Empowering front line staff to improve safety

VolkerRail believe providing staff with opportunities to develop and learn, through in-house training, is crucial to ensuring a strong, knowledgeable workforce and in a move new to the industry, has developed a programme which empowers supervisors to develop and implement new ways of improving the businesses health and safety performance and the safety of those on site.

103 supervisors and 24 project managers have undertaken an internally developed supervisor programme, which focussed on the continued improvement of site based behaviour and the proactive identification and management of the prevailing risks.

At the start of the programme staff were grouped into 24 teams and asked to develop a project which focussed on ways to improve our levels of performance and compliance with business processes in the areas of health, safety and environment.

Each team, consisting of a manager, acting as mentor; offering guidance and support, and up to six supervisors from various business units, spent ten months creating and developing their projects.

The initiative culminated in a project presentation to a panel of judges from Network Rail to showcase:

  • The project which the team set out to achieve
  • The challenges faced and how they were overcome
  • What they have actually achieved

Following the groups accomplishments, VolkerRail held an awards night to celebrate the results of all involved, and the culmination of the hard work, effort and successful projects undertaken.

Commenting on the programme, specialist businesses director, Ken Robinson, said: “This programme has been a great success, with staff feeding back positive comments. VolkerRail believes that it is those based on site that have the great ideas, see the areas which need to be reviewed and have the answers. This programme provided the opportunity, for those with ideas to come forward and suggest ways to better improve our safety.”

Following the completion of the course, VolkerRail has implemented many of the teams’ projects and continues to review others for future development, with some projects being taken on by Network Rail for wider industry implementation.