Apart from obligatory activities within the training system, which are divided into obligatory and systemic OHS procedures, the Budimex Group also conducts a number of additional activities.
Training takes place more often than it is required by law. The programme is with the cooperation and co-creation of the employees and is also assessed by them. In 2020, activities related to education, training and developing health and safety awareness were carried out almost without obstacles, despite the COVID-19 epidemic, and consequently the suspension periodic OHS training resulting from the introduced regulation. The “Temporary OHS Training Instruction” was implemented in the Budimex Group, and the training formula was remodelled and implemented on-line for employees with access to a computer. Physical workers received materials for self-education. As part of periodic training conducted by their immediate supervisors, they could continue to refresh their knowledge of the most important OHS risks and regulations related to the tasks they perform. Numerous campaigns were also carried out – both in the intranet (articles) and using standard communication tools (posters and leaflets located in offices and on construction sites) on OHS standards applicable in Budimex.
In October, together with 12 signatories of the Construction Safety Agreement, the company organised an annual Safety Day. Employees were able to take part in webinars and use toolboxes dedicated to the organisation and planning of works in view of the risks associated with the biggest health and safety risks on the projects. The vast majority of the buildings were trained in first aid, fire protection, hazardous areas of machine operation, as well as a number of other activities, in which employees of the Budimex Group, subcontractors, investors and the National Labour Inspectorate were invited to participate. Educational presentations regarding safe driving were also held for the first time. A total of 2210 Budimex employees and 3290 employees of business partners participated in the “Safety Week”.
As part of the “Engineer Academy”, in the fourth quarter of 2020, online training for young construction engineers was held, presenting the most important aspects of safety management at the level of construction design, cooperation with subcontractors in this scope and practical application of this knowledge, e.g. work at heights, which occur on many projects implemented by the Budimex Group.
At the end of the year, in order to prepare employees to become contract managers to take up this position, the company organised webinars for them to build a culture of safety and leadership in the area of security and new responsibilities related to the implementation of security strategies at the level of the team that they will manage in the future.
As part of its commitment to the “Agreement for Safety in Construction”, Budimex developed a number of new standards (e.g. “Standard of Works in the Railway Area”) and OHS guidelines, thanks to which it made a significant contribution to improving safety in the industry.
In the Budimex Group, every accident is described according to the Polish statutory classification and in compliance with the procedures and classification adopted by the strategic investor – Ferrovial Group, which facilitates a more thorough post-accident statistics analysis (among others, there are differences in the accident assessment process and in the definition of serious accidents). Internal self-regulations of the Group are more restrictive than the laws regarding accidents. The accident analysis allows to precisely define what specific actions constitute the source of hazards, what kind of behaviour should be avoided and what kind of behaviour should be recommended.
Employees’ exposure to hazards depends on the nature of the works performed. As far as construction activities are concerned, hazards are related e.g. to the risk of falling from height or injury in contact with construction machinery. With regard to Mostostal Kraków S.A. hazards are connected with the use of band saws and other machines with moving parts for steel structure processing, transport of structures with use of overhead cranes, and their loading and unloading.
The FBSerwis S.A. employees, on the other hand, who perform road and motorway maintenance, are exposed, for example to being run over by vehicles in road traffic. Waste management involves risks related to biological agents (e.g. pricks, cuts with contaminated waste elements) and the risk of collision with machinery and vehicles on and outside the premises of the disposal facility.
All accidents, regardless of their effect, are treated in the Budimex Group very seriously. Every major incident is communicated throughout the organization with alerts. Every year all the incidents that happened in our organisation are investigated. In 2020, EIR meetings (Executive Incident Review) were held every two weeks, attended by the management and supervisory staff responsible for planning and organising work on projects. The aim of the project was to share experiences, promote preventive and corrective actions. During the meetings, analyses of accidents and potentially fatal near-miss incidents were presented.
In 2020 two fatal accidents among the employees and subcontractors of the Budimex Group were recorded. In January last year, an accident during works on a railway line led to a fatality on the spot. To avoid such situations in the future, a corrective and preventive action plan was prepared and introduced:
- the obligation for each crew performing work near the tracks to have a radiotelephone for communication with the dispatcher;
- changes in the procedure regarding the closing of tracks for the duration of works;
- an absolute ban on organising material storage yards, warehouses, back-up facilities, parking places for cars and machinery at a distance of less than 2 metres from the outer rail;
- development and implementation of the Railway Standard at the Budimex Group.
The second accident of an employee falling from the height of approx. 1.80 m to the concrete foundation took place in September 2020. As a result of this event, corrective and preventive actions were implemented, including training for people from direct supervision from the Budimex Group and subcontractors dedicated to the assembly of formwork and organisation of works at height. Monitoring and enforcement activities were also introduced, which included the assembly or use of the existing monitoring in selected facilities, in justified places, enabling the control of the application of safety rules and the reminder that all employees of the Budimex Group and subcontractors are absolutely obliged to properly use personal protective equipment (e.g. helmets with a chin belt properly fastened).
More detailed information on the number of accidents at work and occupational diseases recorded can be found HERE.