2019 was a spectacular year for Wills Bros Civil Engineering Ltd. at the
RoSPA Health & Safety Awards. As well as being Highly Commended in the Health & Safety Team of the Year, they also achieved a RoSPA Gold Achievement Award.
Wills Bros Civil Engineering Ltd. first entered the RoSPA Awards back in 2017, winning a Silver RoSPA Award. Since then, they’ve continued to enter, pushing themselves to win a Gold Award in 2018 and then again in 2019. We spoke to Kieran Doona, Health and Safety Manager at Wills Bros Civil Engineering Ltd. to find out more about their awards journey over the last three years…
What benefits does winning a RoSPA Award have for your organisation?
Being recognised as a winner at the RoSPA Awards is hugely beneficial for our company’s reputation and profile, both with clients, the wider public and our own employees. Benchmarking ourselves against the Awards annually is a great way of reflecting on our performance over the previous year and focusing on all the things we’ve done well. Recognition as a Gold Award winner also sends out a strong signal that we are a high performing organisation that is massively passionate about safety and really care for the wellbeing of our workers. Achieving Gold didn’t happen overnight. We put a lot of work into our submissions over a number of years and the feedback from RoSPA was really helpful on how we could tweak and improve year-on-year.
Which innovative approaches, risk assessment practices and/or control measures to manage health and safety are you particularly proud of?
Over the past number of years, we’ve been particularly proud of our focus on the physical and mental health of our employees, which is so important in the modern high-pressure work environment. The best thing about it is that we’ve had a lot of fun doing it. You can be really creative in coming up with ways to promote better health to staff. For example, we’ve held 5-aside football matches, walk at work schemes, healthy lunch days, staff bowling nights, awareness workshops and staff health screening days. These have been great for morale and provide an ideal opportunity for staff to get to know one another better.
Are you able to share any outcomes from your organisation’s approach to health and safety management?
Our approach to health and safety management is highly focused towards continuous improvement, changing attitudes and improving our culture. Whilst focus on lagging indicators (accidents, incidents) is important, we try to keep a balanced approach by putting equal emphasis on leading indicators (training, inspections, good practices, awards etc). We have found that competing in the RoSPA Awards has been really good for nurturing this balanced approach over the years. The questions are always updated to reflect the ever-changing nature of health and safety, so it keeps us aligned with best practice.
How have the RoSPA Awards inspired you/your organisation to continually improve health and safety management?
When we first entered a couple of years back, we were really happy to win a Silver Award. After a couple of years, we got more ambitious and really wanted to win Gold, which we achieved with some invaluable feedback and support from RoSPA. In 2019, we pushed ourselves again and decided to enter two award categories. We were delighted to win a Gold Achievement Award and a highly commended award in the Health & Safety Team of the Year category. We’ve already registered for the 2020 Awards and have decided to push ourselves to win a Construction Sector Award next year. That’s the great thing about the RoSPA Awards, there’s something for everyone and the positive reinforcement of success really drives you to continuously improve year-on-year.
What do you enjoy most about the RoSPA Awards?
The anticipation of waiting for the Award result to come through is really exhilarating, particularly when you’ve put a lot of effort into the submission. It’s also a lot of fun sharing the result to staff and Directors as the submission really is a team effort. I get a great buzz out of that every year. The Awards ceremony itself is also a fantastic occasion with companies from all over the world present to collect their trophies and certificates. It’s clear when a representative goes up to collect their award that the acknowledgement means a lot to them. I know it means a lot to us.
Could your organisation go for Gold in 2020? Registrations are currently open for the 2020 RoSPA Health & Safety Awards. Simply visit the website to find out more. Want to hear more about the RoSPA Awards? Catch up on all our posts in the ‘Meet the Winner’ series and find out how entering the awards has benefitted other organisations.