Barratt Developments plc has become the first major housebuilder in the country to be certified by the British Safety Council for the quality of its COVID-19 policies and procedures.
The company, which owns Barratt and David Wilson Homes, is currently building more than 8,000 much-needed new homes across the South West. The five-star housebuilder has developed a detailed set of working practices and protocols to enable both its construction sites and customer facing sales offices and show homes to operate safely. It is these working practices that the British Safety Council has rigorously assessed and found to be in accordance with all UK government and sector guidelines.
Barratt's west region employs almost 650 people with its head office in Aztec West in Bristol and further divisional offices in Bristol and Exeter. The teams are working on 36 developments across the South West.
The review of its COVID-19 policies covered three main operational areas; construction, customer care centres, and sales offices/show homes. The British Safety Council concluded that Barratt Plc has invested significant resources in ensuring its operations during lockdown were safe and that these policies are being continually monitored for their effectiveness. It also found that Barratt has well planned controls and that its communication and training of risks is excellent.
The construction measures put in place by Barratt include new site signage, new site welfare facilities, improved site access and walkways, plus enhanced risk assessments. A nominated Social Distancing Marshal is also now present on all Barratt sites to ensure compliance, together with additional training and support for both employees and sub-contractors.
Equally, there are a range of safety measures and new working procedures for customers too. These include protective Perspex screens, retractable barriers, strict social distancing and, where necessary, personal protective equipment (PPE), plus intercom systems and door locks to enable customers to engage with sales teams before entering offices.
Michael Robinson, chief executive of the British Safety Council, said: "We are really pleased that so many organisations are taking steps to ensure their workplaces are Covid-19 secure by using our established Covid-19 Assurance Assessment. We were very pleased to assess Barratt Developments' corporate Covid-19 policies and procedures applicable to three of their operational areas: construction, customer care centres and sales offices.
"As one of the UK's largest housebuilders, it is right that Barratt is taking seriously how they protect workers and customers. They are the first major housebuilder to undertake our process and I am pleased that they have benefited from the service."
Ian Menham, West regional director for Barratt Developments, added: "Health and safety is our number one priority which is why we developed a range of measures during lockdown to keep people safe. We are very pleased that the British Safety Council has reviewed these measures and ruled that they are safe and effective, helping us to get back building the homes the country needs to support the economic recovery."