World Day for Health and Safety at Work

In an exclusive interview with Construction Week online on the ocassion of World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2021, Group HSE Manager Andrew Cook spoke about the impact of Covid-19 on Khansaheb's HSE Strategy and the upcoming initiatives the company is focusing on.

How has on-site health and safety changed in the past 12 months, considering the outbreak of the pandemic?

We already have very high standards of health and safety on all of our projects and we have continued to maintain and reinforce our standards. This has resulted in a continuous period of 18 months without a reportable accident. The Covid pandemic has made us look more closely at Occupational Health and Wellbeing of all of our employees. We have responded proactively and effectively to government advice and guidance around Covid social distancing and hygiene requirements.  We have incorporated simple and effective physical controls at every workplace and project and ensured these controls are successfully resourced. In addition, we have made everyone aware of these requirements through our delivery of daily activity briefings.  Once again, from this approach we have benefitted by having compliant and disciplined employees and extremely low numbers of employees returning positive test results.

Have you witnessed a considerable change in the way HSE trainings are being conducted? We have an effective training strategy and approach, and this leads to a focused training calendar which ensures we meet our training needs.  We continue to deliver against this calendar and more importantly we continue to see measured improvements from this commitment.  What change we have seen is a reduction in training hours delivered each month, which has been forced by the 2m rule! That is, class continue to be delivered as planned however on a reduced class size.

We find that daily face-to-face briefings with small teams of workers and staff is a very practical and effective way of communicating positive and proactive instructions and education regarding avoiding Covid-19.

What are the ongoing and upcoming HSE initiatives your company is focused on?

We continue to invest heavily in our worker welfare policies and our primary focus will continue with this!  We will shortly enter the summer work restriction period and keeping our employees (and supply chain) safe, hydrated, and healthy through this period will not only ensure a healthy workforce, but it will also be a further step towards achieving our aim to be accident free.  We will keep things simple, and this will return managed results. The Khansaheb Training Initiative will be rolled out again during 2021 with a renewed emphasis on health and safety, personal hygiene and wellbeing.

How has the value of HSE in the sector evolved over the last decade?

The simple answer for Khansaheb is that ‘HSE’ has, over the last 10-years, become our first priority, in everything we do.  This will not be compromised.  Our aim is to send everyone home safely each day free from injury.  Our employees are our most important assets and keeping them safe, healthy and content brings better to their lives and ensures our business remains sustainable.
Our various health and safety initiatives have been very effective in delivering a consistent daily message on HSE. This has resulted in excellent HSE standards becoming part of our organisation culture.

Click here to read an excerpt of this conversation on Construction Week Online.