A successful campaign to drive down workplace accidents and work-related stress by instilling a culture of health and safety awareness among colleagues has earned Palletline’s Ken Bell a prestigious national award.
Ken, Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Manager at Palletline, was named the Health and Safety Manager of the Year in the Safety and Health Excellence Awards.
Now celebrating 15 years at Palletline Ken made it his business from day one to familiarise himself with the day-to-day roles and responsibilities of every employee, giving him a deeper insight into hazards and risks in every area of the company operation.
Such diligence has been a large contributory factor to Palletline’s enviable RIDDOR record (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) with well over 1,000 incident-free days on Ken’s watch – including 300 this year alone the company has also achieved ISO 9001, 14001, 45001 and 50001 accreditations with no non-conformances.
Audits are regularly conducted amongst the member network to ensure member compliance with Palletline’s health and safety policies. Ken himself is also a qualified health and safety auditor to 45001.
Internally Ken actively instigates discussion and conversation among colleagues ensuring health and safety always remains top of mind, and so staff appreciate its importance and the reasoning behind it.
Mental health welfare also remains a priority for Ken. He has introduced mental health first aid courses at Palletline as well as a champion system, ensuring workers on shift have a dedicated, trained colleague to turn to when they are feeling overwhelmed.
Since these measures were introduced, staff absenteeism through work-related stress has been completely eliminated from Palletline.
At the height of Covid, when Ken was volunteering to work up to 20 hours a day, he quickly implemented a series of safety measures, including PPE, temperature checks, use of wipes, and lateral flow testing at Palletline’s own expense, long before their widespread use. As a result, not one single case of Covid was reported after 1.200 tests – despite 350 drivers arriving every day at the hub from around the UK.
Under Ken’s leadership, Palletline has not only become an industry leader in health and safety he also shares his unique skill set with members of the Association of Pallet Networks (APN).
Graham Leitch, Managing Director of Palletline, said: “Ken is the ultimate health and safety professional and thoroughly deserving of this award. He has always gone above and beyond in every area of health and safety, leaving no stone unturned. He consistently demonstrates professionalism and a genuine desire to reduce risk, ensuring the safety and welfare of each and every one of his colleagues throughout the business and our member network. He is a true asset to Palletline.”