Health and Safety
We have a moral and legal responsibility to safeguard our employees and others affected by our operations and services. Health and Safety is also recognized as one the Group’s principal risks. Whilst the Group sets an overall policy for management of Health and Safety, operational responsibility lies within the Group’s operating businesses which are closest to and best positioned to manage their risks. The nature of risks is dependent on the activities of particular businesses and health and safety systems vary accordingly to ensure that key areas are addressed. All, however, have in common clear policies and procedures and appropriate risk assessment techniques backed by training and clear communication. Training is focused not only on specific hazards but also the wider obligations of management. These activities are overseen by appropriately qualified and experienced health and safety advisers and systems are subject to regular audit both internally and by external agencies. Where accidents, near misses or dangerous occurrences occur these are investigated in order that they are fully understood and appropriate action can be taken to minimise risk of occurrence. Health and Safety performance is monitored at business and segment Board level. This incorporates analysis of incidents, dangerous occurrences and near-misses in order that appropriate remedial action can be taken where required. For its part the Group Board receives a regular report which incorporates these elements and any emerging issues. Any material issues or concerns identified at Group level are considered by the Chief Executive and Company Secretary to ensure that appropriate steps are taken as required. OHSAS 18001 is an internationally recognised standard for health and safety management that is aligned with the ISO 9000 (Quality Management) and ISO 14000 (Environmental Management) standards. 66% (2016: 61%) of employees across the Group work in offices that now have third party accreditation to the OHSAS 18001 standard. The reportable accident rate in the year was 2.1 accidents per 1,000 employees (2016: 1.8). Accidents that do occur most commonly relate to field staff and involve manual handling activities, slips and falls.
Online Health & Safety Resources for each Division
Each RPS division has its own online Health & Safety resources page on the RPS Group intranet, GroupNet. The safety announcements, policies, procedures and training resources on each of these divisional Health & Safety pages is tailored to the operational activities and occupational risks relevant to each division in turn.
As an example of an RPS divisional ‘Health and Safety’ page on GroupNet, here are the navigation headings listed on the RPS Design & Development/Planning & Environment Health and Safety page:
RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Gold Awards for RPS in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015
RPS in the UK was awarded the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Gold medal at its Gold Standard Awards in 2015 after achieving the ROSPA Gold Standard for five years in succession between 2011 and 2015. RPS improved on its accident rates in 2016 again but having won the Gold Medal did not enter itself for the Gold Standard Awards last year.
RoSPA’s award scheme, which turned 60 in 2016, is open to all businesses internationally and recognises the highest levels of Health and Safety good practice being consistently met and surpassed across management systems both in client engagement and the workplace environment.
‘It takes achieving and maintaining these levels, then continuing to build upon them, creating an exemplary system that pushes the goals of high attainment in Health and Safety standards to achieve the recognition of a RoSPA Gold medal, so this is really something fantastic to receive and to underline the quality of RPS’ services to our clients, says Health & Safety Manager Gill McKenzie ‘Well done to all our staff for ensuring we meet such exceptional standards.’
RoSPA’s non-competitive Health and Safety award grades achievement at merit, bronze, silver and gold levels. Organisations that maintain exceptional standards for consecutive years can receive the Gold Medal, President’s Award or Order of Distinction.
NETS Award for RPS Road Safety Adviser
World Health Organisation figures show that 1.2 million people are fatally injured each year on roads globally, with non-fatal road traffic accident injury statistics worldwide exceeding 20 million annually. As traffic volumes increase the projected annual figure for road transport accident fatalities by 2030 is a possible 2.3 million unless serious focused action is taken to reduce the risks significantly.
More than 90% of road traffic deaths and injuries occur in low and middle income countries and a number of large businesses operating globally are amongst those working together to promote initiatives to reduce these statistics through the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS).
Around 3,500 businesses take part in NETS' annual Drive Safely to Work Week – usually held in October.
Martin Hoogenraad, a Safety Consultant from the RPS Delft office has been seconded to Shell for four days a week for seven years. He works closely with Shell's Global Road Safety Manager, and has informed Shell's input to the NETS' Comprehensive Guide to Road Safety.
The Guide was developed as part of NETS' mission to assist employers in advancing global road safety through providing guidance on various stages of road safety program development.
Road transport is one of the highest risk activities for Shell. Over the years Shell has managed to drastically reduce the number of road transport fatalities and injuries.
By helping to develop the NETS Guide, Shell shares its road safety knowledge with other companies, thereby contributing to the WHO's road safety goal to save millions of lives.
Martin van Hoogenraad of RPS was honoured in October 2014 with a road safety award at the annual NETS meeting recently held in Orlando, recognising his valuable contribution to the NETS Guide. “It was a surprise and a great honour for me to receive the award. I see it as an acknowledgement that more and more companies and organisations realize that road transport is one of the most dangerous activities for their employees and contractors and that appropriate controls need to be put in place to reduce the risks” says Martin.