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Published Wed, Aug 17th 2011

Health & safety triumph for Kier

Company's dedicated approach to health & safety recognised at prestigious industry awards

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Kier, the company which maintains 11,000 council properties in Sefton, has won a Gold award at the prestigious RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2011 in recognition of its broad range of health & safety related schemes designed to benefit employees and local residents alike.

A series of promotions, road shows and 'toolbox' talks have helped Kier communicate with its employees and drive home the importance of increased awareness of health & safety issues. An occupational health service has also been put into place to benefit the health and fitness of all employees; this is supported by the Kier Group SHE management system, which has procedures for ensuring health at work, particularly around dust, noise, vibration, sharps and asbestos. Furthermore, the company has taken an innovative approach to working at heights by introducing a specialist team of trained operatives who use dedicated equipment to reduce the chance of accidents.

Kier's safety, health and environment (SHE) advisor for maintenance in Sefton, Melanie Priestley, said: "We're delighted to have won a Gold RoSPA award, which follows our recent BSC International Safety Award."

As well as monitoring the health and working environment of its employees, Kier has been working with One Vision Housing and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MF&RS) to carry out fire safety exercises to help improve the safety of residents in high-rise buildings across the region.

An exercise was staged at the vacated 15-storey Alexander House in Kings Park, Sefton to simulate conditions of high-rise fires, such as the way the fire can skip floors and spread in an unpredictable manner. The training gave firefighters the opportunity to practise their procedures in a typical high-rise block, with the experience designed to improve response times and tenant safety.

David Rawlins, RoSPA's awards manager, said: "RoSPA firmly believes that organisations that have demonstrated their commitment to continuous improvement in accident and ill health prevention deserve recognition. Kier has shown that it is committed to striving for such continuous improvement and we are delighted to honour it through the presentation of an award."

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), a registered charity promoting safety and the prevention of accidents, launched its awards programme 55 years ago. The scheme looks not only at accident records, but also entrants' overarching health & safety management systems, including important practices such as strong leadership and workforce involvement.

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