Supply chain solutions provider Wincanton has scooped a prestigious industry award for health and safety innovation in the construction sector in partnership with its customer St Gobain and Gundels Transport. The team beat stiff competition in the 'Partnership Initiative of the Year' category at the SHP IOSH Awards ceremony held at the Hilton, Park Lane in London on 20 October 2011.
The winning solution was the result of a challenge set by customer Saint Gobain to improve safety when unloading large diameter water pipes from vehicles on construction sites. The industry standard has traditionally been for an operative to get on top of the vehicle and attach chains to the pipes manually for offloading by crane. With ease of handling and load safety in mind, the team designed an attachment for the lorry base frame which enables the pipes to be unloaded at ground level.
Since the innovation was introduced to the contract under a year ago, the benefits have been considerable. There have been zero lost time accidents and over 400 man hours have been saved, along with an estimated 12,000 worth of accidental damage that has been avoided.
Commenting on the award win, group safety health and environment director, Sean Cusack said: "The win is a clear example of how a problem shared is a problem solved. At Wincanton, we are always looking for ways to improve our health and safety and on this occasion the collaborative approach with the customer and Gundels Transport has produced truly industry-leading results. Working at height is a particularly challenging area where risks need to be carefully managed. By eliminating this from the offloading procedures, we have made significant progress in both the efficiency of our operations and in the levels of health and safety."