Wates Group

Background facts

  • The Wates Group is one of the largest privately-owned construction, development and property services companies in the UK.
  • The business employs around 3,700 employees directly and works with approximately 10,000 supply chain operatives and partners.
  • Wates has delivered projects for many clients, including retail giants such as John Lewis and Lloyds Banking, as well as many city councils, local authorities and public and private landlords.

The challenge

As part of its vision to create a zero-harm environment on every site, the Wates Group wanted to reduce the amount of silica dust on its sites.

The nature of the work meant the workforce will come into contact with many types of dust, ranging from low toxicity dusts, such as gypsum, to wood dusts; and to one of the most toxic dusts – silica.

Silica, is present in a wide range of construction materials, such as bricks, tiles and concrete, and becomes airborne through cutting, drilling and grinding, and even sweeping dusty floors. Wates Group wanted to prevent employees from being exposed to silica dust.

The response

Learn more about how Wates Group improved the control of exposure to silica dust in its workplace through a new campaign called ‘Bin the broom’ which aimed to raise awareness on how employees could manage the risks through eliminating the hazard, modifying the workplace environment and processes, and using effective extraction and suppression solutions. In this case study you’ll find ‘Good practice takeaways’ that can be used in your own organisation.