Our Commitment to Health & Safety

Jan 29, 2021 | Bedmax News

Putting People First

Health and Safety is treated very seriously at all levels within Bedmax, from the Managing Director and Board to the Operatives in the plants. You can read exactly how we set out the company’s aims and responsibilities in our policy statement, PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST.

It is a fundamental aspect of our business strategy, and part of every Board meeting is devoted to H&S. We are committed to minimising risks of accidents or ill health not only to our employees but also to contractors, suppliers, customers and to local residents in the communities where we work. We are proud of keeping a very low accident and ill health record every year, but we are investing in new machinery, technology, processes and training to make it even better.

5 of the 10 minor injuries suffered last year were caused by logs trapping fingers – 3 of them at Caunton. The new log deck at Caunton, together with training, should reduce these injuries as they have already at Greymare and Patchington.

As a high risk manufacturing business, we adhere strictly to the legislation of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and follow the regulatory requirements through the UK Government HSE website. We have developed policies and working practices aimed at protecting our operatives from all potential causes of injury and ill health, but particularly from the main threats to their safety in a business like ours – impact with moving machinery or vehicles, and manual handling.

Constantly monitoring our Health and Safety performance is a fundamental part of our policy. H&S checks at each Plant include a daily walk round by the Plant Manager and Engineer, a fortnightly visit by the company Production Manager, Tony Robinson (when Covid allows, and an H&S safari checklist carried out by one of the Operatives which is then discussed at the monthly safety meeting. The company Compliance Manager, Gordon Rimmer, visits all three factories regularly and carries out a formal audit every four months, and we also have an audit carried out annually by an independent company.

A major driver in our Operational Excellence programme is to make our plants cleaner, tidier, more efficient and safer for our Operatives and for visitors, suppliers and drivers.

Training

All new Plant Operatives are given extensive H&S induction training, followed by on the job training before being signed as competent to work unsupervised by the Plant Manager. Specialist external training is also provided to certificate our Operatives to drive all our vehicles and operate chainsaws.

Every Plant Operative receives annual health checks which include hearing tests, lung function checks and a hand/arm vibration questionnaire. As part of our annual H&S and HR insurance cover, all Bedmax employees have access to several free advice helplines, one of which includes Mental Health advice.

Working safely through Covid

The Bedmax team has adapted extremely well to the difficult new working practices we have had to follow during the Covid pandemic.
Office and Sales staff have worked very effectively from home wherever possible.  The factory teams have been able to maintain full production, working in their own bubbles keeping the required 2 metres distance from each other and constantly washing or sanitising their hands and work surfaces. Some maintenance tasks have required Operatives to wear face masks or put up temporary screens where it was not possible to keep 2 metres apart. And portable toilets were installed on site at the three plants for our customers’ and suppliers’ lorry drivers to use.

HSE UK National work illness and accident rates in 2019/2020 (November 2020)

1.6 million      People suffered work related illness Bedmax:   0
111                    Workers suffered fatal accidents at work Bedmax:   0
693,000           People sustained a minor injury at work Bedmax:  10
65,427 Serious reported Injuries (7 days + off work) Bedmax:   1
38.8 million    Working days lost to work related injuries Bedmax:  21