Working within the UK we are governed by a number of regulations including the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This is the primary piece of legislation which covers occupational health and safety. To ensure compliance, the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities are responsible for enforcing this and a number of other acts and statutory instruments relevant to the working environment. Frequent inspections are carried out by these bodies and where there are gaps they have the authority to issue enforcement notices. These can be in the form of an improvement notice, where a timescale (no less than 21 days) and clear guidance are given to the duty holder on how to comply with the applicable regulations. There may be a follow up inspection carried out to prove compliance. Alternatively, where the risk is significant they can serve a prohibition notice which suspends operations until satisfactory improvements have been made to reduce the risk to the workforce. Therefore it is vital that all elements of our working practices are completed with health and safety at the forefront of our culture and expectations.
As an ADC site working with a number of highly potent substances, the risks involved are such that we must effectively control these in a manner to protect our employees and the environment.
In order to achieve the regulatory requirements and protect our workforce, neighbors, and environment, we have management systems in place to cover all aspects of our operations. This includes health, safety, and environmental policies, risk assessments including control of substances hazardous to health and manual handling, and a permit to work system. Continuous improvements are made to these systems to allow us to set the highest of standards for our site.
Employee engagement is another critical factor in adhering to the safe systems of work we put in place. Our employees understand that everyone has a role to play in not only preventing themselves from being injured but also their colleagues. It is a fact that the right health and safety behaviour is key to a successful and safe site. We have many tools and forums in place to support these behaviours including near miss reporting, ESH committee meetings allowing staff to raise concerns and influence decisions, ESH reps, and lab/suite safety audits.
We strive to ensure team work is also at the core of our ESH goals and initiatives and this has been a proven method for maintaining a safe and healthy workplace. Communicating our expectations and building on employee awareness leads to the goal we have of continuing to reduce injury and illness rates. To date we have had 819 days incident free which is a record we are all very proud of.