Background and history of Safetypoint's development

10 Apr 2019

As a result of working for many years as a Project Manager and running a specialist construction company, Brad Greensmith came up with the idea for developing SAFETYpoint.  He wanted the assurance that would result from comprehensively demonstrating adherence to the 2015 Guidance Construction, Design and Management (CDM) regulations. Experience of working on many and varied construction projects showed inconsistent approaches to address these regulations.  He also wanted to develop a more sustainable solution than his company and others were using to demonstrate good practice.  Despite searching worldwide for a product that would address both his and the needs of others, he was unable to find anything that he thought might be suitable.

His idea, therefore, was to design a first-response safety station that would: address regulatory requirements, be re-usable (hence sustainable) and portable - moved daily to be close to the work-in-progress.

The original inspiration for SAFETYpoint came about from Brad seeing the increasing importance of improved health and safety assurance within the construction industry. Headlines showing companies being given increasingly large fines for failures in health and safety management gave the impression that health and safety was not being given the priority it needed.  Yet it is an area that is typically on the Agenda for company board meetings, not only due to systemic failures but also because of the possibility of imprisonment of main board directors.

Brad believed he had a simple solution to the problem of onsite safety stations. He wanted to create a one stop solution that not only promoted best practice for site safety, but also gave those at head office the assurance that they were doing their very best for their site staff - SAFETYpoint was born.

Looking at each set-up in Figure 1 there is no immediate way of knowing whether the information that needs to be displayed is present, if the equipment has been used or, indeed, is missing! Further, Brad’s belief that there is a need for such a product is re-affirmed by the difference in understanding between those people in a business with ultimate responsibility for HS&E (Board Directors) and those at the coal face.  The way in which each seeks to cover their obligations as they see them in relation to the guidelines can be very different.  SAFETYpoint addresses this by taking the guesswork out of the situation.  It provides an approach to health and safety that enables a consistent communication of the key HS&E messages throughout the chain of command, from the Board to the workplace.

For the Construction Industry the relevant guidelines are: ‘The 2015 Guidance on Construction (Design & Management) Regulations’, where Para 127 requires:

“A systematic approach to managing H&S should be taken to ensure workers understand:

·         The risks and control measures on the project
·         Who has responsibility for health and safety;
·         That consistent standards apply throughout the project and will be checked frequently;
·         Where they can locate Health & Safety information which is easily understandable, well organised and relevant to the site;  
·         That incidents will be investigated, and lessons learned.”

Brad, with over 25 years’ experience in the construction industry, had seen first-hand that, as part of the increased emphasis on HS&E, each contractor had their own ideas of what constituted good practice.  However, the variability and inconsistency of their approach led Brad to believe that there was a better and more consistent way of demonstrating good practice by using a simple, rapidly deployable and mobile solution to meet site needs.   Figure 1 shows some examples of the variability and inconsistency of approach to addressing the CDM regulations. 


THE CHALLENGE 
There are several market drivers that that underpin the belief that SAFETYpoint presents a real opportunity to set a new standard and these are summarised below. 


Increasing awareness of need for demonstrating good Health and Safety Practice. 
HS&E practices have evolved over many years as a result of negative media coverage of high-profile court cases which have resulted in large fines and potentially prison sentences.  So businesses are constantly developing or seeking new ways to improve working practices to provide the assurance needed to minimise their exposure to H&S risks.  Evidence for this can be found in annual reports: now common practice for metrics to include HS&E performance, 

Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility.
The typical ‘common sense’ approach to achieving HS&E assurance rather than prescriptive legislative framework has meant that a business has a wide range of options to provide the assurance they need to cover their CDM obligations.  This has resulted in a wide variability of safety stations as seen in Figure 1.  Typically, the safety station will be hand built and assembled on site at the beginning of a project and then on completion thrown in a skip, where it is treated as waste.  Not only does this incur extra costs but is clearly not sustainable. 



 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Integral to CSR is a commitment to a company’s staff as well as its’ wider stakeholders. One of the ways to achieve this is by demonstrating best practice in each of the activities that contribute to the company’s success.  The demonstrable use of safety stations is one of the many ways in which this is achieved.  An opportunity exists to create a higher profile by demonstrating a consistent and integrated approach to their design and use.

SAFETYpoint – MEETING THE CHALLENGE

SAFETYpoint has been designed as a portable, re-usable safety station to address the challenges previously described, through its many incorporated features   This design has been successfully registered across Europe and the unit is also subject to international patent applications. 

These features are discussed below.

1.       SAFETYpoint enables the display of key HS&E notices associated with the site on which it is being deployed.  Apart from the A3 Health and Safety at Work poster, the user determines what notices are to be displayed and can proscribe the position at which each will be displayed. 

For the construction industry, these notices will likely be selected, amongst others, from:

F10 Application; Employer’s Insurance certificate; Corporate H&S Policy Statement; Fire escape plans/drawings; Site Rules (Environmental, waste disposal, COSHH); Emergency aid notice; Construction phase plan overview; Out of hours contact list; Emergency aid notice; Hospital location plan; Key contacts list and more.

Once the position at which each pre-agreed notice has been decided, it will be readily apparent if one or more notices is missing and action can be taken with minimal delay.  There is limited evidence that current practice enables this.  Indeed, it is difficult to discern what may be missing from the displays shown in Figure 1.  The use of SAFETYpoint will likely mean that the user needs to adapt or refine current working practices/procedures to obtain maximum benefit.  This may also present opportunities for refreshing staff training, with its concomitant benefits.

2.       SAFETYpoint has been designed with interchangeable pods that contain the equipment that is most likely to be needed in a first-response situation.  The standard SAFETYpoint supplied comprises four pods containing a >100-decibel fire alarm; a 2kg fire extinguisher; an eye-wash bottle and a first-aid kit. 


The pods are purposely sealed so that it is immediately apparent that its content has been used. This apparent use should, therefore, result in an associated incident report.  If not, the responsible manager can immediately act, thereby limiting any potential liability to the company and damage to its corporate reputation. No longer will you have to wonder why the eye-wash bottle is empty, with no associated reports only to later discover your employees have been suffering eye problems with all the potential liabilities that may result!

Another feature is SAFETYpoint’s portability – it has been designed to be carried by two people.  As it is designed as a first-response safety station, this portability means that it can be positioned close to the key daily activities.  In this way it truly is ‘first-response’ as it close-to-hand.

However, it is important to recognise that SAFETYpoint is a ‘first-response’ safety station. Thus, the pod contents will complement other safety equipment that may be present on site, but which is not so readily accessible. Examples include the 7kg fire extinguishers typically found at a central location, wireless alarm systems or the small first-aid kits carried by site workers.

3.       SAFETYpoint’s distinctive livery highlights to all staff that this is the place to go for health and safety first-response needs on a site.  SAFETYpoint creates a focal point for staff where they can go for information and assistance in the case of an emergency or for information on the essential HS&E requirements of the site.  All SAFETYpoint stations are similarly configured, so users become familiar with the layout as they move from job to job.  First responders can feel confident the station holds the equipment they need and know exactly where to find it.  This can be a significant benefit where a workforce may be drawn from across several nationalities.  More widespread use of SAFETYpoint will provide consistency when compared to current practice, likely resulting in a more rapid response when the need arises.



SafetyPoint
Website
Email Us
T: 03302 234207

Chandos Business Centre
87 Warwick Street
CV32 4RJ
Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
United Kingdom

Safetypoint being erected for site use
Video

Safetypoint being erected for site use

Demonstrates how quickly Safetypoint can be deployed for site use.  Saves you time as first response equipment is well ordered and Health & Safety information which is easily understandable is also well organised and relevant to the site

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