Zero Harm

The Group’s objective for safety is clear: to achieve Zero Harm across the Group.

‘Safe’ is one of the four Build to Last goals and all operations were charged with improving performance. Group-wide changes included the new Safety and Sustainability Committee of the Board and the appointment of a new UK-wide Health and Safety director. A single health and safety enabling function now supports the UK business and facilitates Group learning and sharing.

The Zero Harm objective remains core with a reinvigorated focus supported by risk-based prioritised action plans and proactive evidence-based initiatives to increase skills and performance. This has included leading in raising awareness and actions to combat occupational disease and ill health.

This year saw a Group-wide safety stand down focused on the shared commitment to Zero Harm, with over 20,000 direct employees and subcontractors taking part in the UK alone. A key to delivering Zero Harm is ‘making safety personal’, supporting behavioural safety programmes with an aim to ensure direct employees and subcontractors feel empowered to make safe choices with support from uncompromising leadership. Observation and near miss reporting, one of the leading indicators has seen a substantial increase. These events, in other circumstances, could have led to injury or ill health and have a key part to play in identifying learning opportunities which can then be shared and lead to improved processes.

Sadly, despite this, four workers lost their lives across the Group as a result of work activities in 2015. The incidents occurred in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Hong Kong. Three of the workers were subcontractors and one was a direct employee.

Each fatal accident is subject to a thorough investigation and a detailed review by the Group Chief Executive. In addition, the Safety and Sustainability Committee, focusing attention on health and safety, held an extraordinary meeting to review the findings to date and ensured lessons were promulgated across the business and wider industry. One of the work-related fatalities involved the inadvertent movement of a Heavy Goods Vehicle during a trailer coupling operation. As a result of the investigation findings, the Group has worked with manufacturers and the road haulage industry to lead the way, requiring improved audible alarms and physical controls to prevent automatic brake release without direct intervention of the driver on all operations.

Figure 1: The group lost time incident rate (LTIR)

Safe Figure 1 

Figure 2: Accident frequency rate (AFR)

Safe Figure 2 

Figure 3: Major injury rate

Safe Figure 3

In 2015, the Group’s Lost Time Injury Rate (LTIR) rose from 0.27 to 0.32 due to increased number of injuries that have led to lost time in the Group’s international joint ventures. The LTIR improved from 0.31 to 0.24, excluding the Group’s international joint ventures.

In 2015 the business won a number of awards recognising safety excellence. In the UK, the Group has been awarded by key customers for outstanding achievements in health and safety, such as the Heathrow Airport Health & Safety Awards for driver training, as well as receiving the British Construction Industry (BCI) Health & Safety Award for the M4 M5 Smart Motorways Project. In the US, the Group received the National ABC Diamond Safe Award and have been recognised through the North Carolina Department of Labour (NCDOL) Safety Awards, among others.

As part of the Zero Harm objective to protect direct employee and subcontractors’ health and safety, in 2016 the Group will continue its relentless focus on safety to include a stronger focus on occupational health and hygiene, striving to eliminate occupational disease and ill health within the business and wider industry.

Environmental compliance

In 2015, three environmental incidents (2014: ten, 2013: four, 2012: four) resulted in enforcement action and fines totalling £3,959 (2014: £9,917, 2013: £13,260, 2012: £66,800). Corrective actions have been completed for each violation. Two of the violations were from allowing mosquitos to breed and related to vermin.

Table 1: Global environmental fines






















North America