BSS’s back-saving safety initiative shortlisted for awards

Published:  10 March, 2016

A safety programme, which has cut lost time manual handling accidents across the BSS branch network by 80% in one year, has been shortlisted for an award. The BSS LiFT programme has been shortlisted for the H&V News Awards 2016 in the Safety Initiative of the Year category.

LiFT takes a new approach to reducing manual handling accidents and injuries. Rather than simply focusing on showing employees how to lift correctly, BSS asked them to come up with strategies to reduce the need to lift all together. Good ideas have spread from branch to branch, with new approaches resulting not only in fewer accidents, but also in more time being freed up for other tasks.

The programme coaches individuals from branches on a two-day workshop, sending them back to train colleagues and brainstorm ideas, supported by regional teams to help implement the best ideas from each branch. The programme is not just an inward-facing exercise; it hugely benefits customers in terms of enhanced order accuracy and much better service. This is because the health and safety appraisal process doesn’t take place in isolation. It’s not just about risk management, but is part of an integrated management approach to safety, environmental practice and quality.

Ideas have ranged from simple changes to rethinking entire processes. One problem solved involved orders made late in the day. These orders can be picked up the next morning but would often arrive from distribution mixed with replenishment stock. Through the LiFT process, employees found a new way to highlight the orders, making them easier to spot while removing the need to double-handle and reducing customer waiting times.

Chris Hufflett, managing director of BSS, said: “Manual handling injuries, and in particular back injuries, are bad news for our colleagues and their families. The LiFT programme is making a positive impact on people’s lives as well as making our branches more efficient, which is good news for our customers too.”

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