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Power company wants workers to take safety lessons home with them

Safety in the workplace is top priority, but now the UK’s biggest electricity distributor is taking the extra step of reminding staff to stay safe at home as well.

From Press releases - 29 August 2019 12:00 AM

Clarke Neil image.jpg

UK Power Networks has an outstanding safety record, due to strict procedures and staff awareness programmes. Only one employee has had to take time off due to injury in the workplace, so far in 2019.

The company is now urging its more than 6,000 staff members to apply the same safety principles when they take on odd jobs such as DIY or gardening while off duty and relaxing at home.

In recent months, two employees have injured themselves falling from ladders while working in and around their houses and gardens.

Emma Palmer, who heads the safety engagement team at UK Power Networks, said: “We want our colleagues who stay safe at work to guard against any possible complacency at home because accidents can happen just as easily at home.

“Our staff have made a fantastic contribution to the development of an outstanding safety culture in the workplace, so we are urging them to applying the same principles while on time off. We want our teams to stay safe by choice, not by chance.”

Neil Clarke, head of Highway Services and Disconnections for UK Power Networks based in Potters Bar, has worked for the company for three decades and is a firm advocate of its safety culture.

However back in February, the 50-year-old sustained injuries including a punctured and collapsed lung and nine broken ribs, after falling from a ladder while trimming back some bushes at his Cheshunt home.

Neil said: “The ladder wobbled and I took the decision to jump clear from it. It was a decision I thought was right at the time, but can now see was not. It should have been a two person job with somebody holding the ladder.”

He is now back at work and added: “I preach safety in the workplace and my message to my colleagues is that safety is 24-7.

“People don’t think about the consequences an accident can have on you and your family. An accident that, with hindsight, could have been avoided will live with me forever and the impact on others is massive.

“Over two stays I required 23 nights in hospital and even when I returned home I was in a room with 28 different types of medication. What people don’t see is the mental side of it, I hit rock bottom and was helped by the support of my family, friends and work colleagues.”