SAFETYPoint is the innovative brainchild of Brad Greensmith who, having spent many years running his own construction contracting company and working as a Project Manager, recognised a gap in the market for a sustainable, efficient, portable solution that would help continuously improve assurances in the construction industry.
Brad said, “They say that "Necessity is the mother of invention", the primary driving force for most new inventions and products is a need. In 2016 our changing needs as a small contractor led us to thinking about our site safety stations, what we provided on our sites and how we utilised them. We were seeing more and more headlines showing companies being given increasingly large fines for failures in health and safety and it seemed there wasn’t always relevant and adequate on-site provision.”
He subsequently identified the opportunity to develop an integrated first response station which has the potential to address many of the Board level requirements of companies that defined best practice. Standard practice had previously been to make company safety stations from timber A-boards, then the required equipment was added and normally disposed of entirely upon the completion of a project, often due to damage or theft. Naturally this wasn’t ideal especially in relation to cost, corporate reputation and performance plus other aspects critical to SMEs and other businesses in the sector.
The idea was born that would:
• Address regulatory requirements including First Aid and Fire
• Increase productivity
• Be re-usable and hence sustainable
• Be portable
As a result, Brad brought together a team with relevant extensive experience to develop and commercialise the SAFETYpoint product. The team’s focus was to create a one stop solution that not only promoted best practice for site safety, but also gave those at head office the assurance that they were doing their very best for their site staff.
Operations Manager Nigel Salter said, “In addition to the Health & Safety at Work Act and other measures, there exist regulations specific to the construction industry. There are numerous standards including the need to ensure that workers understand risks and the relevant means to minimise those risks and who is responsible for health and safety. With over 25 years experience in the industry, Brad believed that there was a better and more consistent way of demonstrating good practice.” Brad’s belief that there was a need for such a product is re-affirmed by the difference in understanding between those people in a business with ultimate responsibility for HS&E (Board Directors) and those working on site.
Maurice Alphandary, Business Development Director added, “Looking at certain previous site situations there was no immediate way of knowing whether all necessary information is present, if equipment had previously been used or indeed, if any equipment was missing. SAFETYPoint addresses this by taking the guesswork out of the situation.”
SAFETYpoint presents a real opportunity to set a new standard. HS&E practices have evolved over many years, much of which has resulted from negative media coverage of high-profile court cases which have resulted in large fines and can now lead to prison sentences. As a result, businesses are constantly developing or seeking new ways by which they can improve their working practices and provision to provide the assurance needed to minimise their exposure to HS&E risks.
SAFETYpoint can improve productivity as well as being rapidly deployed (in less than a minute) and management can be confident that there is no gap in the first response provision. It also demonstrates Corporate Social Responsibility with minimal waste, cost reduction and shows a commitment to a company’s staff and wider stakeholders. Once the site works have been completed it can be packed up, removed and prepared for use on another site. The notices can be removed and recycled as appropriate and new notices relevant to the next operational site can then be inserted. This re-usability will save the user money as a result of repeated use.
In addition to the EU design registration, Brad’s belief in SAFETYpoint being a truly inventive and innovative solution to address market needs, led him to applying for patent protection of the unit. This was borne out by the grant of European and US patents earlier this year, with pending status in other territories.
The design enables the display of key notices associated with the site on which it is being deployed and the user determines which notices are to be displayed. Once the position at which each pre-agreed notice has been decided, it will be readily apparent if one or more notices is missing and action can be taken with minimal delay. There is limited evidence that current practice enables this. This may also present opportunities for refreshing staff training, with its concomitant benefits.
“Fundamentally we believe SAFETYPoint improves occupational health and safety in the construction (and other) industries,” founder Brad concludes. “It fosters co-operation between Government, employers and those who work in the relevant industries. It directly addresses the needs of all these stakeholders by providing assurance that best practice is demonstrably being used to address regulations in a consistent, well signposted and uniform manner.”