Hunter Safety Netherlands (HSN) completed a milestone 1.5 million hours without a reportable accident with client, innocent, ahead of the first bottles going into production at ‘the blender’ in Rotterdam.
HSN were appointed by food and drink project delivery specialists, Integrated Food Projects (IFP) as Health and Safety Workstream Lead in August 2018 to support with the design and build of the blender; innocent drinks’ first manufacturing plant – one of the world's first CO2 neutral all-electric factories.
Hunter Safety Netherlands’ Roles at the blender
From the very beginning of the project, Hunter Safety Netherlands provided all elements of health and safety (H&S), guiding and advising the drinks company through the building design, construction, and manufacturing. Katie Hunter, Managing Director of Hunter Safety Group was appointed as H&S Workstream Lead to deliver guidance and support to the project team. This role provided advice around positioning health and safety in innocent’s organisation, assisting with the development of their safety culture, organising how H&S would be arranged at the factory, and the appointment of and organising of the H&S team. As well as working with those on site carrying out the works on a daily basis, Katie Hunter worked at a senior management level delivering the client’s health and safety strategy.
In 2020 we were appointed as the full-time Health and Safety Advisor for the build of the blender. Our team on site by then included a Health and Safety
Lead, 3 Health and Safety Managers, a Health and Safety Support/Admin and a full-time Appointed Person, as well as the roles we already had on site – Design Stage Coordinator and the Workstream Lead. HSN spent from June through to September 2020 mobilising the site, establishing health and safety standards, and setting up a working logistics process. From there we managed the project through the processing systems we implemented; using a digital health and safety management system to control and coordinate work on a daily basis, including the production of high risk permits to work. We put in to place a full meeting structure which consisted of a bi-weekly H&S management meeting, bi-weekly emergency arrangement meeting, daily Synchronisation at Work meeting (SAW) – all of which were supported with management and coordination of work activities on a daily basis.
Health and Safety KPI Setting
At the peak of the project, we had upwards of 500 contractors on site daily, with 11 Tier 1 contractors. In September 2020 we introduced a set of Key Performance criteria for these 11 contractors. This was an assessment based on each contractor’s performance each month, which resulted in an award for the top performer. The KPIs all fed into our goal of “zero accidents requiring notification.” By the end of the project, we had reached a staggering 1.5 million hours without a reportable accident. The site recognised and celebrated 100k hours, 250k, 500k and a million. Luke Hunt, Lead Health and Safety Manager for Hunter Safety managed the initiative by measuring the performance of contractors on site against the set criteria, which included items such as ‘Completion of monthly Client Due Diligence Audit’ and ‘100% of works have approved Safe Systems of Works’ and assessing to what percentage they had completed each point. This continued for the final 12 months of the project, and put health and safety at the forefront of each contractor’s mind.
This project took place during some of the most difficult times we have faced as a business due to the global pandemic that the Covid-19 outbreak caused. During the height of the pandemic, our team stayed in country not returning home for 16 weeks, staying away from their families to make sure everyone on site was safe, and the project continued to move forward. We brought in a full time Covid Coordinator for 7 months and had to establish, implement, and manage all the Covid controls for a 500 strong work force; putting people on to staggered break times, work bubbles, social bubbles, staggered entries; all the while adhering to Dutch legislation and managing language barriers, with in excess of 20 different nationalities on site.
innocent invested $250 million into building this factory that will be producing up to 300 million litres of chilled juice and smoothies per year, in a sustainable way to move towards a carbon neutral future. The blender has been built in line with sustainable building standards BREEAM. BREEAM is a well-established method of assessing, rating, and certifying how sustainable buildings are. Its main aim is to reduce the impact buildings have on the environment by looking at things like waste, water, energy, land use, health, and well-being.
Speaking of the blender, with a special mention to Hunter Safety in their newsletter, innocent stated “We set out with high ambitions for safely building the blender, asking everyone to constantly keep attentive and focussing on their own and everyone else’s safety and health. That is quite a job. And this is what happened, we all did it together at the blender.
Everyone has done their bit to ensure a safe workplace. That is fantastic. With a special thanks to Hunter Safety who with great dedication, helped contractors and project leaders to stay sharp on the safety and health of everyone at the blender. We are proud that everyone has gone home safely at the end of the day.”
A few words from our team
Katie Hunter, Managing Director of Hunter Safety Group who worked with the client from the beginning of this project stated “I cannot thank the team enough for their work on this, one of our biggest projects in the history of the business. We proved ourselves to be health and safety experts time and time again and upheld our company values throughout the project, carrying out our tasks with integrity and going above and beyond to ensure the success of the build and the safety of all involved.”
Luke Hunt, Lead Health and Safety Manager to the client said of the project “I can’t put into words what we as a team achieved there. What we managed is remarkable – all the challenges that were put in front of us, from all aspects of the project. To be able to sit there on my last full day on site and look them in the eye, and hand over the project knowing that every day, everyone went home safely – it was by far the biggest moment in my career.”