Health and Safety
The health and safety of employees and others it may affect is of paramount importance to the Group and it remains committed to good practice that as a minimum complies with the requirements of law. The Board sets the overall framework and standards for the management of health and safety, the implementation of which is overseen by the Company Secretary. Within this context each of the Group’s businesses is responsible for the development of appropriate safe working conditions and systems to protect employees, contractors, visitors and others who may be affected by the Group’s activities. Where appropriate, work activities are assessed for health and safety risks and appropriate mitigation measures and controls put in place. Employees are trained to ensure that they have the appropriate skills to carry out their job safely and senior management are trained to ensure that obligations to employees for whom they are responsible are properly discharged. The Group’s businesses have appropriately qualified health and safety advisors to develop and implement these systems. Health and safety systems are also subject to regular review and audit.
Health and safety issues and performance are reported to and reviewed by all operating Boards at each meeting. This incorporates a system for reporting all near misses, accidents, dangerous occurrences and work-related diseases. All such incidents are investigated to determine the root cause and wherever possible action is taken to mitigate the risk of recurrence. The Group Board receives and reviews a report at every meeting which summarises health and safety erformance across the Group as well as detailing any significant incidents and emerging issues.
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. 40% (2014: 30%) of employees across the Group work in offices that now have third party accreditation to the OHSAS 18001 standard.
During the year neither the Group nor any Group company was prosecuted for the breach of health safety regulations. The reportable accident rate in the year was 2.2 accidents per 1,000 employees (2014: 2.0). Accidents that do occur most commonly relate to field staff and involve manual handling activities, slips and falls.
|Reportable Accident Rates
|Reportable injuries incident rate per 1,000 employees
Online Health & Safety Resources for each Division
Each RPS division has it’s 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 one such RPS divisional ‘Health and Safety’ page on GroupNet, here are the navigation headings listed on the RPS Planning and Development divisional Health and Safety page:
The RPS Planning and Development division will be operating a single OHSAS 18001:2007 certified safety management system by the end of October 2015. This will replace the practice of maintaining several different OHSAS certified systems at the different offices within the division.
The RPS Environmental Management division (incorporating RPS Water and Clear Environmental Consultants) will be operating under the same RPS Environmental Management OHSAS 18001:2007 certified safety management system (OHS no 532501) when the Clear Environmental Consultants OHSAS 18001:2007 certificate expires.
RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Gold Awards for RPS in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015
RPS in the UK has been awarded the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Gold medal celebrating five consecutive annual Gold standard awards from the society.
RoSPA’s award scheme, which turns 60 next year, 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 – held in October – the latest campaign focused on the need to make employee road safety a part of an employer's safety culture.
Martin Hoogenraad, a Safety Consultant from the RPS Delft office has been seconded to Shell for four days a week for six years (since 2009). 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.