SAFETY conscious staff at GSK’s antibiotics manufacturing plant in Ulverston have clocked up an astonishing two million hours without a reportable work-related injury or illness.

The workforce of more than 250 has completed almost three and a half years injury-free, the site’s health and safety manager Peter Tayler revealed.

He said working safely was ‘in Ulverston’s DNA’ and that GSK set the bar very high in terms of recording injuries or illnesses at work.

One of the factors behind the remarkable injury-free run was that all unusual incidents were reported then discussed by work teams.

Mr Tayler said: “By not being afraid to put up your hand when there is a near miss and being encouraged to speak up when something is spotted which doesn’t look or feel right, working safely is embedded in the site’s culture.

“We encourage all staff to be on the look-out for potential safety risks and in the three and a half years’ run the number of risks identified and reported by staff has increased four-fold. We have a target in 2014 of a further 25 per cent increase, and that’s not just reporting incidents but identifying appropriate actions and implementing them.”

“Everyone is determined to keep the run going. One of our next strategies is to address aspects of behavioural safety. If we see someone doing something which might have potential safety consequences, we will raise it there and then, not in a way to criticise or to embarrass but in the spirit of looking out for one another. It takes a mature, responsible workforce to be comortable with this approach.

“And we believe we have the culture to do so.”

Mr Tayler said safe working was ‘very much the shared responsibility of operations and departmental managers and their teams’. He added that GSK’s Ulverston’s workforce now had its sights on the next goals of three million hours and five years injury-free.