Safe Site

The Safe Site Award celebrates organisations, across all industries, that have made great strides in improving workplace safety. This year's extensive list of Finalists are fine examples of how businesses, across the UK, are making safer sites - through a combination of established techniques and groundbreaking initiatives. 


Unilever UK

Last, but by no means least, Unilever UK Ltd took action at its Trafford Park factory, which resulted in greater worker engagement and three years without a single lift truck related accident.

A worker involvement study was developed to provide an understanding of the site’s health and safety culture. Additional cost analysis, analysing all accidents and near misses, revealed accident causes and key issues in need of addressing. 

Influencing work culture, regular meetings and discussions were established, along with safety pledges, competitions and more.

Advanced Supply Chain

Two years ago, Advanced Supply Chain began making safety improvements in its Bolton warehouse. As well as assessing all fork truck operators for retraining, the company introduced safety audits to continually identify and eliminate unsafe practices and bad habits. Site culture was also modified to actively encourage reporting of near misses as a preventative measure.

Airbase Interiors

At its Gatwick Airport site, Airbase Interiors improved safety – for everyone working on or around fork lifts – by establishing new training regimes to raise awareness of operational hazards.

New signage at access points, clearly marked pedestrian walkways, physical barriers, and hazard markings in high-risk areas, all serve to reduce risk for workers on foot.


Communication and marketing services provider, Communisis, also made significant improvements to their access routes, implementing barriers, gates, and clearly marked crossing points. Additionally, it ensured all markings were standardised across the site.

Significantly, the company also installed card-readers and remotely-controlled doors – with their own set of ‘golden safety rules’ – to restrict access to high-risk areas.

Monthly health and safety toolbox talks were introduced to provide a forum for discussing rules and equipment operation, as well as sharing lessons from near misses.

G's Fresh Beetroot

Not content with winning the Safe Site Award in 2015, G’s Fresh Beetroot conducted an external workplace transport risk assessment at its Cambridgeshire processing plant.

Identifying a need for more robust controls to prevent unauthorised access to busy yard and warehouse areas, the company introduced maglock door entry. A new yard barrier now controls vehicle and pedestrian site access, and an audio-visual warning announces pedestrians entering the hazardous yard area.

Hall and Woodhouse

British brewer of traditional ale, Hall and Woodhouse, conducted a complete review of fork lift truck operations at its brewery in Blandford St Mary, Dorset, utilising guidance and risk assessments from the FLTA. This prompted changes to site and traffic management.

As well as improving pedestrian safety by introducing segregated walkways, trucks were fitted with a suite of safety enhancements, including blue light warning systems, mast CCTV, proximity sensors and speed reduction systems.

Staff received similar attention. Drivers were retrained with new, safer practices, while all staff are now actively encourage to report dangerous practices and near-misses, resulting in a four-fold increase in such reports.

Maen Karne Aggregates & Concrete Products

Following a safety review, Maen Karne Aggregates & Concrete Products undertook vital safety work at six sites across the South West. This resulted in a more robust vehicle maintenance regime, safety toolbox talks, and the introduction of competency management software.

Interestingly, a special ‘housekeeping’ competition was set up to encourage workers to keep inherently dusty sites clean and tidy.

Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning Systems Europe

Highly commended at the 2016 Awards, Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning Systems Europe, has not rested on its laurels, introducing several new measures at its Livingston, West Lothian site.

As well as introducing an enhanced fleet management system, a safety newsletter, fork lift safety modifications, and extensive pedestrian safety training, the company conducted a 5-year statistical analysis of incidents and near misses. 

NHS National Services Scotland

NHS National Services Scotland has been a Highly Commended for two years running, and at the National Distribution Centre, Canderside, South Lanarkshire, the organisation has introduced still more initiatives to improve site safety – including a new fleet of trucks, kitted out with a host of safety extras.

Additionally, a new health and safety sub-group monitors H & S documentation in the warehouse, resulting in new risk assessments and safe systems of work procedures. The group continuously monitors accidents and near misses, ensuring appropriate corrective action, identifying accident trends, and reviewing behavioural safety observations.

Portrack Handling

Challenged to significantly increase output for a client’s fertiliser handling operations, Portrack Handling’s full review of the site, safety and equipment resulted in a series of significant safety improvements…

Hazard observation cards encourage staff to share issues and suggest solutions for safety issues. Each month, the two best ideas put forward receive a prize. This initiative has directly resulted in significant improvements to ground conditions, lighting, signage and storage bays.

Drivers, some of whom have been employed since the start of operations in 1991, have fully engaged with the initiative, taking pride in their work and improving morale.

Rowlinson Knitwear

Employee-owned garment manufacturer, Rowlinson Knitwear Ltd, made substantial improvements to the safety of its Stockport warehouse.

As well as developing training to raise awareness of key safety issues, relevant to the site, the addition of mirrored corners, designated pedestrian warning systems and walkways, and more ensure pedestrians are kept safe. Weekly pallet checks, monthly racking checks and risks assessments have also been introduced.

To encourage ownership and responsibility for equipment, all fork lift trucks are now named… using a Top Gun theme to increase engagement.