Health and Safety

We will aim to reduce RIDDOR Reportable Accidents and Incidents per 100,000 employees compared to 2013/14.

The RIDDOR incident rate fell to 430.75 accidents per 100,000 employees, an improvement of 3.7% on last year (2014: 447.09).

We will aim to continue to reduce RIDDOR Reportable Accidents and Incidents per 100,000 employees compared to 2014/15.

RIDDOR rates finished above the previous year’s level for the first time in 4 years (445.19 against a target of 430.74). This was due to a high number of reportable incidents in the final month of the year.

We will aim to achieve a Group National House Building Council Health and Safety score of 0.986 or better

Our 2015/16 score of 0.766 was the 4th year of improvement and we again finished well below the All Builder Average of 4.721.

We will deliver ‘slips, trips & falls’ tool box talks at 100% of sites to aid a reduction in our RIDDOR Reportable Accident and Incidents.


The well-being of all who interact with our sites is of the highest priority. We continue to actively promote safe working on all our sites through the use of training, toolbox talks, informal and formal inspections and best practice forums. We also encourage our workforce to communicate with us on any areas of concern regarding health and safety. 

Health and Safety Monitoring on Sites

A team of highly qualified, experienced and professional Health and Safety Managers oversee health and safety provision and practice on Bellway’s sites. The team meets on a quarterly basis with the Group Chief Executive to discuss performance and co-ordinate on-going campaigns.

Each division is allocated to a member of the health and safety team, who then undertakes site inspections, provides advice on legislative requirements and best practice and is a liaison between Bellway and external parties such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the NHBC.

Slips, trips and falls continue to be a focus area, with on-going training to help our workforce and management identify the risks, determine the right course of action, and undertake work to eliminate the risk. We are also participating in occupational health risk reduction schemes in order to determine which are most beneficial, with the view to roll them out across our company.

The NHBC are contracted, as third party advisers, to visit and provide a report on every working site at least once a month, and more frequently on busier sites. Sites are given a numerical score depending on the level of risk identified and this score allows Site Managers and senior management to allocate appropriate resources and prioritise tasks.

NHBC Health and Safety Awards

Health and Safety Performance

We are proud that Bellway continues to be recognised as amongst the best and safest in the industry with our Site Managers winning five awards in the 2016 NHBC safety awards, two of whom went on to achieve Highly Commended awards. The benchmark for these awards is raised every year, as what was once considered exceptional practice becomes common practice. Therefore these Site Managers have demonstrated they are continually improving their working methods, managing their risks, and taking every day as a new opportunity to improve the working environment for everyone.

We set ourselves a target to achieve an average NHBC health and safety incident rate of 0.986 for the year, where a lower score reflects fewer reportable health and safety issues raised. With increased production and site activity across the year, this was a challenging target. Our health and safety and site management teams continued their excellent work and delivered and NHBC incident rate of 0.766 (2015: 0.936), the third year running we have seen an improvement, and our score is now 6 times better than the industry average of 4.721.

It is therefore somewhat disappointing that our RIDDOR incident rate rose for the first time in 4 years, up 3% to 445.19 accidents per 100,000 site operatives (2014/15 - 430.75). We have identified ‘slips, trips & falls’ as the most frequent reason for reportable incidents and so increased focus will be given to this area in the coming year, with a specific target to deliver briefings on this issue at 100% of sites.

Health and Safety Training

Bellway Site Managers play a vital role in delivering these high standards and our Health and Safety Policy requires all Site Managers to complete and maintain qualifications in first aid, scaffold appreciation and the nationally recognised Site Management Safety Training Scheme. The appointment of a Group Learning and Development Manager this year will further improve the monitoring and delivery of training across the Group and help to ensure all employees remain in compliance with our training matrix.

In addition, we invest significantly in training to improve on-site risk awareness and this year an additional 64 site based managers gained their Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Construction Site Management, bringing the total number of site based managers with NVQ Level 6 (or above) to 206, a 46% increase on last year.

We believe that by investing in people we are making it possible for skilled employment to flourish. We directly employ 61 apprentices and each young worker is partnered with an experienced team member to teach them not only their chosen trade, but also how to work safely on site. We also encourage apprenticeships through our sub-contractors and actively support training on our sites.

Safety of our Customers and Members of the Public

Our customers are briefed on health and safety procedures, via information in their New Home Pack, as well as verbal briefings from the Sales Advisor / Site Manager during the home demonstration before moving into their new home. Additional information in the form of signage around the site is also provided to aid customers’ awareness of risk as the site build progresses.

We often visit schools or local businesses when we are building nearby to encourage a greater understanding of the risks associated with construction and also to encourage robust communication between all parties. 

Sub-Contractors’ Safety

We check our all sub-contractors before allowing them to commence work on a Bellway site. This is designed to cover a number of issues, including health and safety. Our entire site workforce has to be fully qualified under the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) or equivalent and this is monitored every six months through a national audit. In 2015/16 5,582 of our direct employee and sub-contractors held CSCS (or equivalent) cards.

All sub-contractors must also have been approved under the NHBC’s Safemark scheme or the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS) and must provide references and previous accident and prosecution data. We stringently check this data to ensure that all who represent Bellway have the highest health and safety credentials.

Number of Health and Safety Prosecutions CSCS Card Holders

Dust Suppression

We actively promote the use of dust suppression equipment during the construction process to reduce the risk of silica dust inhalation. The latest Home Builders Federation guidance on dust suppression has been rolled out nationally and we continue to monitor this issue to ensure full compliance.

Construction companies all over Britain have been quick to respond to the risk that silica dust poses but we have gone beyond the industry’s general response. While silica poses a significant risk, we were also concerned about the risk posed by secondary and treated timbers such as medium density fireboard (MDF), particularly as it is often cut by joiners in confined spaces. On-site analysis demonstrated that dust levels are well within the Working Exposure Limit, prescribed by Regulations. 

Health and Wellbeing

We are keen to encourage our workforce to consider their lifestyle and how it affects their health and long-term well-being. We do this through poster campaigns, providing leaflets and support for quitting smoking, and toolbox talks for significant industrial risks such as skin cancer due to outdoor working, dermatitis, manual handling injuries and leptospirosis. We also support national health campaigns such as ‘Stoptober’ (a campaign to encourage people to stop smoking in the month of October) and ‘Bear It Beat It’ (a campaign by the British Heart Foundation to raise awareness of the importance of having a healthy heart).

Case Study Case Study

George Carty

Award Winning Health and Safety

Bellway Site Managers won a total of five NHBC Health and Safety Awards in 2015/16, two of whom progressed to achieve ‘Highly Commended’ accolades, demonstrating the commitment our site teams have towards providing a safe operating environment for our people, contractors and suppliers:

  • Highly Commended and Commended - George Carty; Paul Edwards
  • Commended - Will Graham; Alan Holmes; Neil McCready

George Carty, Site Manager in Scotland and one of Bellway’s Highly Commended winners, implemented a range of activities to ensure safe working conditions on his site:

  • Securing the buy-in and involvement of employees and sub-contractors in the planning and formulation of his site’s health and safety plan.
  • Ensuring ‘the basics’ were completed to a high standard - welfare facilities; traffic management; pedestrian walkways; informative signage; good access and egress to plots and scaffolds – and then using this base level to drive further improvements to site health and safety.
  • Playing HSE health and safety videos in the site canteen on a continuous loop to subconsciously drive home key safety points.
  • Requiring scaffold permits for all ‘trades’ to improve safe working at a height.

Operating a suggestion notice board for new ideas.




Case Study

Occupational Health

Bellway is investing in improving the work environment on its developments and in order to identify the most beneficial initiatives we are undertaking trials on some of our sites. One of the initiatives being trialled includes dedicated cutting shelters for the cutting of timber and bricks. This is designed to allow for the mechanical extraction or 'damping down' of dangerous dusts such as those found in MDF, as well as concrete based products which produce silica dust.

In addition we emphasise the need to wear appropriate PPE in areas where the dusts or other risks cannot be controlled through other methods such as designing it out or undertaking the cutting processes externally. This includes cleaning of plots between trades, where sweeping may cause dusts to become airborne."