This is your May 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.

Page contents


Text version

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The award goes to Kulwinder Singh on our Balfour Beatty Vinci HS2 contract. He identified a potential trip hazard on the site footpath near the entrance. As well as putting in an observation, Kulwinder spoke with site management about changing the path to remove the trip hazard.

Identifying an issue and ensuring it was fixed shows that "we look after each other". Thank you Kulwinder.

Please remember to share observations and good practice – email

Stop if anything changes 

One of our four Be Safe rules is “Stop if anything changes”. ​​

A lot of our minor injuries have been after something has changed. Either someone has stepped in to assist after a change, or the planned method for undertaking the task couldn’t be followed.

Changes can introduce hazards that you and others 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.​​​​​​

Safety while going to and from work

Recently, there have been instances where construction workers have been threatened, verbally abused or even attacked because of the project they are on. This can be because of people’s frustration, especially in roadworks. Some projects will not allow workers to wear branded PPE on the way to and from work.

All sites VGC operates on have changing facilities to allow our staff to change out of PPE before leaving site. Please ensure you follow any of your site’s rules about wearing PPE when you are not on site.​​​​​​

Highways England safety alert

Highways England has issued a safety alert after an incident on one of its contracts. Although it did not involve any VGC employees, it is a timely reminder to us all about the hazards and risks from plant, vehicles and pedestrians. 

A person walking towards their own vehicle stopped behind a grab lorry and was momentarily distracted. The grab lorry then started reversing. Lucky, the person moved out of the way safely, but it could have been a very different matter. 

The report into the incident identified various shortcomings. The main learning is never put yourself in a position where a vehicle or plant could come into contact with you.

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from 10-16 May. It’s an important time to remind us to stay mentally fit.

Our top three tips for achieving this are: 

  • Being active
  • Enjoy the outdoors – for example, explore your local parks and walks
  • Having a healthy, balanced diet 

These things all impact how we feel, so have a think about how you can make sure you stay mentally well.

Thank you and please remember, let me know of any observations and good practice you see on ​​​​ And if you have any ideas or suggestions for innovations fill in the form on our webpage at