Stonbury are immensely proud to be supporting our clients across the UK at such a crucial time and have been designated as 'key workers' by DEFRA and the UK water utility companies. Our teams are working tirelessly to help secure and maintain drinking water supplies, ensuring clean and safe drinking water is provided without interruption to critical services such as our hospitals as well as the general public. Now more than ever, the safety and wellbeing of our staff is of the utmost importance and we have adapted our safe working practices to ensure social distancing precautions are in place and that the correct hygiene practices are being followed. Safety is our priority, and we endeavour to make sure everyone at Stonbury goes home safe to their family.
Our most recent Stand Down Day was held in Gosforth Park for our teams in the North East. With the permission of Northumbrian Water, all sites were closed for the day, allowing full attendance from both site-based and management staff.
The day was led by both Stonbury QSE Director Stephen Brown and QSE Manager Glyn Iceton. Hard hitting content was delivered, including a detailed first-hand account of how a fatality in the workplace is investigated and conducted by the HSE and the ensuing legal process.
This was balanced by some light-hearted tasks, demonstrating the importance of skin protection and following the correct procedures. Skin sensitisation can be caused by mishandling some of the materials that we use on site on a daily basis, as a result of the chemicals making up these products. During the task, everyone was asked to wear protective coveralls and gloves and shown how to remove them correctly and safely. A practical task was carried out with strawberry jam (representing the uncured material), which was then placed onto their gloves and everyone was asked to prove they could remove all items, without any of the jam coming into contact with their skin or clothes. Everyone agreed the challenge was an extremely useful reminder on how to safely carry out a regular, routine task.
A reoccurring theme throughout the Stand Down Day was the empowerment of all site operatives to stop work on site if they identify or are uncomfortable with any working practice perceived to be a risk to their safety. This was reinforced by the issue to everyone of an empowerment card, signed for use by our Managing Director Ian Mellor. On the reverse side of the card, the cardholder must also sign a statement confirming their empowerment to intervene and stop site activities if they feel it is right to do so.
We believe team gathering days are extremely informative and worthwhile and look to more themed and focused Stand Down Days in 2019.