The British Association of Landscape Industries’ (BALI) National Contractors Forum (BALI-NCF) has revealed the number of incidents involving its members and hedge trimmers may have decreased by as much as 61% since 2017.
The significant reduction in accidents and near misses was calculated by BALI Technical Officer (Policy & Research), Owen Baker, who manages the BALI-NCF Health & Safety Forum alongside BALI-NCF Chairman, Phil Jones, Chief Executive of BALI Registered Contractor ESL Landscape Contractors.
“Using the ‘accident frequency rate’ metric per 100,000 hours of work, I was able to compare the number of reported incidents submitted by members of the Health and Safety Forum before and after we implemented training. The data suggests a pleasing decrease of both accidents and near-misses between 2017, when we started collecting data, and the end of 2019.”
In early 2018, the BALI-NCF teamed up with BALI Registered Affiliate STIHL to host a series of train-the-trainer workshops specific to hedge trimmers. From PPE to inspection of machinery, refueling to correct cutting technique, the workshops were aimed at trainers working for or with BALI-NCF members and virtually sold out at the time.
BALI-NCF Chairman Phil Jones commented:
“Although the reduction in the number of incidents could be attributed to several reasons, from the development of safer technology by the manufacturer to a greater understanding of the equipment, I believe our train-the-trainer sessions were an invaluable and integral part of this reduction. Our Health & Safety Forum, which was setup for exactly this reason, to provide a channel for BALI-NCF members to submit their accident and near miss data in a confidential way, allows us to gain a measure of just how successful our training workshops have been. The data can be used to plan future events of a similar nature.”
The initial workshops were so successful that the BALI-NCF decided to work with STIHL for a second time, to host eight more train-the-trainer sessions in late 2019. Held at four different college venues, the events were well received by 150 attendees representing 29 landscaping companies in the UK.
Caroline Wallace, Learning & Development, STIHL said, “We are delighted that BALI-NCF members have seen a real benefit from these recent train-the-trainer sessions, which saw us score a 99% overall satisfaction rate from those individuals in attendance. We also saw a 52% increase in the examination score as a result of this training, which proves the content of these courses works. We look forward to building our relationship with the BALI-NCF to host future workshops that help train staff on the correct and safe use of our extensive product range.”