Unipart, the global manufacturing, logistics and consultancy group, says culture is at the heart of driving safety in an innovative, highly competitive business.
What does it take to create one of the world’s safest work environments?
According to Unipart, it is all about engaging your people.
Unipart’s success in applying that engagement formula is borne out by an impressive track record in winning accolades for the company’s health and safety record.
Unipart has won 55 Swords of Honour since 2011, more than any other company in its sector and this year added to its impressive achievement.
In addition, Unipart Logistics was among a handful of organisations to achieve both the Sword of Honour and Globe of Honour, awarded for environmental excellence. These British Safety Council awards are the pinnacle of achievement in terms of developing a health and safety culture.
Lawrence Waterman, Chairman of the British Safety Council, said: “The winners of Swords and Globes are ready to face the future because they have the right values, putting the health, safety and wellbeing of their employees and the future of our planet at the heart of what they do. They are an example to us all, in how to look after their employees, how to engage them in health and safety and how to strive to make our organisations places where people can thrive.”
So how does Unipart continue to raise the bar in terms of improving health and safety on its sites internationally?
In an analogue world of the past, we engaged all employees everyday in making their sites safer, identifying risks and creating a ‘safety’ culture.
Today, we look at health and safety through a digital lens which enables us to use digital technologies to identify risks and share the information globally and almost instantly. Now digital enables us to collect and analyse data more effectively to predict and counter safety issues before they occur.
For instance, Unipart Logistics created a health and safety app for our sites in the NHS Supply Chain. When we took over the NHS Supply Chain logistics activity in February 2019, we benchmarked the sites against existing Unipart sites and using a digital app brought health and safety performance in line with Unipart’s world-class level.
Digital technology has further driven Unipart’s health and safety excellence more widely across all Unipart Logistics sites. For example, sensors and telematics in new mechanical handling equipment led to a 47 per cent reduction in incidents.
Meanwhile door sensors and electronic audits alert operatives to hazards or improve the efficiency of Unipart’s audit and inspection activities. The data collected in these processes will be used in the future to predict and prevent unsafe events.
In Unipart Rail, employees developed their own health and safety apps to monitor behavioural safety, workplace inspections, and share new ideas across the division to improve safety.
World class benchmarks
Unipart has focused on world class benchmarks in health and safety. Unipart Logistics set a lost time incident frequency rate (LTIFR) of 0.5 – half the industry requirement. Through proactively managing risk and engaging employees, Unipart’s latest LTIFR rate was 0.37.
Unipart Rail achieved a five star audit for a third consecutive year. By further engaging employees in health and safety over the last 12 months, the division reduced accidents by 20 per cent and reduced RIDDOR incidents by 66 per cent.
Unipart’s employee wellbeing strategy, Unipart Workwell, is helping to build a positive safety culture. Wellbeing champions at every site promote financial and healthy lifestyle wellness. Mental health wellbeing training forms part of managers’ personal development.
Poor sleep affects between 10 and 20 per cent of the UK workforce and can lead to loss of productivity and focus in the workplace. All Unipart employees have access to Sleepio, a digital tool to help improve sleep and offer cognitive behaviour therapy to those suffering from insomnia or waking up feeling unrefreshed. More than one in 10 employees have taken the digital sleep test.
Steve Wilson from Unipart’s consultancy, Unipart Expert Practices, helps other companies to build an engagement culture using Unipart’s proprietary system for continuous improvement called The Unipart Way.
“The Unipart Way forms the basis of the work we do for our clients,” said Wilson. “The capability we provide drives performance in health and safety, efficiency, productivity and quality.
“That’s why we are incredibly proud that today The Unipart Way continues to be recognised for its contribution to health and safety at work.
“Implementing and maintaining the highest standards of health, safety and welfare is simply good business sense: a strong, performance-orientated culture cannot be nurtured in an unsafe environment.”