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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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GlaxoSmithKline staff at Ulverston clock up two million injury-free hours and counting

Safety conscious staff at GlaxoSmithKline’s antibiotics a manufacturing plant in Ulverston have clocked up an amazing 2,000,000 hours without a reportable work-related injury or illness.

GSK 2 million hours accident-free achievement
Alan Robertson (left), a lead process technician who is also a first-aider, and Tony Bagnall, Site Fire Brigade sub-officer.

The workforce, of more than 250, has completed almost three and a half years injury-free.

Congratulating his colleagues on their achievement, Peter Tayler, the site’s Environment, Health and Safety Manager, explained that GSK set the bar very high in terms of recording injuries or illnesses at work.

He said that working safely was in Ulverston’s DNA and one of the factors behind the tremendous injury-free run was that all unusual incidents were reported then discussed by work teams.

“By not being afraid to put up your hand when there is a near miss and being encouraged to speak up when something is spotted which doesn’t look or feel right, working safely is embedded in the site’s culture.

“We encourage all staff to be on the look-out for potential safety risks and in the three and a half years’ run the number of risks identified and reported by staff has increased four-fold. We have a target in 2014 of a further 25% increase, and that’s not just reporting incidents but identifying appropriate actions and implementing them.”

“Everyone is determined to keep the injury-free run going. One of our next improvement strategies is to address aspects of behavioural safety. If we see someone doing something which might have potential safety consequences, we will raise it there and then, not in a way to criticise or to embarrass but in the spirit of looking out for one another. It takes a mature, responsible workforce to be comfortable with this approach and we believe we have the culture to do so.”

Mr Tayler explained that although there were safety professionals on site, including his own EHS colleagues and the site’s firemen, who in recent years have taken a more proactive role in promoting safety, safe working was very much the shared responsibility of operations and departmental managers and their teams.

GSK’s Ulverston’s workforce now has its sights firmly fixed on the next goals of 3m hours and five years injury-free.


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