Health & safety

We place the highest priority on health and safety, guided by our award-winning, industry-leading behavioural safety programme Challenging Beliefs, Affecting Behaviour

We are committed to a policy of effectively managing all aspects of health, safety and welfare. Our overall approach is based on a concept of care and delivered through Challenging, Beliefs, Affecting Behaviour.

Our objective is to create and maintain an environment where care for our people and those who work with us is our top priority, and the belief that all accidents are preventable prevails. Our focus on wellbeing remains high and has never been more important than during the current period.

Policies and management 

Our Health and Safety Policy establishes our commitment to effectively managing all aspects of health and safety, and to taking all reasonably practicable measures to continually improve. The policy determines the roles and responsibilities of the Executive Board, divisional Boards and business unit management in delivering health and safety.

It also expresses the Group’s commitment to ensuring that our people’s behaviour is consistent with an improving safety culture.

In addition, we have an Employee Wellbeing Policy, which recognises that our duty of care extends to our people’s physical and mental health.

Ensuring compliance

We ensure our polices are widely communicated, through inductions for new employees, internal training sessions, site notice boards and via our intranet.

HS&S advisors are aligned to each business unit to provide support and advice. They visit sites regularly to ensure compliance with policies and procedures, and produce a Site Safety and Environmental Report, which is communicated to appropriate levels in the business through a database. Any non-compliance identified requires a corrective action plan, including the date by which it will be completed. Statistics and trends in non-compliance are reported to business unit and divisional Board meetings each month. Health and safety performance is also discussed regularly at all levels of the business, from business units to Board level. Further assurance is provided by audits against the requirements for  OHSAS 18001 and 14001, the standards for Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Management.

Key Performance Indicators*

Accident Frequency Rate

(RIDDORs per 100,000 hours worked)

Accident Frequency Rate Chart

Accident Incident Rate

(RIDDORs per 1,000 people)

Accident Incident Rate Chart

*Excludes disposed housebuilding divisions.

We were pleased to successfully reduce our Accident Frequency Rate (AFR) from 0.10 last financial year to 0.07, which also exceeded our target of 0.08. Several of our business units successfully achieved an AFR of zero, which is particularly commendable, and we secured eight awards from RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), which includes an Order of Distinction for our Building London business’s 18th consecutive Gold Award.

Safety tours by directors are an important part of providing visible leadership. During the year, we completed 663 tours in total (2019: 1,117). 

Our directors also lead in delivering Safe Behaviour Discussions (SBDs), one of the key tools in our behavioural programme. In an SBD, our staff work with operatives on site to constantly identify an operation’s risks and agree the steps to make it safer. By challenging unsafe acts and reinforcing safe working methods, this partnership approach encourages ownership and embeds behaviours more effectively than just issuing instructions. We completed 61,143 the year.

The reduction in the number of director tours and Safe Behaviour Discussions reflects the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic when the strictest securing measures were in place on site and unnecessary personnel were limited on site.


Our objective is to create and maintain an environment where care for our people and those who work with us is our top priority, and the belief that all accidents are preventable prevails. Bill Hocking Chief Executive , Galliford Try