Introducing Life Saving Rule No 7

Having launched our five Safety Principles and ten Life Saving Rules during last year’s Global Safety Week, we’ve since introduced four of our Life Saving Rules - Life Saving Rule No 1, ‘Our Foundations’, Life Saving Rule No 2, ‘Plant Person Interface’, Life Saving Rule No 9, ‘Underground and Overhead Services’, and Life Saving Rule No 4, ‘Safe Driving’.

In this week’s issue we’re introducing colleagues to Life Saving Rule No 7, Lifting Operations, which explains why lifting items on site requires an approved plan and a secure area. This new rule requires colleagues to:


  • Raise a load over people.
  • Position yourself under a suspended load.


  • Have an approved lift plan in place.
  • Secure the lifting area and prohibit unauthorised access.
  • Use equipment that has had an in-date, thorough examination
  • Keep the load within the lifting capacity of the equipment.
  • Have a competent trained person (slinger/banksman) sling the load.

Commenting on the importance of Life Saving Rule No 7, Associate Director SHEQ, Pat Sheehan, said: “In 2020 two of the Colas Group's fatalities worldwide involved lifting operations. In one the Lorry mounted crane broke down and was replaced with an excavator and during this the sling broke and the load struck the deceased. In the other the crane toppled over and the driver was ejected from the cab and killed. It is therefore very important that all lifts are planned, that all involved are competent and that any changes are carefully assessed before work continues.”

Social Value Portal partnership provides major benefits

Over the past few weeks, we’ve provided ONE online readers with an introduction to the SIP 11 team, and the Social Value Policy they have developed. Built around four core themes, Community, Education, Employment, and Supply Chain – our policy defines Colas’ commitment to ‘achieving long term social, economic and environmental benefits for the communities in which we live and work.’

We’ve also introduced readers to Colas’ ‘Five-year Social Value Strategy’ and outlined how our partnership with the Social Value Portal will enable us to benchmark and improve our performance using the National TOMs framework. This shows our colleagues, clients and stakeholders that we are committed to sustainability.

SIP 11 team member and UK Projects Bid Writer, Duncan Smith, believes this partnership will add enormous value to the business. Duncan explains: “As the owners of the National TOMs framework, the Social Value Portal are the market leaders at helping organisations to understand and measure their social impacts. The TOMs is currently used by more than 60 public-sector authorities, and a number of contractors, so transitioning to the framework was a ‘must” for Colas’. The partnership will offer huge benefits to our teams through all phases of the project lifecycle:

Pre-construction: Using a common approach and “language” for Social Value, will make it easier and quicker for our team to prepare bids, marketing materials and presentations.
Construction: Using the portal’s “dashboard reporting functionality will make it easy for our operational teams to view and report the activities they have delivered, making it more straightforward to deliver tendered commitments.
Review/ continuous improvement: Maintaining a pool of high-quality, validated data will make it easier to benchmark our performance – both internally and externally.

While the framework TOMs will offer major benefits, its success relies on our colleagues and supply chain continually gathering and sharing data and evidence. The SIP 11 team have successfully implemented reporting on our Manchester City Council and Portsmouth PFI contracts, where we have generated £14M Social Value in 2020. They are currently working hard to create processes and resource areas to support business-wide implementation, with further updates expected over the coming weeks.


Triple ‘Standards’ success for UKP

Congratulations to our UK Projects team in Birmingham who have achieved BSI certification in ISO 9001 (Quality Management), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) and ISO 45001 (Health and Safety Management). Hosted by Associate Director, Thibaut Servant and his team from their Birmingham Office and Senior Project Manager, Andy Bond and his team on the A46 Stoneleigh Project, these were the first ISO third party audits to be undertaken by BSI on Colas UK Projects.

For colleagues unaware of the process, the audits are carried out in a systematic fashion, checking to see if we have systems in place for each of the Standards and concentrating on the Plan, Do, Act Review process. The auditors are looking to see if we have systems in place to ensure a Quality end product is delivered, in a safe manner without risk to health and is delivered ensuring there is no adverse risk to the environment. They are also looking to ensure that everything we do complies exactly with all UK Legislation. In addition to this, the fundamental ethos of all ISO Standards is ‘Continuous Improvement’, so as a compliant Company, we must also be able to evidence how we check and monitor what we do at every stage, with sufficient processes and procedures in place to identify where and how we can improve. To ensure we are successful, we must have fully developed and signed off Business Plans, Targets and Objectives.

Commenting on the success of the audit, Associate Director UK Projects, Thibaut Servant said: “It’s been a great team effort and we can now all benefit from the successful outcome as these three BSI standards will demonstrate to prospective clients that they are dealing with a compliant and high-performing supplier. I think it strengthens our offering and I’m excited at the prospect of us being able to add these great achievements to our future bid proposals.”

Stop the spread of COVID-19! Wear a Mask

On Monday (22 February) we listened to the Prime Minister outline the journey the country will be taking to come out of lockdown. Following the announcement our Return to Work Group reconvened and are currently putting together a plan for the safe return of colleagues to our offices in line with Government guidelines.

However, the Government’s message was clearly that it will be a slow and steady journey, so it’s vital that all colleagues remain vigilant, and make sure they follow the guidelines that are in place on our project sites, in our offices and in our homes.

With the virus being spread by droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking, and the droplets being able to be picked up from the air, it is essential that colleagues continue to wear a Colas issued mask, certified to the required standard and covering their mouth and nose at all times and specifically:

  • in communal areas - corridors, tea making areas, toilets and moving to and from meeting rooms,
  • at all times in your allocated working area if it is inside and shared with one or more colleagues,
  • during meetings if other colleagues are present in the room,
  • if travelling in a vehicle with other colleagues.

These rules are mandatory and must be followed even if other measures, such as perspex screens and social distancing have already been applied. However, we understand that there are some cases where individuals may be exempt from wearing a mask and if this applies to you, then we would urge you to discuss this with your Line Manager immediately.

For further information please refer to our Guidance booklet by clicking here.

Pedestrian and cycle improvements in Havant

For the past two weeks our Portsmouth Contracting team have been conducting pedestrian and cycle improvement works on Scratchface Lane on behalf of our client, Havant Borough Council. The £160,000 project involves resurfacing and reconstruction of Bridleway 28 from College Road to Hillmead Gardens. The works will also include the construction of an off-road link from the junction of Newbarn Road / Hulbert Road (B2150) up to the junction of Willodean Close / Hulbert Road. Road markings and signs will be installed on Scratchface Lane and Newbarn Road.

Despite the Bridleway route being in existence for over one hundred years, it wasn’t until very recently recorded as a public right of way. Just three years ago, the Countryside Service proposed a ‘Creation Order’ to record bridleway rights between Havant Bridleway 28 and Hillmead Gardens, and this was then granted making the route maintainable at public expense. This has subsequently led to the current works, which aims to provide a good quality surface on a well-used route that forms a key off-road link between Bedhampton and the developments to the north-west.

Over the next seven weeks our nine-man team will be removing failed sections of path and rebuilding using treated timber edgings, type one recycled stone and self-binding gravel. Drainage grips and filter drainage will also be installed to prolong the life of the path, and the final task will be the laying of asphalt on the full length of the path.

Long Service Celebrations

Every month in 2021, we’ll be celebrating with those colleagues who have achieved long service to the company. See who reached this in February

60 Second Interview

This week we meet up with Nigel Rutherford, who has in his words ‘come home’ to Colas, joining our Carnsew Cornwall Quarry team as Sales Manager. 

Official supporter

This week we’re delighted to announce that we have become an official ‘Supporter’ of the mental health charity, Mates in Mind. A registered UK charity, Mates in Mind raises awareness, addresses the stigma of poor mental health and promotes positive mental wellbeing across workplaces.

All Electric vehicle trial in Portsmouth

Our Portsmouth PFI team will be taking delivery of a brand-new 100% electric Zoe ZE50 van on Monday, as part of our commitment to become a Carbon Net Zero company by 2030. The New Renault ZOE has won plaudits in the motoring press for its fantastic range – up to 245 miles - and its excellent practicality.

Welcome to our new starters

Philip Scott – Regional Operations North
Ethan Kirkham – Regional Operations North

Save on all your motoring needs

From MOTs to new tyres, colleagues can this week save on all their motoring needs with Our People Benefits. Colleagues can get 8% cash back from Halfords and up to £50 off tyres using our exclusive code. Simply click here to find out more or contact the Customer Services Team at

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