The Company won a total of 10 awards including one of the National Awards in the Large Builder category for Site Safety and a Special Award for the Best Individual Health and Safety Leader. The Berkeley Group won more awards than any other house builder honoured by the NHBC.
NHBC is the leading standard-setting and consumer protection body for new homes in the UK launched the national Health and Safety Awards in November 2009.
Darren Smith, one of Berkeley Homes' longstanding Site Managers, became one of the National Winners for a Large Builder as well as the Regional Winner (Oxford and Chiltern) in the same category. He was recognised for his leadership in safeguarding health and safety on site at the Berkeley Group's Slade Park development that provides high-quality student accommodation. He also was given a Highly Commended award for Best Site. Bram Paton of St James Urban Living, part of The Berkeley Group, was given a Commendation for the Grosvenor Waterside development in London. Trevor Hughes of Berkeley Homes (Capital) was also awarded a Highly Commended for Site Safety for the Woodberry Down development in North London.
The Berkeley Group's Director in Charge of Sustainability, Karl Whiteman, won the prestigious Best Individual Health and Safety Leader Award for championing behavioural safety and introducing the Good Work initiative across the Group.
Rob Perrins, Group Managing Director for the Berkeley Group, says the recognition by the NHBC of the Group's solid commitment to health and safety practice is a sound endorsement. "Health and Safety is at the core of our operations and I am pleased that our team has won awards at all levels of the business. From board directors such as Karl Whiteman through to site managers like Darren Smith, the NHBC has recognised our commitment to excellence and our emphasis on health and safety as a core issue."
Every site was visited at four times over a three-month period by NHBC and was scored against pre-set criteria covering items such as proactive management of risk, meeting the challenges of that particular site, robust management systems and physical risk control and workforce involvement.
The top-performing sites were then visited again, scores verified and the results presented to an independent judging panel. The panel ultimately selected the winning entries in each category.
NHBC's Head of Health and Safety, Simon Mantle, commented: "As the house-building industry emerges from a difficult economic period, it's the perfect time to recognise site managers who have maintained exceptional health and safety standards on-site.
Praising the winners he said: "We have been extremely impressed by the standard of health and safety that we have encountered throughout the judging process. These awards will play an important role in encouraging best practice and driving forward health and safety standards."
The special awards reflect key themes from the influential 2009 report by Rita Donaghy, "One death is too many," that highlighted the need for increased worker engagement on site and greater health and safety leadership at a senior level.
The awards, supported by the Health and Safety Executive and Construction Skills, have received widespread support from MPs of all political parties. History has shown that emergence from a recession is often coupled with a rise in the number of accidents on-site. These awards offered builders the opportunity to gain independent verification on the effectiveness of their health and safety practices.