Housing association is as good as gold

A housing association has clinched a prestigious gold medal award for achieving the highest standards of health and safety in the workplace for the fifth year running.

The honour is being bestowed on Cartrefi Conwy by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

The accolade comes via RoSPA’s occupational health and safety award scheme in which it annually assesses the policies of companies nationwide, aiming to minimise the number of accidents at work.

Attaining a gold standard for five consecutive years means Cartrefi Conwy is eligible for an acclaimed RoSPA Gold Medal, given to only the most committed proponents of workplace health and safety measures in the UK.

It will be presented during a glittering ceremony at Excel, London, on June 21, an event which will also officially mark the 60th anniversary of the awards.

Considered the ‘Oscars’ of the health and safety world, they are highly regarded by business leaders across Britain.

Julia Small, RoSPA’s head of awards and events, said: “We offer Cartrefi Conwy our congratulations. To win at such a highly-regarded event as the RoSPA Awards is a great achievement. It recognises a commitment to maintaining an excellent health and safety record and raises the bar for other organisations to aspire to.

“This year was doubly special for our winners as their achievements were recognised as the RoSPA Awards marked their diamond anniversary, which is a ringing endorsement of the thousands of businesses and organisations that have committed to continuous improvement in accident and ill health prevention.”

Cartrefi Conwy’s health and safety compliance officer, Wil Pritchard, said the award was testimony to the dedication of staff across the company in making health and safety of the workforce a top priority.

He said: “We are delighted to receive this honour because it is recognition of the hard work and commitment to the very real benefits it brings to all our work colleagues in terms of preventing accidents and keeping them safe.”

Headquartered at North Wales Business Park in Abergele, Cartrefi Conwy manages more than 3,700 properties throughout Conwy, making it one of North Wales’s foremost providers of affordable, quality homes. More than a third of its properties are sheltered accommodation for the elderly and the vulnerable.

Wil said: “It is vital that health and safety awareness is a cornerstone of what we do. We are dealing with people all the time, in-house and on site in our properties, and we have to make sure that work colleagues are safe in whatever circumstances their job places them in, whether that be here in the main office, on a construction site or going out to one or our properties for a meeting with a tenant.

“Staff good health policies and accident prevention strategies have been at the heart of our organisation since it formed in 2008.

“Our success has come because everyone genuinely believes that being the best that we possibly can be when it comes to health and safety is a policy worth pursuing. Everyone is made aware of our accident prevention policies as soon as they join the company and we welcome ideas from all departments on ways of improving even further.”

Cartrefi Conwy strives to ensure that not only its own staff, but with contractors it engages with adhere to stringent workplace health and safety. That encompasses everything from wearing protective workwear, to following recognised procedures when working at heights, appropriate behaviour when undertaking  manual handling, working with asbestos, dealing with vulnerable people, avoiding confrontation or driving on the road, taking charge of company vehicles.

Chief executive Andrew Bowden was “immensely proud” of Cartrefi Conwy’s record.

He said: “From the moment every new employee walks through the door they are made aware of our health and safety procedures.

“It is done in an interactive way where everyone is engaged and genuinely interested so the message sticks with them throughout their time here and beyond.

“We run regular training courses and refresher sessions to reinforce the policies. I have myself attended courses on the safest way of lifting and moving parcels and boxes of documents so as not to cause a tendon or back injury.”

Wil added: “It’s about looking out for our colleagues, asking for and listening to their thoughts on improving the way we approach a task to make it safer for them. If we can re-think it to make something healthier or safer for all, then we will.”

For more details on Cartrefi Conwy visit www.cartreficonwy.org

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