Case Studies

Saint-Gobain Building Distribution

The Client

Working within building and construction is widely regarded as high-risk. Saint-Gobain Building Distribution has made health and safety its top priority with a strong focus on continually improving all aspects of its performance in this crucial area. 

In the UK and Ireland, some of the best known and respected companies are part of Saint-Gobain such as British Gypsum, Isover, Saint-Gobain Glass, Artex, Solaglas, Weber, Saint-Gobain PAM, Ecophon and Saint-Gobain Abrasives. Collectively they employ over 17,000 people at more than 1,000 sites. 

The Challenge

As the UK’s leading supplier of timber and building materials, Saint-Gobain’s businesses form a robust, integrated supply chain partner that has the strength and flexibility to support the most diverse range of customer requirements. Together these businesses offer a first-class range of products and innovative material solutions that give architects and designers the ability to respond to the latest trends, whilst meeting the most exacting performance and legislative standards.

As a result of recent legislation, including the Health and Safety (Offences) Act (2009) and the Corporate Manslaughter Act (2008), Saint Gobain are vigilant when it comes to their legal obligations.

Kevin Crawley, Health and Safety Director at Saint-Gobain Building Distribution UK & Ireland said “It’s important that we keep up-to-date with the latest health and safety legislation and to ensure we have a system in place to implement this, especially as the industries in which we work can be dangerous if the correct procedures are not followed. It is also important to be aware that new sentencing guidelines on health and safety offences demonstrate much tougher penalties for companies who are found guilty of a gross breach of care.”

The Solution

As part of its commitment to maintaining the highest standards of health and safety, Saint-Gobain Building Distribution UK & Ireland, became a client of Alcumus SafeContractor.

Alcumus SafeContractor is a third party accreditation scheme that assesses the health and safety competence of contractors and service providers. Under the Alcumus SafeContractor system, businesses undergo a vetting process, which examines the health and safety procedures and their track record for safe practice. 

Those companies meeting the high standard are included on a database, which is accessible to registered users only via a secure website. From a client’s perspective, Alcumus SafeContractor provides evidence that clients are meeting their relevant legal requirements, increased confidence in the health and safety competence of contractors and ensures that contractor lists are managed more effectively.

Kevin Crawley explained, “Now we have introduced the Alcumus SafeContractor scheme, we can ensure that there is consistency on all of our sites in our approach to assessing the compliance and resources of all contractors to work safely. The scheme’s holistic approach means that managing health and safety issues is more efficient and reduces the risk of unsafe working practices. Alcumus SafeContractor has streamlined the process of appointing contractors and alleviated the strain on our internal resource. It has allowed our team to focus mainly on the property maintenance of our numerous sites, which in itself is a huge task". 

We assessed other well-known third-party accreditation schemes before selecting Alcumus SafeContractor. The decision was motivated by the fact Alcumus SafeContractor has the greatest synergy with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) which means we can rest assured that we are compliant to the highest standard in health and safety practice.”

Download a copy of Saint-Gobain's Alcumus SafeContractor case study