Iron technology leader Saint-Gobain PAM UK, part of leading international materials company Saint-Gobain, has scooped an award for ‘Partnership Initiative of the Year’ at Safety and Health Practitioner’s Institution of Occupational Safety and Health Awards 2011. Held at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, London, the winning entry was for highlighting a health and safety innovation in the construction sector.
In partnership with supply chain solutions provider Wincanton and haulage company Gundel Transport, Saint-Gobain PAM UK launched an initiative to improve health and safety in the loading, delivering and unloading of large diameter water pipes. Since being introduced a year ago, the results have been considerable: no lost time accidents and more than 400 hours saved. It has been estimated £12,000 worth of accidental damage has been avoided.
The initiative particularly focused on logistical challenges the company faced. Longer vehicles were utilised to increase capacity and damage to pipes was reduced by increasing space between them during delivery. One of the most significant alterations was through new loading practices. Previously, large diameter water pipes were managed by an operative attaching chains to the pipe manually, which were then off-loaded by a crane. To improve the safety of the operative and those nearby, an unloading boom was developed by Gundel Transport, which can be operated remotely by the driver at ground level so that pipes are off-loaded securely.
To ensure health and safety regulations were met, Saint-Gobain PAM UK organised visits to the site for all projects and repeat customers to decide upon the most efficient route of delivery. All drivers are now required to complete their own risk assessments too.
David Smoker, Business Development Director at Saint-Gobain PAM UK, commented: “Working with Wincanton and Gundel Transport has helped us to provide unique and efficient solutions that improve the health and safety of our employees and customers, as well as the speed and economy of our actions. The success of the campaign has been remarkable, and winning the ‘Partnership Initiative of the Year’ award further strengthens these achievements.”
The judges at the SHP IOSH Awards 2011 said: “Saint-Gobain PAM UK, Wincanton and Gundel Transport in collaboration created a safe, incident-free pipe delivery system that added value to all stakeholders, including customers, staff, suppliers and the operating environment. It was judged best example amongst UK and international OSH practitioners of how occupational safety and health is not always about individual excellence but more often about being a meeting of minds and a collective desire to improve.”