The award recognised the hands-on approach taken by AG to highlight the key safety messages.

Paving and Building products manufacturer AG has been commended for its meticulous approach to health, safety and wellbeing at this year’s Constructing Excellence West Midlands Awards.

The specialist building products company won the CE Health, Safety and Wellbeing Award in recognition of its overall vision, values and mission statement that demonstrates the firm’s commitment to its people and to providing a safe and healthy working environment.  

Like many businesses AG faced numerous challenges in 2020, however domestic sales dramatically increased leading to an unprecedented demand for products. It was of utmost importance during this busy period to ensure that the focus remained on safe production at all times.

In October 2020, the company launched a #GoHomeSafe campaign which focused on areas such as Mobile Plant and Pedestrian Safety, Lock out and Isolation, Working at Height, Silica Dust Awareness and Mental Health and Well-being.

The #GoHomeSafe campaign aimed to raise awareness on the key issues and to encourage all employees to take personal responsibility for safety while promoting a positive safety culture across the business.

It was important to ensure that all employees, customers and contractors had a “Safe Day” at work, going home safe to their families each day. As a third-generation family-owned business AG wanted to promote the company’s strong family values within this campaign.

As part of the company’s ongoing health and wellbeing programme called ‘AG Activ8’ which aims to promote and improve employees physical and mental health, AG launched various mental health awareness sessions.  

“Time-To-Talk” sessions took place on Mental Health Awareness Day and were organised across company sites during tea breaks. The staff were given Kit-Kat and Time Out bars, and encouraged to take some “time out” and have a “chit-chat”. This helped raise awareness on an important topic where many staff experienced added pressures of COVID-19 during the year.

A major part of this ongoing care involves the operation of a robust, externally accredited, HSEQ Integrated Management system which is used within the business on a daily basis.

Using a continuous development approach AG is constantly looking for new ways to improve and manage risks, by continuing to invest in the health, safety and wellbeing of its staff. Through this AG is able to sustain an effective risk management strategy, creating a safer place of work for all employees, contractors, customers and visitors.  

Over the past five years, the company has seen a decline in its employee absence due to injury rate. During this time, in 2020, it also had five incident-free months and since the introduction of its #GoHomeSafe Campaign it has had zero mobile plant accidents/incidents/ near misses.

Cathy Maguire, HSEQ Manager, said: “Our #GoHomeSafe campaign has immensely contributed to creating a positive safety culture in AG. By involving and empowering all employees, we have succeeded in making safety personal, through awareness sessions and improvements. Employees recognise the hazards they face daily and take the necessary steps to ensure they go home safe to their families each day. 

"Working together as a team is of great importance to us as we take steps towards making construction better, faster and safer for all.”