BNFL improves safety by working with unions

British Nuclear Fuels has dramatically improved the safety record at
Springfields nuclear plant through fostering a close working relationship
between management, staff and the union.

A partnership agreement with the AEEU at the site has reduced the number of
serious staff accidents from 56 in 1990 to zero, Andrew Donovan, head of HR
European Fuel Business of BNF told the IPA Partnership & Performance
conference last week.

Donovan claimed that the more open working environment that HR has developed
has also seen staff grievances reduced from 20 a year to zero.

This has been achieved despite the prospect of job losses at the Lancashire
plant in the future, as the BNF tries to increase its competitiveness.

He said, "We’ve gone through huge change and we’ve taken the trade
unions and the workforce with us. Our next challenge is to manage job losses
and keep the right people here."

The partnership agreement included training and "getting to know
you" sessions between management and union reps, and led to joint working
on shared issues like safety and training.

Closer working meant that the site was able to develop a new policy of staff
ownership of safety across the site," said Donovan.

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