Happy New Year and welcome to 2020

I hope that you all enjoyed a well-earned break and have returned refreshed and energised for the coming year not to mention decade!

On behalf of the Board, I would like to begin the New Year by thanking everyone who works for and on behalf of Tilhill Forestry for their hard work during 2019. It was a challenging year with a good deal of change, but I have been impressed by your response and resilience in meeting those challenges.

In particular I would like to thank our Safety & Assurance team for their dedication through a particularly unsettling period while we have been recruiting a new head of department.

They have performed above and beyond, while picking up the workload following the departure of Kirsty Adams.

I am therefore pleased to be able to announce that Chris Pike will be re-joining the company in this role early in March. The knowledge and understanding that Chris already has of our business and the challenges that this industry faces will, I’m sure you will agree, complement and strengthen our team and carry on driving us to continued improvement in our Safety & Assurance culture.

One of my first actions after taking over the reins of Managing Director from George McRobbie was to review a number of our policies including our Health & Safety Policy. Signing these on behalf of the Tilhill Board reaffirms our commitment for Tilhill Forestry to achieve high standards of health and safety management and ensure the safety of both employees, and others, who may be affected by our activities.

The policy highlights that all employees are made aware of this policy and their legal duties and responsibilities on health and safety issues.

We endeavour to remind all staff and contractors of our legal duties and responsibilities together with good practice examples of health and safety management through regular updates within these monthly bulletins.

Following the Christmas break we need to get back into the swing of things and focus on the task at hand. It is essential that we all re-establish our good safety habits and continue to INSIST ON SAFETY. While over the last year we’ve seen a slow decrease in our accident rate we mustn’t be complacent.

Records shows that there is generally an increase in safety accidents and violations when people return to work after a break. We can sometimes be slow to readjust to the pace of what is required and things that have been second nature may be temporarily forgotten. That can include safety procedures and how to follow them.

When you return to work it is vital that you reassess your work environment and refresh your knowledge of the safety procedures that apply to you and your colleagues.

Check if anything has changed during your break. At this time of year there may have been adverse weather that has caused your working environment to change. There could be an increased risk of slips, trips and falls or perhaps machine overturn due to slippery slopes or an increased risk of diffuse pollution.

Before starting work, it is important to take five minutes to consider the following guidance:

BE SEEN: Wear a clean Hi-Viz in good condition and take care around moving vehicles and machinery.

KEEP WARM: Follow the guidance on keeping warm. This includes wearing several well-fitting layers, protecting your extremities and moving around.

SLIPS, TRIPS AND FALLS: Take extra care when walking on site due to slippery or icy conditions.

REVIEW: November’s Bulletin urged us to STOP, THINK, PLAN, DO. Review all of your paperwork before starting in order to make sure it is relevant. Review the site to ensure nothing has changed. If something has changed ensure you review your risk assessments and working methods.

As we start this new decade, we can look towards a positive future and when returning to work during January please ensure that you INSIST ON SAFETY.

Gavin Adkins – Managing Director