This is your July 2020 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, and then click at the bottom of the page to confirm that you have understood it.

Page contents


Text version

This month's brief includes

  • incidents which where due to last month’s heatwave
  • a reminder of sun safety. Even if it isn’t really hot, the sun can still be dangerous. 

Please remember that if anyone in your household or support bubble gets ill, you should all stay home while the person gets tested. If the test is positive, you will all need to self-isolate for 14 days.

Consider your driving speedmotorway

The RAC says 'lockdown speeding' is an unwelcome by-product of the government's fight against coronavirus. Many police forces have seen  speeds over 100mph.

Whenever you drive, either at home or at work, please consider your driving speed. Think through the consequences if you or someone else on the road makes a mistake. Is your hurry really worth having to tell someone that their child died in a crash?

Report anything unsafe

You are there at work all the time – managers and HSQE visitors can only see what’s going on some of the time. So you’re the best person to see if anything on site could possibly be unsafe.

By reporting anything that is at all unsafe, you are protecting yourself and your colleagues on your site – helping to make sure everyone goes home to their families every day. You’re also helping us to make other sites safer, too.

If you feel uncertain that you may be victimised for speaking out, you can email or you can use the anonymous form on the website at

We would always rather have a report that turns out not to be a problem, than to have someone hurt because you didn’t speak out.

Please always remember the four be safe rules:

  1. Be fit for work 
  2. Get a brief before you start work
  3. Report anything unsafe
  4. Stop work if anything changes

Talk to your labour manager or email us at if you have any questions about any of these.

Telehandler fatal accidenttelehandler

Sadly, an operative working as part of a site team (non VGC) died recently as the result of an incident involving a telehandler. 

Gary, the site operative, was standing about 7 metres away from the telehandler. The telehandler reversed about 2 metres but with the lower door open. The lower door appears to have become jammed against the tyre which burst, causing the door to thrown clear of the machine. Gary was hit in the chest by the door and tragically died on site. 

The investigation is still under way, but this terrible accident is a reminder to stay aware and ensure all plant is operated as per manufacturer’s instructions, just in case the unexpected happens. If the plant can’t provide adequate ventilation during hot weather, you must raise this with your foreman. 

Fatigue incidents

Another project had two incidents (also non VGC) where people involved had worked more shifts than is permitted. Fatigue was a contributory cause of both incidents.

If you are fatigued, you are not fit for work.

It can be as dangerous as being drunk, so you put yourself and your colleagues at risk.

VGC’s fatigue management says you may not work more than

  • 12 hours on a single shift
  • 72 hours in a week (seven days) 

You must have a rest period of not less than 12 hours between shifts 

  • As well as the maximum of 72 hours per week, you must not work more than 13 shifts in 14 days.

Your travel time is counted in ‘door to door’ time which must not exceed 14 hours. That means the total time you spend travelling to work, plus the time at work, plus travelling back home again afterwards, must not be more than 14 hours.
If you are asked to exceed these limits, please contact your VGC labour manager or email

Remember to take care in the sun

Apply plenty of sunscreen regularly - and be generous. It should be factor 30 or more.

A suntan is proof that you’ve damaged your skin. Keep an eye on moles: if you see a new mole, or an existing mole changes, check the NHS website for advice. 

melanomaDrink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (remember that caffeine can dry you out, so water, milk, dilute squash, and fruit juice are better). If your pee is pale, you’re doing OK.

Watch out for colleagues who may be affected by heat. 

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • cramps

If someone suffers from heatstroke, get them into the shade, spray or sponge cold water onto them, and encourage them to sip cool water. Seek medical attention asap.

If you have any questions, please contact your VGC labour manager or email

This month’s ‘See it, share it’ is a thank you to Ben Higley

Ben works on our G.Network contract installing fibre broadband cables in London. He noticed that a whacker plate that was being delivered was faulty, and refused to accept it. He notified our plant team and arranged for a replacement. 

Making sure equipment is fit for purpose helps us to deliver on our promises and also to look after each other. 

Please share observations and good practice: email 

hand sanitiserAlert: leaving alcohol-based sanitiser in vehicles

There have been several reports of hand sanitiser causing fires when left in vehicles in the hot weather.

To prevent this from happening, ensure you remove all alcohol-based hand sanitising products from vehicles when they are not occupied. Do not leave hand sanitiser in unattended vehicles.

Please share observations and good practice by emailing

Confirmation form

Please confirm that you have watched or read the safety brief and understood it.


If you have any questions about the safety brief, contact your line manager or the HSQE team on 01895 671 892 or