Health and safety
We’re committed to maintaining an exceptional standard of health, safety and security in all the working environments we control. The effective management of health, safety and security is fundamental to the productivity, culture and reputation of our business.
What we’ve achieved
Our goal is to provide healthy and safe places and communities that support our people and partners in realising their potential. We recognise we can only achieve this by working closely with our partners, including our supply chain, investors and enforcing authorities. Health and safety considerations were central to our corporate response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In March 2020, we quickly established a taskforce to assess the impact of the virus on our operations, to interpret government guidance, and to develop and co-ordinate the rollout of new ways of working, so we could establish and maintain Covid-secure destinations and workplaces. The taskforce met regularly throughout the year to review and update our national and regional approach as the pandemic and the Government’s requirements evolved.
The launch of our new corporate strategy prompted a review of our health and safety strategy and priorities. We consulted stakeholders from across the business to ensure we were addressing their needs and expectations for health and safety. Last year we changed our safety management system from the British Standard 18001 to the International Standard 45001. This year, our independent auditors conducted two rounds of remote auditing to maintain this accreditation. They found no non conformances nor made any recommendations.
We run a comprehensive mandatory programme of health and safety training for all our employees and contingent workers, and this year we reviewed it to ensure it remains of high quality, relevant, and up to date. The training is designed to ensure our people are aware of risk, and competent in identifying and managing our organisational risks.
This year, we also launched a learning management system that has enabled us to provide most of this training online, which improves where and when it can be completed. The system also simplifies booking and improves recordkeeping and reporting.
We continue to enhance fire safety across the business and ensure we meet new government initiatives and legislation. We have seven high-rise residential buildings above 18 metres in our portfolio, and independent fire engineers are examining them all to ensure they remain safe for occupation and meet stringent new building regulations. If remediation is needed on the external walls, we will immediately implement interim safety measures such as changing the evacuation strategy, introducing waking watches, or installing temporary fire-alarm systems. We will complete any remedial works as quickly as possible, with minimum disruption to tenants and local community. Checking we are achieving our high internal standards for health and safety is one of our key priorities. We have completed our full annual programme of ‘Property health check’ audits and client audits at all our development sites.
Key performance indicators
We introduced health and safety key performance indicators for our service partners and managing agents, that we review quarterly. We also undertook an internal audit during the year, to assess our fire-safety systems and processes, and sought evidence of compliance to these arrangements in a sample of our operational buildings. We identified and completed several improvements.