Trees can be as lethal as high-voltage electricity cables, so safety is doubly important when the two are combined.
This May, UPM Tilhill won a contract to manage vegetation next to 9,000km of high-voltage and 3,500km of extra-high-voltage electricity lines.
The three-year contract - for CE Electric - is for vegetation management and clearance across Yorkshire and north Lincolnshire. This is the second major contract of its kind for UPM Tilhill and its success is in no small part down to an in-house safety-management programme called Insist on Safety.
This aims to ensure an accident-free workplace and helped the firm to scoop its fourth award recently from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Insist on Safety reinforces the right for every employee to a safe work environment. And it reiterates the responsibility of each one of those employees to look out for their own and colleagues' safety.
For good measure, UPM Tilhill introduced the "Stop That" initiative to underscore its message. This throws greater emphasis on the individual for safety by insisting on risk assessments and the duty of employees to refuse a task they believe is unsafe to carry out. Subcontractors used by the firm must also toe the strict line on safety.
"This gives our clients the reassurance they are employing a professional team at all times, no matter what type of job," says the company. "The success of Insist on Safety has been demonstrated by a marked reduction in accidents within the arboriculture division.
"UPM Tilhill's arboriculture teams continue to enjoy success in winning new work, customer satisfaction and setting new standards for safety within both the company and the wider industry."
FINALIST Arboretum Internationale
SPONSOR City & Guilds NPTC — Land-based industries are very diverse and each sector needs a qualified workforce with a comprehensive set of skills. City & Guilds NPTC is about recognising skill and achievement in the rural industries through a system of credible and recognised qualifications.