People and communities
OUR VISION: Zero harm in the workplace and a positive impact on communities around our sites. Effective partnerships and dialogue with stakeholders.
Health and safety remains our number one priority, but we also want to develop the skills of our workforce through targeted training and to make a positive contribution to the communities around our operations. We report and act upon environmental incidents and complaints and we host regular engagement meetings with stakeholders.
Health and safety
We are committed to achieving the highest standards of health, safety and welfare for our colleagues, our customers and the general public.
Working safely is our top priority and throughout the business there is a commitment to looking out for each other and never passing by an unsafe act.
We recognise that accidents can only be eliminated by including and involving the workforce. By the use of ‘safety conversations’ – a process which encourages managers to talk to employees about the tasks they are undertaking, we can learn how to make our activities safer. We also encourage our employees to report near hits and to ‘take one’ and assess the risks before starting any task.
To underpin this, we have a comprehensive health and safety management system setting out rules, procedures and safe working practices which provides the backbone of effective health and safety management.
Our induction training includes a significant section on health and safety and we distribute newsletters and reports to all employees detailing accidents, near misses and safety initiatives.
We also have comprehensive occupational health programmes in place. These range from health surveillance for potential exposure to work hazards, through to advice on lifestyle issues.
We recognise that our operations may have an impact on the local community, but we strive to be good neighbours. Many of our larger sites operate liaison committees attended by councillors, council officers and residents’ representatives.
Our three cement plants all produce community newsletters to keep residents and businesses informed about their activities and provide a conduit for further information.
We help charities and voluntary groups in communities close to our sites and offices through the Hanson in the Community scheme. Our employee charity matching scheme has helped raise more than £1 million since its introduction in 1994. The scheme encourages employees to raise money for charity by matching their fundraising up to £500.
We are corporate patrons of CRASH, the construction industry charity which provides accommodation for the homeless, and we support a number of other smaller environmental and community-based charities.
Competence is also an essential discipline and we invest considerable resources in training. We are working towards the Mineral Products Association’s Safer by Competence programme for all our employees.
All new staff undergo a detailed on-line induction programme in addition to our site-based induction procedures. Every employee has an annual performance review at which personal development plans are created which identify requirements to support their job role or career development.
Employees are encouraged to achieve National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) or Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ). There are also leadership training programmes for novice and practised managers.
Our employees remain an important stakeholder group and we continue to improve our internal communications through better use of the intranet platform, employee forums and staff briefing meetings.
We have extended the remit of our employee working groups from health and safety to embrace environmental, social and community affairs. At site level we have appointed sustainability reps to take responsibility for all these elements. They share best practice through regional cross-business line working groups, chaired by a divisional managing director, and representatives from the regional groups meet once a year with the executive board.
We carry out a programme of stakeholder engagement workshops involving customers, trade associations, NGOs and community leaders. The dialogue with customers in particular is helping us to understand both the data and information we need to supply to support their businesses, and the ways in which we can work together to promote sustainable development.
Five of our sites are within national parks and we are active members of the Corporate Forum for National Parks, which encourages dialogue between the Campaign for National Parks, the park authorities and the businesses which operate within the parks.
Before submitting planning applications for new developments, we consult widely with both statutory bodies and local residents. We hold public exhibitions to present proposals for mineral extraction which provide an opportunity for local residents to view and comment on the proposals prior to planning applications being submitted.
As members of the principal trade associations in our sector, we contribute to discussion and debate on a range of issues designed to improve our sustainability performance.