Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2006
Picture: Building a sustainable future.


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Health and Safety

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Health and safety remains our highest priority


reduction in major UK accidents in 2006 plus a 21% reduction in all UK accidents

We take the health and safety of our employees and sub-contractors extremely seriously and have extensive procedures in place to minimise the risk to those working on or visiting our sites.

Our performance is audited by external consultants RG Wilbrey and C-MIST in the UK and PROSAFE in the US. Senior personnel also visit and monitor all sites regularly. We have comprehensive accident reporting systems, conduct in-depth training programmes and run regular safety campaigns to address key issues. We continually review performance and test and introduce new approaches.

New developments

In December 2005, we asked the Managing Directors of each of our UK regional companies to engage in a Process for Review. We asked them to highlight health and safety issues or procedures that were causing their employees or contractors concern for any reason. We examined the issues raised and ranked concerns as priority areas to be addressed in January 2006 and non priority issues to be addressed thereafter. We then provided our regional companies with a detailed report on the changes that were necessary. Our Health, Safety and Environment manual and training programmes were updated to reflect the review conclusions and we will continue the Process for Review on an ongoing basis.

This process has improved safety whilst also providing financial and efficiency benefits. During the consultation it became apparent that a particular type of party wall scaffold was important for safety however it was proving to be time consuming and expensive to erect. We therefore changed the build process introducing new scaffolding. This has maintained high safety levels while making construction simpler for our sub-contractors and more cost effective for our company.

In 2005, we introduced an improved health and safety audit system for all UK companies. During 2006, we invited the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to undertake an in-depth audit of one of our regional companies and will report further on this initiative in 2007.

We continue to work with the UK's Home Builders Federation (HBF) on a common system for benchmarking notifiable accidents. George Wimpey UK is committed to an annual 10% reduction of accidents in line with HBF Action Plan targets.

In 2005, Morrison Homes introduced a new National Safety Culture Award to promote best health and safety practice. In 2006, our Sacramento Division became the first winners of this award.


George Wimpey UK aims to reduce all notifiable accidents by 10% in 2007 in line with HBF Action Plan targets. We will also focus on further developing our UK health and safety training for international workers.

Chart to show the percentage of relevant US personnel completing OSHA training within 90 days of employment by year.

Percentage of relevant US personnel completing OSHA training within 90 days of employment

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Chart to show UK accident rate by year.

Incident rate per 1,000 employees and sub-contractors

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Improving contractors' safety standards

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Since 2004, the Tampa Division of Morrison Homes has led a coalition of housebuilders working together on improving trade partners' health and safety performance. Permit and safety notices. By the end of 2006 the Tampa Bay Safety Alliance had nearly 30 members - including seven of the ten largest housebuilders in the area - and had become an official committee in the Tampa branch of America's National Association of Home Builders. Each month, members meet trade partners to address safety concerns and discuss best practice. The meetings are facilitated by Dana Pasquis, Morrison Homes' Safety Director in Tampa. In addition, a training institute of the University of South Florida hosts a monthly two hour training session on key safety subjects. Most importantly, housebuilders are raising health and safety standards by working with each other to encourage and enforce better practice among trade partners.

'In comparison to other residential builders, Morrison Homes stands out as a leader in construction safety in the US homebuilding industry.'

Mike McCarroll, President and CEO, PROSAFE Solutions Inc

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Details of our health and safety policies as well as UK and US verification statements from our consultants R G Wilbrey, C-MIST and PROSAFE are available in the Download Centre.

Visitor and employee safety

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During 2006, we examined risks to our employees and visitors in our sales centres and show areas. Before sales centres can become functional, all UK sites must complete a sales centre safety appraisal exercise involving relevant employees. The appraisal covers a wide range of issues from the stability of design areas that are within a child's reach to personal alarms for employees.

Reducing falls from height

Working on a building site. According to the HSE, falls from height remain the most significant cause of workplace injuries and fatalities in the construction industry. In 2004-5, 28% of all construction accidents involved falls from height. During 2002, we identified that this was one of the areas of greatest risk to our workers. We developed an extensive action plan to tackle this and other key issues. Our ongoing safety training and procedures in this area have resulted in year on year reductions in falls from height, which only represented 3% of our UK incidents in 2006.

'George Wimpey adopts a very proactive and pragmatic approach to the changing nature of the housebuilding industry and assisted by my company achieves an enviable standard of health and safety.'

Peter M Wilbrey, Managing Director, RG Wilbrey Ltd

International worker safety

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The UK housebuilding industry continues to face severe skills shortages and international workers provide a high quality and much needed workforce. We are committed to ensuring that language does not become a barrier to safety. In 2006, we introduced a series of pictorial guides to cover basic safety procedures and have site induction presentations on our intranet in 14 different languages. We will continue to improve the effectiveness of our health and safety training for international workers in 2007 and intend to develop a pictorial guide to best practice.

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