped the lifting operation until the plate was replaced.
Stopping the lifting operation demonstrates how “we look after each other” and shows that “expertise and ethics underpin our business” – Thank you Miroslav.
Please remember to share observations and good practice – email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stop if anything changes
One of our four Be Safe rules is “Stop if anything changes”.
Each task you carry out has been risk assessed, and any necessary control measures have been put in place to keep everyone safe. When something changes, this can introduce hazards that you may not be aware of.
You will have the full support of myself and other senior managers if you stop work and escalate to your line manager because of a safety concern. No task is so important that we cannot do it safely.
Unsafe access into machinery
Network Rail has issued a safety alert regarding an operative who accessed a piece of plant which could have trapped them inside it. All plant has the potential to cause injury or death if you don’t follow the proper procedures.
Never work on any plant unless you are authorised to do so and the correct permits are in place. Even if you think you are just helping the plant operator or someone doing maintenance.
Never approach any plant unless it has been isolated, and the operator has told you it is safe to approach.
Remember, it's one of our four Be Safe rules that if anything changes from the brief, stop.
Recent changes in weather have caused some hibernating animals to come out of their dormant winter state. They come out at night when it is over 5 degrees C, and look for food, and this is happening earlier than we normally expect.
We have had several reports of animals that hibernate in the winter becoming active on project sites. Some of these animals are protected by law from being disturbed or handled, and this includes disturbing or destroying the places they live in.
If you come across a place where you think wild animals may be living, please stop and make sure the project’s environmental team is notified.
Although lockdown is starting to be relaxed, some people are still finding being away from their friends and family is affecting their wellbeing. VGC has arrangements to support anyone who feels they are struggling with their mental health. This includes the VGC network of mental health first aiders and mental health wellbeing champions.
VGC also provides free access to Construction Worker Helpline for all operatives – call 0808 801 0372 – or, if you are finding things challenging, please contact a mental health first aider by going to the mental health support webpage and they will support you.
Thank you and please remember, let me know of any observations and good practice you see on email@example.com. And if you have any ideas or suggestions for innovations fill in the form on our webpage at vgcgroup.co.uk/ideas.