On Friday, 7th June, CRL held their Health & Safety Culture Day at The Grange, just down the road from the Mitcham office. Around 80 delegates attended the day, including members of our site teams, regional and senior management, as well as a few representatives from our supply chain.
The day was chaired by Ben Lawson (our new Regional Manager – London and the South-East), and started off with a team building exercise to see who could build the tallest structure out of straws, paper cups, balloons and sticky tape. Needless to say it was won by the table with our CEO on; I think there was a bit of favouritism there …
We then got down to what the day was all about, listening to a series of talks from inspirational speakers who could hopefully influence the way we thought about health and safety and our attitude to risk taking, as well as other relevant subjects related to this field.
The first speaker was Mark Heath, from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority. Mark talked us through some of the cases he has dealt with, as well as the history of the formation of the GLAA. It appears that there is a lot more slavery and abuse taking place than we are aware of, and the incidence of cases is growing. Interestingly however is the fact that the GLAA still has a very low conviction rate.
Our second speaker was Emma Saccomani from Sarsens who spoke to us about mental health and how it affects people in the construction industry. The main theme of her talk centred on the stigma of mental illness, and how this prevents people from reporting it and seeking help. The macho attitude is changing, but we still have a long way to go!
Our last speaker, who also spoke at the Chesterfield day, was Mick Loughran, a motivational speaker, whose life changed dramatically through an accident at work when he was 19. Mick’s talk was all about ‘risk perception’ and how we tend to ignore risks and keep carrying out ‘risky’ actions the more we get away with them. He is also a firm believer that we learn from the actions and behaviours of others, a message not lost on our site team members in the audience.
Overall a great day which I know was appreciated by all. Not only did everyone go away with something to think about and put into action, but the day also served as a great opportunity to meet, chat and socialise with our fellow workers who we don’t often get a chance to see and spend time with!