Delivering Safely together

The M20 J3-5 SMP is a smart motorway scheme for Highways England valued at £101.5m, which is being delivered by contractor Kier Highways, with designers Jacobs Atkins JV and ensuring our people and the travelling public all go home safely every day is something that we are all passionate about.

We have a diverse workforce with people from 20 countries and women and men holding senior roles in the team, including our Health & Safety lead Paula Hale. This diversity brings diverse thinking and new ideas that help our team to innovate and improve. H&S working groups have led innovations that in addition to H&S benefits have contributed  to independently verified efficiencies of over £16m. Examples include the Instaboom and the GS6 Instaboom that we collaborated with the supplier to develop.

We have hosted Lessons Learnt workshops with other Highways England delivery partners including H&S best practice to share learning from the hard work of our team members. We have also shared our H&S best practice industry wide on the CCS Best Practice Hub

We identified Mental Health as a focus area likely to affect people as we employ a large percentage of younger single men, a group where suicide levels are above national average, and many people work away from home, away from family and support networks. Our proactive approach has trained team members as Mental Health First Aiders ensuring we can spot signs somebody is not coping, and skills to help. We hold mental health drop in sessions and have established a project mental health phone number, manned 24/7, where our people can talk to a trained member of our team. Several mental health counselling referrals have been made through both NHS and Kiers counselling provider. We understand our work can be stressful and for those living away from home it can be a lonely experience, so when people join the scheme, we encourage house-shares and run after work events from sporting to social, fostering team bonds and encourage work breaks with table football & a dartboard in our offices to aid relaxation.

Several mental health stand-down days have had inspiring talks, including ‘State of Mind’ a charity promoting positive Mental Health. Led by ex-Rugby League Stars Danny Sculthorpe & Phil Vievers, these sports stars told their own stories of depression, showing mental health affects anyone, and letting everyone know it is OK for big strong guys to be in their friends’ corner.

We have inducted over 2000 people from Kier, client, designers and supply chain who worked over 1.1m hours without a Lost Time Incident and have won the Highways England SMP Home Safe & Well 2019 Health & Safety Initiative of the Year.

Key Achievements

  • The M20 J3-5 SMP has worked over 1.1m hours without a Lost Time Incident (LTI)
  • The M20 J3-5 SMP working groups have led numerous Health & Safety, initiatives, trials and Innovations and have received two Highways England Blue Stars, awarded for H&S Innovation not used previously on the Highways England network, and have won the Highways England SMP 2019 Home Safe & Well Health & Safety Initiative of the Year
  • The M20 J3-5 SMP has worked closely with the Considerate Constructors Scheme, and had two entries accepted on the CCS Best Practice Hub to be shared with the rest of the construction industry