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Sharing best practice to drive safety and improve landlord services

Posted on 24 October 2017

Improving near miss reporting, reducing working at height accidents and establishing a code of conduct are the first three targets for our Property Services Health and Safety Core Group.

“The aim is to establish a more consistent approach to health, safety and operations – which will make our sites safer – as well as to raise awareness of safety issues among our contractors’ operatives,” explained Head of Stock Investment Colin Harnor.

 “As a result, work will be completed more safely and efficiently, the number of accidents will be reduced and will directly benefit Hyde, contractors and residents.” 

He added: “We understand from our contractors that this type of forum is unique in the social housing sector. One of the reasons is that, for it to be successful, group members have to trust, and have mutual respect for, one another. This reflects the philosophy of our partnering approach; the group is one of a number of our workstream-specific core groups.

“Everyone needs to speak openly about their experiences and share what they have learned, without fear of redress, in the case of a near miss or unsafe act for example. We have agreed to be transparent in our discussions and that any commercially-sensitive information will be confidential.” 

The group, which meets quarterly, is attended by Hyde staff, representatives from our in-house contractor Hyde Property Services, along with contractors Keepmoat, Mears, Axis Europe, Purdy Contracts, SCCI Alpha Track, Anglian Windows, Gully Howard, Baily Garner, Bell Group, T Brown and Temple Lifts. Residents have also been invited to join meetings.

Keepmoat Regeneration Director James Cousins commented: “This is a great initiative by Hyde, it makes everyone feel comfortable about sharing their experiences and processes. This will make the industry safer and help us all meet our duty of care to Hyde staff, operatives, residents and stakeholders.”

The group launched its first campaign in August.

“The ‘Near Miss? See it, report it’ initiative aims to encourage operatives to report every near miss or unsafe act, as these can often be accidents waiting to happen,” Harnor said. “The emphasis is on the positive benefits of reporting, and sharing the learning from it, rather than apportioning blame.

“Posters have been put up in all our contractors’ offices and on site and we are making it as easy as possible to report near misses, either using a card people can mail to us or via a web portal. We are also running an internal competition for our contract managers, to incentivise them to encourage contractors to submit near misses routinely.”

Harnor added that our Contractors’ Code of Conduct and CDM 2015 Contractors’ Charter, both published during this year’s Health and Safety Week, would also make sites safer and help us meet our objective of delivering better landlord services.

“Both documents lay out exactly what we expect from our contractors, in terms of their continual commitment to health and safety and in providing the best possible service to Hyde and our residents,” he said.