United Biscuits tells contractors to adopt Safety Passport scheme

United Biscuits (‘UB’), a leading European manufacturer of biscuits and snacks, has called on its contractors to adopt the industry’s safety passport scheme in a drive to further improve safety at all its manufacturing and distribution sites.

The company has informed 600 contractor organisations that from January next year they will be required to present their safety passports before commencing work on site.

It is expected that hundreds of contractors’ employees will attend the two-day health and safety training courses that provide specific information about how best to manage the workplace hazards in the food and drinks industry. Safety passports will be issued to successful candidates.

The passport scheme has been developed by the UK’s leading authority in health and safety passport schemes, Safety Pass Alliance (SPA) Ltd., based in Rugby, Warwickshire.

SPA has already successfully introduced safety passport schemes in several other business sectors where leading companies have reported a dramatic reduction in accident statistics among visiting contractors’ employees.

Andrew Melachrino, UB’s health and safety environment manager, said: “The need to carry a safety passport will apply to all contractors whose work involves a significant health and safety aspect. All the training will be held on our sites.

“The decision to ask contractors’ employees to carry passports is part of our ongoing drive to improve contractor health and safety.

“We feel it will help us to improve the competency of contractors and demonstrate to them that we are serious about health and safety.”

He said that UB is also introducing measures to ensure that contractor organisations are operating sound health and safety practices within their own companies.

Ray Gibbs, SPA’s managing director, said: “Most companies in the food and drinks sector require contractors to enter their premises to carry out vital work such as repairs, maintenance and installation of new equipment.

“Large companies like UB are among those that recognise that the passport scheme benefits the bottom line of both the client and contractor as it reduces the time needed to be spent on site inductions. It also provides the peace of mind that only a common, recognised and validated standard of training can provide.”

The passport is a robust and secure card – similar to a UK driving licence – that displays a tamper-proof photograph of the successful trainee. The photocard features a special ultra-secure ‘holocote’ finish to prevent fraud.