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Stewart Milne Group Wins NHBC Award

An innovative programme developed by the Stewart Milne Group to achieve behavioural change in relation to health and safety across its homes and timber systems businesses has achieved national recognition.

Stewart Milne Group’s Choose Safe programme won the Health and Safety Strategic Leadership Award at the NHBC 2014 Health and Safety Awards, announced today (4 July).

This award recognises individuals or teams working at a senior level who have demonstrated outstanding results in changing the health and safety culture within their organisation and/or in defining their organisation's future health and safety strategy.

NHBC is the UK's leading independent standard-setting body and provider of warranty and insurance for new homes. It works with the house-building industry to raise the standards of new homes and to provide consumer protection for homebuyers.

The Stewart Milne Group, a Home Builders Federation five-star rated housebuilder and timber systems manufacturer, has moved beyond industry-standard performance systems and enforcement to an approach that seeks to influence individual behaviours and deliver habitual safety across its development sites, factories and offices.

The Group was established in 1975 and employs more than 800 people across the UK. It has operations in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Auchterarder, Manchester and Witney, Oxfordshire.

Its Choose Safe programme targets its own employees and its supply chain and by the end of 2015 will have used behavioural safety concepts to influence thousands of people to help them instinctively make safe choices at work.

At the outset of Choose Safe, the Group first trained its HSE team in neuro-linguistic programming and then safety coaching. It also engaged the directors in behavioural safety concepts.  At the same time it undertook a safety culture and attitude survey across all of its offices, sites and supply chain, eliciting almost 900 responses. The feedback was very positive and provided the springboard to achieve more.

Choose Safe involves groups of around 40 to 50 employees or supply chain partners being influenced by behavioural safety concepts during engagement days delivered by Stewart Milne Group staff. The programme is continuous and by the end of 2015 it will have engaged thousands of people.

Choose Safe built upon established practices within the business, including extensive joint working with the National House-Building Council (NHBC) on regular, independent site visits and audits.

John Slater, Stewart Milne Group Managing Director - Homes, said: “Health and safety is a core value for us and is fundamental to the way we do things across all aspects of the business. It’s as important as our independence or our commitment to quality. Our desire is to achieve excellence in safety and our organisational structures and the way we work are geared towards achieving this.

“Our goal with Choose Safe is a culture of habitual safety in which our employees and supply chain partners naturally make the safe choice on our sites. So far, this strategy has been hugely rewarding for all involved and I believe we have demonstrated courage in embarking on such a radical programme. It has already had a positive impact on our performance and, most of all, we are enjoying delivering it.

“Today’s award is fantastic recognition from the industry as a whole for what we are achieving with Choose Safe and brings home the significant role played by everyone in the business and our supply chain in driving forward an outstanding safety culture.”

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