Roadworkers on motorways and major A roads in Kent and Sussex have achieved more than two million hours without an accident.
Staff at A-One+, which is Highways England’s main operations and maintenance supplier in the area, have worked since July 2017 without any work-related injuries.
Chris Sheppard, general manager at A-one+, said: 'This is a remarkable achievement. These records don’t happen by chance. Every morning when our people go to work, they’re armed with the best safety equipment, training, processes, and support in the business.
'Each year we look back at our performance, and we don’t just show a video or open a book. From the office to the field employees, the importance of safety and wellbeing is continually emphasised.
'The introduction of staff champions, has also reinforced a zero tolerance of workplace dangers and this focused time and attention has helped reinforce our commitment to safety with every employee.'
Karen Davies from Highways England added: 'Working on a high speed road is a high risk environment, but by keeping a relentless focus on safety and sharing safe working practices across our road network we look to minimise the risk to all our employees and contractors.
'Highways England continue to lead the way in showing how to minimise this risk, to increase the safety of our staff and ensure that everyone goes home safely at the end of their shift. We will be sharing this practice and looking to see it replicated across our road network.'
The A-one+ team has managed to achieve this feat through:
- embedding culture through a Wellbeing, Improvement, Safety and Environmental Strategy known as WISHES
- increasing daily engagement between management and key staff members to address the challenges faced by the teams and counter complacency
- groups reviewing innovative practice and then sharing it with operatives, encouraging them to take ownership of their safety and best practice
- last year A-One+ carried out 3,345 inspections
- nine safety champions across its depots
- the launch of a bespoke web-enabled safety observation app to prevent harm, where all observations such as near misses or improvement ideas are discussed and actioned on a weekly call attended by around 60 people including supply chain
- supplementing the app with a mental health section providing 24-hour mobile access to resources and support and a traffic management incursion section allowing safety trends to be analysed
Road improvements under construction along the Kent Corridor include creating a new junction on the M20 near Ashford and upgrading the M20 to a smart motorway between junctions 3 and 5 and work to improve the resilience in the case of cross channel disruption.
In addition, detailed plans have been published to upgrade two junctions on the A2 and a new flyover for the M2 at junction 5 near Stockbury.
Highways England has a target of reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on motorways and major A roads by 40% within 10 years.