The British Safety Council’s (BSC) 2009 survey of employees and bosses found that over half of employees from the retail or sales industries did not have regular health and safety training in their workplace. However the Somerfield supermarket chain appears to have bucked the trend in leading the way in health and safety practice. The BSC’s Level 1 Certificate in Health and Safety at Work has been gained by 1,000 of its staff.
Around 300 employees from head office and over 700 store managers completed the training, achieving a 99 per cent pass rate. Twenty-two people scored the maximum 40 out of 40 in the exam, which tests basic health and safety knowledge.
The British Safety Council’s Chief Executive Brian Nimick personally presented certificates to those who had achieved top marks at a ceremony held at Somerfield’s Bristol HQ.
Brian Nimick congratulated Somerfield for its commitment to health and safety saying: “The figures from our annual survey showed that over half of employees within retail or sales do not have regular health and safety training. It is good to see that a large corporation like Somerfield investing in the health, safety and wellbeing of its employees. Many Somerfield candidates achieved high scores, which shows the important contribution these employees make to ensure excellent health and safety standards for all Somerfield staff and customers.”
Andy Warren, Head of Group Risk management at Somerfield, said of the BSC’s Level 1 programme: “This initiative demonstrates our commitment to making Somerfield the safest place to work and shop. Through the BSC’s training we are engaging our colleagues and equipping them with the skills and knowledge to manage their own safety and that of others, while striving to develop a strong and vibrant safety culture.”
David Price, Property Manager at Somerfield, was among the candidates who achieved 100 per cent. He said: “It makes you more aware and brings potential hazards to your attention that you might normally walk past without noticing.”
For the third year running the BSC is repeating its charitable offer to pay for up to 100 employees at each of its member firms to sit the examination leading to the Certificate qualification.
The British Safety Council
Tel: 020 8741 1231