Health & Safety

KPIs* 2019 2018
RIDDORs 21 21
Total Recordable Injuries 182 220
Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) 0.13 0.11
Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) 1.14 1.14

The safety of our people, and those who work with us, is our top priority.

We mitigate the risk of incidents with a robust Health, Safety and Welfare Policy, associated procedures, a team of health and safety professionals and a culture of behavioural safety. Going beyond just safety, we recognise the impact of mental ill-health and are taking a number of steps to address this important issue.

Safety

Achieving high standards of health and safety is an integral part of business performance. Its importance is evident throughout all levels of the organisation. Health and safety is one of the first topics to be covered in executive meetings, and it is highlighted early in our new starter induction, with clear linkage to our values and ethos.

Our approach is to comply with all statutory provisions at a minimum and strive for continual improvement by setting appropriate health and safety objectives and targets. We’re very sad to report that this year we did incur a fatality on one of our construction sites. We are investigating this fully and continue to drive improvements in all aspects of safety to prevent this occurring again.

During 2019 we fully refreshed our health, safety and environmental system through the delivering of standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Promoted by a new Health, Safety and Environment Director, the SOPs set mandatory best practice design, management and implementation requirements that are regularly audited by our dedicated in-house team of SHE experts.This internal inspection regime features an overall H&S performance KPI which has been set for all sites and provides a “Gold – Green – Amber – Red – Black” dashboard indicator that is updated by the regions daily. This continues to be well received by site teams and has increased the level of engagement with both site management teams and contractors and is consistent with our strategy to bring about behavioural change.

Whilst the LTIFR has increased slightly (0.13 in 2019 compared to 0.11 in 2018), this is well within our tolerance levels and the marginal increase is due in part to a reduction in overall working hours, rather than an increase in injuries.

Furthermore, we actively promote worker engagement at site level through daily activity briefings (“DABs”). These provide an opportunity for site management to communicate with subcontractors in respect of tasks scheduled to occur that day and particular risks that may arise as a result.

They also provide a forum for subcontractors to provide feedback, for example in respect of near-misses and agree improvements implemented.

We think it’s important to recognise and encourage excellence in safety and run an annual safety award scheme, the Best Sites Award. This year there were awards for the overall site winner, two divisional site winners, two regional winners and two that were highly commended. Winners were selected based on their approach to safety planning, attitude, team relationships as well as performance.

Health and wellbeing

Sadly, incidents of suicide in the construction industry are high. We recognise the importance of this issue and are determined to be an industry leader in tackling mental health.

We were the first housebuilder to become a supporter of Mates in Mind, a construction industry initiative which aims to increase awareness of mental health and to reduce the stigma attached to it.

Building on this, this year we have committed to ensuring there are qualified Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) available in all areas of our business. The role of the MHFAs will be to raise awareness of mental health in the workplace, reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues and provide practical support to anyone personally effected.

We also strive to facilitate wellbeing with a range of regionally co-ordinated activities, including regular teambuilding exercises, away days and yoga sessions.

Case study: Mental health is a priority for the Vistry Group

The Group is proud to have signed up to the Building Mental Health Charter, an industry initiative being driven by the Home Builders Federation and the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity.

The charter gives best practice guidance to companies on how to provide mental health support for workers in the housebuilding industry.

The Group trains staff as Mental Health First Aiders in every location and office in which they operate. We recognise that the symptoms of mental ill-health can be much harder to identify than physical ailments and this training will help equip our staff with the skills to spot the signs early.

The Mental Health First Aiders will be points of contact for employees or subcontractors to raise concerns to, and they will also proactively reach out to colleagues they feel may need support.