Bradfords Building Supplies is placing safety at the top of the agenda in 2020, which it kickstarted with a visit to the Royal Navy’s Flight Safety Centre at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset.
Bradfords’ goal is to set the industry standard with its safety culture, looking to the example set by the aviation industry for innovative ways to achieve this.
Hosted on the day by the centre’s Commanding Officer, Commander Ant Laycock, and with stories and aircraft parts from Naval aviation accidents on display, it made for a highly informative yet sobering presentation. The Bradfords’ team were provided with valuable insight capturing the essence and concepts that underpin the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm’s relentless development and maintenance of its safety culture.
Although a totally different industry, the team agreed that many of the lessons were just as relevant in the Builders’ Merchant environment, as Bradfords looks to further enhance its ongoing commitment to safety as it heads into its 250th year and the next decade.
Giles Bradford, Communications and Engagement Manager at Bradfords and former Naval pilot, said: “It’s a fact that the majority of incidents occur due to human factors rather than technical or environmental, and the same can be said in our industry. The aviation industry is well known as the front-runner in the management of safety, and to have the chance to learn from an organisation that is held in the highest regard in that industry is a real privilege.
“The Bradfords team came away that day with some great lessons that we can now apply to our own safety culture, and we’ll be looking to instigate these through our 250th anniversary. As a business that is significantly older than the Fleet Air Arm, it’s good to know that there’s plenty more we can do to raise the safety bar in the industry through an innovative approach.”
The Royal Navy’s Flight Safety Centre at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset exists to create and maintain an engaged Safety culture across the entire breadth of the Royal Navy. There has been no loss of life outside of conflict situations in the Fleet Air Arm, the Navy’s flying wing, for over 15 years.
Geoff Ferneyhough, Bradfords’ Health & Safety Manager and former member of the Fleet Air Arm, added: “Safety has to be everyone’s responsibility. It’s that individual ownership that we know will drive a safety culture that not only ensures we are as safe as we can be, but also directly impacts our ability to serve our customers and suppliers, and the bottom line. I’m really looking forward to seeing the effect that taking the lessons from today into the business has.”