November 18, 2017

Latest:

Landscape Partnership seeks consultant to collate historic evidence -

Friday, November 17, 2017

8,000 new trees to be planted this year in Sheffield -

Friday, November 17, 2017

Stewart Milne Homes appoints new construction director to drive growth in Central Scotland -

Friday, November 17, 2017

Northern Design Awards – Barnes Walker reaches prestigious finals -

Friday, November 17, 2017

BALI National Landscape Awards 2017 is a sell-out event -

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Lee Bestall finalist in this year’s Northern Design Awards -

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Pro Landscaper’s Most Influential revealed -

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Funding boost for Bilston Urban Village ‘Garden City’ site -

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Landscape protection confirmed for Cornwall’s rare species -

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Minister for London welcomes £1.4 billion Croydon redevelopment -

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Green-tech launches new anchoring system at Futurescape 2017 -

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Makita’s new factory service centre & training academy in Glasgow has a national role -

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Lister Wilder Ltd announced as this year’s biggest UK ‘MOW-team’ -

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Oman Botanic Garden revealed -

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Capel Manor College wins key horticulture apprenticeship contract -

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Time running out to effectively transpose EU Environmental Acquis into UK Law -

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Save up to £2775 and 50% of the cost of a battery with Pellenc -

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Civic Engineers awarded £1.8 million contract to help deliver Glasgow City Centre ‘Avenues’ project -

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Luscombe Plant Hire double up on their GreenMech fleet to meet demand -

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Major regeneration plans for town centre move forward -

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tim Howell discusses how and why employees’ health and safety knowledge should be regularly refreshed

There is a wide-ranging campaign to encourage more people to enter the landscape and horticultural sector, which already employs over 170,000 people in the UK. Our sector is under pressure; the recruitment pool is reducing in size and the impacts of Brexit are still unknown. Not enough people are joining our industry, and it lacks the diversity that it needs to thrive. The labour market is increasingly flexible, transient and in some cases driven by small increases above the living wage levels.

I spend a lot of my time reflecting on how our workplace can be made more attractive to people. Increasing its value to allow better wages and rewards will help, but for people to thrive they need to work somewhere with long-term job security, where they can develop their career and have a safe working environment where their wellbeing is highly valued.

How often do management or recruiters add safety considerations into the role description? How often do we commit to keeping our people safe when ‘selling’ ourselves to prospective employees? That’s something the industry can do better, to take advantage of the therapeutic perception that many people have about what we do.

So, are our recruitment challenges and lack of diversity due to safety or wellbeing concerns?

Back in 1992 I remember the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulation coming in, which meant that employers had specific duties towards the wellbeing and safety of their employees. The regulations changed the way we manage our workplace. It made the provision of personal protective equipment, training, maintenance and checking of equipment mandatory. It changed the way we work for the better. The role of HSE Manager was created in many of our businesses and they were tasked to produce documented safe-working practices; this was not an easy transition for me to accept, yet now it forms a part of my daily routine.

These regulations were significant in our industry because they gave prescriptive, legislative instruction on how we should be managing our health and safety within the workplace. Even though we were managing the safety aspect under the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, the new regulations were much more precise and comprehensive.

It’s so important to keep safety messages fresh and up to date. I often use the analogy of airline safety messages: at worst the stewards deliver a half-hearted message that hasn’t changed for decades, at best airlines are innovative with the way they deliver the message; you can guarantee these messages are the ones you remember.

Similarly, where I cycle in the South Downs, I see close-up the lack of investment in safety messages on our roads. On one particularly dangerous corner; previous investment in non-slip, coloured tarmac has eroded and been patched over a ‘SLOW’ message that now reads ‘OW’, which seems somewhat appropriate.

At Mitie, we keep the messages alive through regular training and update sessions, annual training events and specific safety campaigns. We use both print and video media, often featuring individuals who have been involved in an incident, to relay their story. We also introduce annual innovations, which require something to be physically handed to an employee, so that they remember the message. We operate with a simple strapline of, ‘if it’s not safe, don’t do it’.

My message is consistent: We should collaborate, share data and best practice to reduce the most common causes of injury and lost time. Our industry needs to be seen as an exciting, safe career that attracts great people, who will continue to strengthen its value for many years to come.

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