My Twitter Feed

May 22, 2018

Latest:

See who took home the medals at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 -

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Millboard decking selected for London’s first ‘floating park’ -

Monday, May 21, 2018

Recycling plants from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 at Barking Riverside London -

Monday, May 21, 2018

Gaze Burvill celebrates a milestone: 25th Anniversary Year at RHS Chelsea Flower Show -

Sunday, May 20, 2018

John Deere show garden celebrating 100 years of tractors -

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Wuhan Water Garden to appear at this year’s RHS Chelsea -

Friday, May 18, 2018

TCL Group duo aim to conquer the Alps in memory of colleague -

Friday, May 18, 2018

Dalefoot release new peat free Bulb Compost -

Friday, May 18, 2018

Hedges Direct donates to Love Your Garden’s NHS Special to mark Manchester Arena bombing -

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Clifton Nurseries pop up at Peter Jones Department Store in Chelsea -

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Ranger helps take the Dales to Chelsea -

Thursday, May 17, 2018

A simple guide to securing tools on site -

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Hillier inspires future horticulturalists and celebrates the royal wedding at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show -

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Geraniums at the Door, Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell Chelsea Fringe -

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Hartley Botanic showcases value of history on its RHS Chelsea stand -

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Rain Bird introduces XLR Long Distance Water Jets for irrigation and dust control -

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Living wall designed by Daniel Bell helps Stockholm nightclub improve acoustics -

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

New LI briefing document lays the foundation for a future-proof profession -

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

ACO unveils visualiser tool for domestic water management projects -

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Stihl launches dedicated new dealer website -

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Millboard

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

Tim Howell, managing director of Mitie Landscaped Ltd

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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