Safety Initiatives at Shanks

The waste and resource industry unfortunately has a poor health and safety record compared to other sectors.

Shanks is therefore proud to have promoted a safety culture throughout the business, and have benefited from year-on-year reduction in accidents. Ensuring good safety performance has three main components:

• Good physical/engineering controls – machine guards, traffic barriers, rear cameras on lorries, etc
• Good management systems – procedures, rules, audits, accident investigations etc
• Good safety culture – risk aware employees for whom behaving safely comes naturally as part of the their day-to-day jobs

The first two are essential, but unlikely to be fully successful if the third is not in place.

Shanks Group has designed its own visible safety leadership scheme comprising four main components:

1. Health and safety leadership policy. This Shanks Group Policy sits under the Group Corporate Responsibility Policy and is dedicated to health and safety leadership, and has been embedded in local management systems. This sets the tone for what Shanks expects, Ensuring health and safety is not a separate function, but an embedded part of company productivity, profitability and business processes.

2. Key safety essentials for Shanks operations. There are some risks which are common to the vast majority of waste operations, and each employee is given ‘trading cards’ which highlights these risks, including:

a. Traffic: The most common fatal accidents in waste management
b. Machinery: An increasingly common and important risk
c. Falls: From a height, from lorries, containers and in recycling etc plants
d. Impacts: From waste containers, container doors and similar
e. Fire and emergencies: High impact events
f. Slips and trips: Shanks most common accident type
g. Manual handling: Most common cause of time off work
h. Hygiene and health: Working with waste poses risks
i. Confined spaces: AD and treatment risks highest
j. Personal protection: PPE
k. Warning and signs: Information for employees
l. Communication: Safety critical

3. Safety leadership site tours by directors. Each of Shanks’ 50 senior managers and directors are required to complete 4 individual safety audits of Shanks’ sites across the UK, translating into 200 individual inspections. Each of these audits examines the implementation of the Key Safety Essentials outlined above.

4. Group Health and Safety and Corporate Responsibility Committees tours. The Committees consist of senior environmental, health and safety, human resources and other specialists from across the Group. As part of their routine activities, the committees perform joint site visits at a variety of Shanks’ sites to ensure that the expected standards, policies and procedures are in place.