I’m delighted to announce we’ve been awarded the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Gold Achievement Award for the fourth consecutive year. This is an excellent achievement for an organisation as large, diverse and as complex as DIO.
The RoSPA award recognises our commitment to preventing accidents and ill-health at work. It also recognises the work we do to promote a health and safety culture across the organisation not just for our staff but for our suppliers and contractors too.
What is health and safety at DIO?
Health and safety is the top priority for us and is reflected in our value of ‘Safety First.’ It can affect all staff and areas of operation, from having properly adjusted display screen equipment to observing best practices on construction and demolition sites.
But health and safety isn’t just about making sure our people can work safely, we’re also responsible for providing a safe place for people to live, work and train across the Defence estate. We look after a range of facilities including military and family accommodation, technical facilities such as mechanical and vehicle workshops, airfields and construction sites. We also manage ammunition depots, railways, power stations and the MOD’s training estate. The public can visit much of the training estate when it’s not in use by the military, so we also have to keep them safe by making them aware of the rules and safety guidelines.
We also work with a range of contractors to provide construction, catering, maintenance, cleaning, waste disposal and gardening services. We make sure that these contractors follow our safety rules and regulations, so we can make sure everything is as safe as possible. We also report near misses, accidents and incidents to learn lessons and make improvements, to reduce these risks in future.
Health and safety during COVID-19
This year has been a different and difficult year for everyone and most of us would have had to adapt to working from home due to Coronavirus. We’ve had to adapt quickly to ensure staff could work from home effectively by providing them with information such as how to set up their desks correctly to prevent eye strain and injuries.
Our health and safety team have had to work extremely hard to provide our staff with up-to-date technical Covid-19 advice and guidance alongside carry out our normal work. We’ve also collated evidence from many different areas of DIO, including from specialist engineers who provide risk assessments for how they carry out safety procedures in the UK and overseas.
This year, mental health was a big priority for us, especially with COVID-19 having an impact on our people. We have 70 mental health first aiders who have been on hand to support our staff through this difficult time. We’ve also encouraged our staff to use technology such as Skype to keep-in-touch with colleagues and promote wellbeing activities.
Safety management system
Our award application had to demonstrate in detail that our safety management system is effective. The system is used to document health and safety procedures at DIO which allows us to to deliver safety and environmental management. It identifies roles and responsibilities and shows where to find relevant MOD and DIO policies..
Our safety management system is an important part of keeping the estate, its occupiers and users safe and compliant. It helps us to identify and manage risks, encourage staff and estate users to report problems and strive to reduce all risks to be as low as reasonable practicable. It also means that we have an assurance process in place to make sure that any contractors working for us are doing so safely and to agreed standards.
Safety is at the heart of DIO and we’ll continue to work with our customers and suppliers to keep our people safe. Who knows - next year, we may be collecting another award!