Drainage specialist UKDN has been accredited to the leading-edge Safecontractor scheme, which assesses the health and safety competency of contractors and service providers with the aim of helping industry to improve its safety record. By obtaining Safecontractor accreditation, UKDN has also been able to renew its Contractors Health & Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS) and Constructionline approvals.
Health and safety at work remains a key priority for the UK, especially in the construction industry. According to the Health & Safety Executive, in the last 25 years over 2,800 people have died from injuries they received as a result of construction work, and many more have been injured. All businesses have a responsibility to make sure that the contractors they use operate in a safe way, and therefore need to assess the health and safety credentials of the companies they use. Safecontractor, along with CHAS and Constructionline, are increasingly being relied on for validation purposes, and are becoming a prerequisite for working on large contracts.
Operated by the safety, health and environmental risk management specialist National Britannia Group, Safecontractor recognises UK contractors that practice very high health and safety standards. UKDN received its Safecontractor accreditation in April 2008, following a stringent vetting process that examined its health and safety procedures and its track record for safe practice.
Accredited contractors are included on Safecontractor's online database. Over 100 major businesses have signed up to use the Safecontractor scheme, and rely on it for selecting contractors for building, maintenance and refurbishment projects, amongst other things.
Stuart Pace, UKDN's chief operating officer, said: “As a leading drainage provider, UKDN is wholly committed to health and safety, and we fully support the implementation of uniform standards. Health and safety must be taken seriously, and accreditation is the only way that a business can prove its credentials. Of course, from a business point of view, it can also help to secure major contracts, as without Safecontractor, CHAS and Constructionline it's impossible to get a foot in the door – and rightly so.”
Darran Hughes, operations director for Safecontractor, said: “Major organisations can no longer run the risk of employing contractors that can't prove they have sound health and safety policies in place. More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in the way that UKDN has done. The firm's high standard has set an example, which hopefully will be followed by other companies within the drainage sector.”
UKDN is a pioneer in leading industry standards, and was the first drainage company to gain WRc (Water Research Centre) accreditation, which defines best practice compliance for the investigation and repair of domestic and light industrial drains and sewers.
As one of the UK's leading independent drainage specialists, UKDN has a fleet of 100 vehicles operating from 10 locations nationwide. Delivering a comprehensive specialist drainage service, the company manages drainage and burst pipe claims and provides subsidence investigation services for most of the UK's largest insurers.