Health & Safety

Health & Safety

IHCs And Drivers Are Our Eyes And Ears…

Our IHCs provide a crucial link to our customer sites.  As an important part of the Team we should listen when they tell us of their concerns over site safety.  Tom Colley, Readymix Cluster Manager, did just that this week and after a site visit ended up refusing to supply the customer.

Tom Colley takes up the story: “Following concerns raised by our IHC Team at Letchworth RMX plant, and a further call from my colleague Adam Carty around the safety conditions of a new solar power farm for a Travis Perkins site in Langford (Beds). I took the opportunity to go down and see for myself what the Teams were being faced with…

I entered the site down a dirt track towards the farm (which had more pot holes than the UK’s main motorways) and I wasn’t particularly impressed.

I was met by the Site Manager who, after I introduced myself and gave my reasons for being there, started to walk me down towards the dig for a closer look.  We hadn’t even left the car park and he stopped me in my tracks and said, ”listen – this is the most unsafe site that I have ever worked on and I will be gone in 2 weeks.” At this point my question of whether we should supply or not was answered – NO CHANCE! …

I carried on walking down just to see the state of the site regardless.  What I saw was basically a muddy bog in, which I can imagine many a truck has lost its back wheels, as well as the driver’s bottom half when he’s getting out to move his shutes!   There were no boards or floats for the drivers to stand on at the tipping points and no evidence of a safe area for a banks man to stand on and guide the truck back to discharge.

The Site Managers colleague, who had accompanied us round the site, asked me: ”What do you think so far then?”  I just turned to him and said: “We won’t be supplying here – sorry!”

We walked back to the site and I left feeling pretty deflated after a poor experience (my boots and trousers absolutely caked in mud!).  I ultimately felt that no one from CEMEX should be expected to work here – it was in an embarrassing state.”

The learning points from this experience are three-fold:-

  1. Always listen to your IHC’s concerns – they are our eyes and ears out in the wider world, and if they raise a concern about safety it will more than likely be a valid one … these guys work for themselves, whatever money they earn goes in their own pocket so it’s in their interests to do as much work as they can … SAFELY …
  2. Working together as a Team, whether you’re in operations or sales, there shouldn’t be a boundary between us as departments and we should be willing and able to STEP IN to each other’s domains whenever required for the greater good of CEMEX.
  3. If you ever have the desire to go to the solar farm at Langford wear wellies (and perhaps take some stilts!).

Thanks to IHCs Mark Orme and Neil Corner (as well as Alex Pensotti at Letchworth) for raising the alarm and STEPPING IN to protect themselves and our business.