Berkeley Homes (East Thames) wins prestigious Sir George Earle Trophy


The most prestigious occupational health and safety award in the country, RoSPA’s Sir George Earle Trophy, has been won by house builder Berkeley Homes (East Thames).

Staff from the London-based division of Berkeley Group, which is delivering around 10,000 homes in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, was handed the award at a ceremony at ExCeL London last night (Tuesday, June 20).

In selecting them as winner, the RoSPA Awards panel pointed to a feeling of personal responsibility and a drive on behalf of the directors to improve health and safety performance, which was communicated with passion at board and site level, proving it to be integral to the business culture.

Initiatives such as free breakfasts to help maintain employees’ blood sugar levels throughout the day were given as examples of where dedication to health and safety was demonstrated on a daily basis. East Thames’s “exemplary” involvement with the local community was also noted. This could be seen in a conscious drive to use local labour where possible, providing training through a dedicated skills academy. Local children are also inspired through ‘have-a-go’ days where they come on site under supervision to experience different trades.

Errol Taylor, RoSPA’s acting chief executive, said: “Berkeley Homes (East Thames) is undoubtedly a worthy winner of the Sir George Earle Trophy, as it embodies everything RoSPA and its partners stand for – a commitment to ensuring that all employees and other stakeholders, from site to board level, return safely home to their families each night.

“The panel was impressed with its competency assurance throughout the supply chain, as well as its readiness to assist partners in improving their own performance. Innovation was also a strong feature of the entry, with a simple yet effective example of this being various trade contractors sharing the same offices on site, ensuring that learning was shared and communication improved.

“The judges were particularly impressed by Berkeley's approach to community engagement, working with schools to help educate the next generation of housebuilders.

“I congratulate the whole team on not only their deserved win, but also on setting a great example for the rest of the industry to follow.”

Karl Whiteman, divisional managing director for Berkeley Homes East Thames, said: “Our talented and varied workforce is our strongest resource and their health and safety is paramount.  We are honoured that our commitment to health and safety best practice has been recognised by RoSPA through the prestigious Sir George Earle Trophy. 

“We believe that a safe environment is created through the active participation of senior management and staff in identifying hazards and taking positive action to eliminate or control them and are proud of our record in doing so.”

The presentation was made during the London leg of the annual RoSPA Health and Safety Awards. The awards programme, which is sponsored by NEBOSH (the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health), is the largest and longest-running occupational health and safety awards programme in the UK. It recognises organisations’ commitment to continuous improvement in the prevention of accidents and ill health at work, looking at entrants’ overarching health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

Three other ceremonies will be taking place later in the year – two in Birmingham on July 12 and 13, and another in Glasgow on September 14.

While the majority of awards are non-competitive, competitive awards are presented in 20 industry sectors and for specialist areas of health and safety management.

The industry sector award winners in the RoSPA Awards 2017 are: Construction Commercial – Morrison Utility Services; Construction Engineering – Wessex Engineering and Construction Services; Education and Training Services – South and City College Birmingham; Electricity – Ras Laffan Power Company; Engineering Services – Nuvia Limited; Facilities Management – EMCOR UK at AWE; Food and Drink Manufacturing – Moy Park; Housebuilding and Property Development – Berkeley Homes (East Thames) Ltd; Mining and Quarrying – CEMEX UK Materials Limited – Central Readymix; Oil and Gas – Bahrain National Gas Company; Public Service and Local Government – North East Lincolnshire Council; Research and Development – National Physical Laboratory; Transport, Storage and Distribution – Arriva Rail North.

The specialist award winners in the RoSPA Awards 2017 are: International Sector Award, sponsored by airsweb – Teambuild Engineering & Construction Pte Ltd; Fleet Safety Trophy, sponsored by Allianz – Phillips 66 Ltd - JET; Fleet Safety Technology Trophy, sponsored by Tesco Dotcom – Service Division UKIE; International Dilmun Environmental Trophy, sponsored by Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company – Gatwick Airport Ltd - Operations; Occupational Health Trophy – Stafford and Rural Homes Ltd; Workforce Involvement in Safety and Health (WISH) Trophy, sponsored by Springfields Fuels Ltd – Vulcan Refractories Limited.

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