Corporate Social Responsibility Interactive Report

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Health and Safety

Health and Safety logo
Our Aim To ensure the health and safety of our workforce and those who come into contact with our operating sites and homes
Our Priorities
  • Accident prevention
  • Health and safety management
  • Employee and contractor training
  • Designing for safety
  • Site inspections and audits
  • Engaging with stakeholders
2004 KPI Measurements UK Business
  • Incident rate per 1,000 employees and contractors:
    • 6.8 for all reportable injuries
    • 2.1 for major injuries
  • Proactive monitoring identified the following potential hazards on site:
    • 54 Category A (potential serious)
    • 1,081 Category B (potential moderate)
  • 20 hours is the minimum annual health and safety training time required for site management personnel

US Business
  • 5.58 - the incident rate including employees and contractors
  • 84% of relevant personnel completed a 10 hour OSHA certification programme within 90 days of employment
  • 0.45 - the major accident rate per 1,000 completions

UK incident reduction figures
Health and safety is of the utmost importance to all of our companies and we take our responsibilities in this area extremely seriously. We believe that we lead the housebuilding industry in the UK and US in terms of our commitment to and management of health and safety.


Health and safety is the highest priority of our company and the first item on the agenda of every George Wimpey UK Board meeting. The bases of our approach are as follows:
  • Regularly updated Health, Safety and Environment Policies and Procedures guide staff and operatives about key aspects of site safety.The procedures are fully integrated into our Construction, Design and Management process.
  • A Hazard Categorisation System is used on all sites to identify and tackle potential risks.
  • Working groups meet regularly to develop and improve specific issues, while site managers are kept informed with briefings and newsflashes.
  • Our Health, Safety and Environmental Reporting System provides complete, accurate and timely data throughout the UK.
  • Safety is taken into account at the design stage of all new house types. If a design cannot be built safely, it will be rejected.
  • George Wimpey regional directors and management teams visit sites regularly to reinforce health and safety messages while our external consultants monitor and measure performance through regular inspection and audit of sites.
  • We provide extensive health and safety training for our staff and sub-contractors, and run regular campaigns and internal safety awards to promote best practice.
  • We work closely with the Health and Safety Executive, industry bodies, sub-contractors, suppliers and other stakeholders on safety initiatives and health promotion.



In 2004, we revised and updated our trade risk assessments for key trade activities on site. We identified the hazards associated with each task and updated control measures to reduce the risks associated with each activity. In addition to using this vital information internally, we provided all of our relevant contractors with a copy of our findings. We require our contractors to incorporate the standards within their safe systems of work. We are also encouraging them to use our research to improve safety standards with other customers and throughout their businesses. We hope to learn more about the practicalities of the measures from contractor feedback and will continue to review and modify our safety procedures as necessary.

In 2003, we highlighted the importance of improved stairwell protection to ensure that workers cannot fall down open staircases. We have now taken a major step in terms of investing in stairwell protection by introducing the Oxford Stairwell Working Platforms system on all sites throughout the UK.

During 2004, we continued to work with JCB and other manufacturers to enhance telescopic handlers for improved on-site safety. We are also working with a number of our other major suppliers on enhancing the safety of the products or services they provide. In addition, we are taking part in a tower crane safety initiative run by industry body CIRIA and involving a range of other companies and organisations.

All our companies run school safety programmes, particularly where sites are operating near or adjacent to schools. George Wimpey South West was a finalist in Building Magazine's Health and Safety Awards 2004. The company invited local schoolchildren to draw pictures about building site safety, which were enlarged and displayed on hoardings around the site to reinforce the key messages.

During 2004, 9,971 delegates (3,694 of whom were contractors) attended over 1,200 health and safety training courses. All of our site managers and assistants receive two days of training annually to reinforce key policies and updated procedures.

Towards the end of 2004, we started work on a major safety awareness campaign that was designed to strengthen and confirm our culture of safety, part of which encourages all people on site to take greater responsibility for their own and others' safety.

We have found that, however much emphasis we put on safety and however much training we do, operatives still take shortcuts and put themselves and others in danger to save time and effort.

We hope that our new campaign will persuade our employees and sub-contractors to recognise the extent of potential dangers on-site and will encourage them to put safety first.


Safety is an overriding consideration for Morrison Homes. 2004 has been a key year in terms of health and safety developments. We have improved our reporting systems and undertaken a number of important initiatives. Our company's overall approach to health and safety is as follows:
  • Updated annually, the Morrison Homes Safety Programme Manual covers all aspects of health and safety regulation as well as our own procedures.
  • Our HAZCOM system identifies risks and control measures for the use of potentially hazardous materials on site.
  • Weekly safety inspections are performed by site superintendents in each community in every Division. Our annual management conference is used as a forum to discuss challenges and opportunities and to identify areas of focus for the year ahead.
  • A Monthly Safety Report, which includes comprehensive accident statistics, enables us to monitor and measure safety performance more regularly. The Monthly Safety Report allows us to highlight and tackle issues as they arise.
  • External consultants, PROSAFE Solutions, audit our sites and provide service summaries of every field visit.
  • As part of our Monthly Scored Audit Safety programme, senior managers inspect every site at least once a quarter.
  • Training is provided for all relevant staff. We require all of our builders and senior managers to complete a 10 hour OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) certification programme. 10 hour OSHA training is also available to our sub-contractors.
  • Our customers visit their homes during the construction process, so visitor safety is a crucial element of our training programmes and our safety procedures. It is vital that our sales personnel have a good understanding of health and safety procedures.
  • We work closely with sub-contractors, suppliers and other stakeholders on health and safety projects.
US incident figures


Throughout 2004, our Divisions undertook a significant amount of research on improving on-site and sub-contractor safety. They have focused primarily on measures and technology to prevent falls from height. Home designs and build methods vary greatly across the US, so it is vital that our Divisions take responsibility for health and safety developments within their part of the country. Each Division has included sub-contractors and suppliers in this process.Divisions will now define specific fall protection controls and measures for each trade.

We have also raised awareness of the importance of reporting every accident that takes place on a site. As a result our reporting has become more accurate and more frequent, thereby providing us with a better understanding of health and safety in each Division of Morrison Homes.

Also in 2004, we introduced a requirement that every new builder must attend a 10 hour OSHA certification programme within 90 days of employment.

10 hour OSHA training and presentations on health and safety in different languages were made available to our sub-contractors during 2004. We hope that our commitment to sub-contractor training will have a knock-on effect on construction safety standards throughout the regions in which we operate.

In an effort to increase awareness and verify compliance with the current safety programme, we implemented a Monthly Scored Audit Safety programme in 2004. Senior Divisional managers must inspect, score and report on a third of their Division's communities each month.


Throughout the UK, we will expand our new sub-contractor safety awareness campaign. The campaign is designed to persuade all our contractors and their operatives of the importance of putting safety first and the benefits of the control measures in place.We are also in the process of working towards British Safety Council accreditation and intend to achieve this in 2005.

Morrison Homes has engaged consultants to perform a comprehensive, independent safety audit of every Division during 2005. We will also introduce a national safety award scheme to reward best practice.