EPC-UK move safely through 2020
Company says Safety Ambassador initiative has been an invaluable resource during last few months
EPC-UK say their innovative Safety Ambassador programme has proven to be an invaluable resource during the last few challenging months, providing staff members with safety and well-being support and guidance regardless of their location.
Introduced more than five years ago, the ‘Esprit d’equipe’ initiative was devised by the company to raise the profile of behavioural effects and encourage employees to take greater responsibility for their own safety, as well as that of those around them. Since its inception, it has evolved to also encompass the physical and mental well-being of individuals.
There are now more than 10 safety ambassadors spread across the company’s UK sites, all of whom offer their time voluntarily. Following an initial training period, the ambassadors work closely with their peers to create a safer working environment through education and encouragement, whilst acting as a conduit between staff and management by listening to concerns and reporting ‘near miss’ incidents.
Daniel Ford, IT and business systems co-ordinator at EPC-UK, was instrumental in the development of the Safety Ambassador programme and explained how it will evolve during 2020: ‘Over the past few years, the Safety Ambassador initiative has gone from strength to strength, providing members of the EPC-UK team with a point of contact for any safety concerns they may have and initiating a two-way conversation about the importance of health, safety and well-being within the working environment. This year we want to strengthen this relationship.
‘So far, 2020 has been a challenging time for everyone and we, the safety ambassadors, have been working hard to ensure we continue to be visible. Regular emails keep staff members up to date with developments, as well as offering hints and tips on how to stay safe, whether they are working from home or on site. The emails also reiterate the role of the safety ambassadors and include details on how we can be contacted.
‘Internally, the ambassadors have a monthly meeting to discuss progress, new initiatives, and any concerns. These meetings are currently being conducted ‘virtually’ to allow us to continue our efforts and begin to put future plans into motion, such as developing a regular newsletter and organizing our Safety and Wellbeing Days.’
EPC-UK’s Safety and Wellbeing Days are to be held in 2021 at multiple locations across the UK, and will feature several talks and presentations, interactive group discussions and Q&A sessions, all of which will reinforce the importance of safety and well-being at work and beyond.
‘In addition to the safety events, the Safety Ambassador programme will also be rebranded during 2020,’ said Mr Ford. ‘Our aim is to strip everything back to basics and create a programme model that is transparent and easy to understand. We want to create a 360° environment in which openness and education are used to achieve zero harm.’
Ben Williams, managing director of EPC-UK, is extremely positive about the future of the Safety Ambassador programme. He said: ‘EPC-UK will not tolerate a ‘blame’ culture. The Safety Ambassador initiative was conceived to not only spread the message of safety, but also to encourage members of staff to report incidents and near misses openly and without fear of disciplinary action. This allows us all to learn and develop processes and procedures that will guide us in the future.
‘I am extremely proud of the Safety Ambassador programme – the first of its kind within our industry – and would like to thank everyone involved in the initiative, as well as all those who are supporting it by advocating well-being and safety within EPC-UK.’