Throughout 2020, our HSQE team has continued to provide on-site training despite coronavirus.
The team has trained over 100 people, free of charge to the projects, in the last seven months. These include workers from companies including Balfour Beatty, Danny Sullivan, McGinleys, Hercules, Fortel, and Cleveland Bridge, as well as VGC people. It’s all about keeping everyone safe on site.
In a busy first quarter, head of HSQE Richard Wheeler and HSQE adviser Ben Keegan delivered 80 hours of training. This included induction, Make Safety Personal, Injury-Free Environment, and PVM (plant vehicle management) courses. Many of the PVM training courses were supported by labour manager James Andrews.
Total hours of safety training delivered Jan – Sep 2020: 137
For the first few months of lockdown, the focus was on face-fit testing, which included an unusual assignment for Richard. In June he helped out in Windsor by training eight dentists at Castle View Dental surgery to correctly fit their respiratory face-fit equipment. This was required for them to welcome patients back for treatment after the COVID-19 lockdown.
In recent months Richard has stepped in on short notice on several occasions. For example, face fit testing for 12 delegates working on the Riding Court Lane bridge works on the M4 in Berkshire helped the bridge upgrade to a successful – and early – finish for Highways England in early April.
Other training has included manual handling, abrasive wheels and HAVs (hand-arm vibration syndrome) on projects including HS2, Thames Tideway, Volker Highways, and the A428 works.
As well as the training, the HSQE team managed a series of audits, presenting appropriate evidence to independent examiners. These have accredited VGC to standards including Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard, RISQS, ConstructionLine Gold, ISO 9001, ISO4501, ISO 14001 and ISO 50001.
They also create a monthly Be safe brief. Since May 2020, the brief has been available in video as well as text form. The videos are easier for people who find reading English difficult, so everyone can get the benefit of the safety messages.
A real team effort, the videos, produced and edited by marketing manager Zena Wigram, have featured a number of VGC people from different parts of the business. See the Be safe brief page for links to all the Be safe brief videos.