health and safety

Achieve zero harm

Achieve a Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) of 0.5 or less and Total Recordable Case Frequency Rate (TRCFR) of 1 or less

“The global pandemic has presented an extraordinary challenge, throughout which our focus has been first and foremost on protecting lives and livelihoods. Our employees rose to the challenge, adapting to new ways of working in response to the risks posed by COVID-19 so that we could continue to provide the essential materials to maintain infrastructure, utilities and public services, and the safety of residential accommodation.”

Andy Shuttlewood, Director HSQE


We are committed to building a zero harm culture focusing on continuous improvement and an ever-safer working environment. 

Providing a safe and healthy working environment for employees, contractors and wider communities is fundamental to building our future.


Achieved New ISO 45001 Certification

Occupational Health and Safety Standard across the business


Lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR)

ROSPA Gold award

For high health and safety standards

Rising to the challenge - COVID-19 pandemic

2020 was a year like no other, protecting lives and livelihoods in the midst of a global pandemic was unprecedented.  As always, keeping everyone safe remained our top priority and we acted quickly to put the right safeguarding measures in place to keep people safe and continue to provide the essential materials to ensure the country could keep functioning. Whether moving from office to homeworking or adapting to new site safety procedures, our employees were instrumental in ensuring our business was able to continue to operate safely during the pandemic. 

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of working together to put the health and safety of people first.  We moved quickly to implement best practice measures from the outset, in line with UK Government and industry guidelines. This resulted in the temporary closure of many of our sites and offices and meant adapting our working practices, through the provision of our IT networks, to make arrangements for many of employees to work remotely from home. With so many of our colleagues working remotely it was important to ensure that their workspace was as comfortable as possible and that everyone was working healthily from home. A series of short tutorial videos were launched to provide guidance on getting the basics right and process implemented for employees to identify where additional support or equipment was required. 

We enabled a controlled return to the workplace, working closely with our industry trade body the Mineral Products Association (MPA) to develop a guide to COVID secure working practices. The successful guidance was designed to support members in keeping employees, contractors, suppliers, and customers safe on site. The A5 pocket guide, uses relatable graphics, to help employees understand the behaviours that they need to adopt to keep themselves. their families, colleagues and the public safe as they go about their daily work. 



We monitor and report on the safety performance of all our operations and include our employees, contractors and contract hauliers in our safety performance data. Across our business operations there were 109 recordable incidents giving a Total Recordable Case Frequency Rate (TRCFR) of 2.22 incidents for every million hours worked in 2020. Our Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) was 1.24 with the total of 39 lost time injuries reported during the period. Any incident is one too many and we remain committed to driving continuous health and safety improvements across our business to reduce incident rates and achieve our commitment of zero harm.

During the year Tarmac was awarded, for the second year running, the internationally recognised RoSPA Gold award for demonstrating high health and safety standards. The award is recognition of the efforts across all Tarmac sites to improve health, safety and wellbeing in 2020 at work and at home and recognises our collaboration with contractors and other interested parties on this important issue. Tarmac was also highly recommended at the 2020 Chartered Institute of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) awards for an innovative inflatable safety barrier we designed to reduce worksite breaches by acting as a visual deterrent to road users, increasing the safety of onsite highways maintenance workers.

Health Safety Roadmap -2021 

Our strategy for improving health and safety and achieving our commitment to Work Safe Home Safe continues to be outlined in our 2021 Health and Safety Roadmap and focuses on four strategic pillars:

1. Leadership and culture
Setting the standards, leading by example, training and developing knowledge and competence of frontline supervisors.

2. Management systems
Continuing to embed our health and safety management systems and controls across the business. And managing the transition to the international occupational health and safety standard ISO 45001.

3. Communication
Maintaining a robust health and safety communications framework. Encouraging shared learning and preventive action following an incident.

4. Assurance and governance
Establishing risk / opportunities registers. Focusing on root cause and streamlining management review and reporting tools.

National Skills and Safety Park

In February, we were delighted to welcome His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge to officially open our National Skills and Safety Park. The Park provides practical, hands-on safety training in an environment and with the equipment used in Tarmac operations. All operational employees, including new starters, emerging industry talent, apprentices, graduates and those retraining from other sectors will benefit from the experience, helping to build our culture of safety.


Effective Safety Management

In 2020, our business successfully achieved certification to the new international ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. The new standard replaces BS OHSAS 18001. In order to achieve this certification, independent audits were undertaken at over 50 sites across the business, as well many audits conducted by our own in-house safety experts and our Quality and Assurance team. The new management system is a cornerstone of our efforts to further reduce workplace incidents.


The COVID-19 pandemic brought considerable uncertainty and concern to all of us at a time when many colleagues were asked to work remotely from home or socially distanced on sites, at a time when closer engagement and support was needed. We know that looking after our mental health is just as important as looking after our physical health. The changes in working and personal situations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has put a greater emphasis on how valuable it is to maintain good communications and mental health. 

We are committed to fostering an inclusive working environment that supports our people at all times and we are helping to break down the stigma around mental health by encouraging our employees to have open conversations about this important topic. 

Building and expanding on the good progress we have made on raising awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing, in October we launched Tarmac’s Wellbeing Plan to make sure everyone in the business gets the support they need, across different aspects of life. This will be a cornerstone of our approach to safety and wellbeing going forward and will be an important part of our new sustainability strategy to be launched in 2021. 

Wellbeing Plan

Wellbeing is the feeling of being happy, healthy and comfortable. This can mean different things to different people, but the four elements we are concentrating on are mental, physical, social and financial wellbeing. These are all closely linked and influence each other, so by helping to support employees with each of these elements, we believe we can help to maintain positive wellbeing overall.


Physical Wellbeing

Physical wellbeing starts with ensuring employees, contractors and all people who come into contact with our business can do so in a safe manner, underpinned by our ethos of Work Safe Home Safe. This ethos encompasses ensuring we keep employees healthy and safe whilst in work and manage any risks in the workplace through occupational health programmes. 

Staying active and healthy also contributes to physical wellbeing but it is not just about exercise – it also includes diet and nutrition, maintaining good sleep patterns, and cutting back on bad habits like drinking too much alcohol and smoking. This can help fight illness and infection, and reduce the risk of serious medical conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and strokes. It can also boost mental alertness, mood and energy levels.

Mental Wellbeing

When we hear the term ‘wellbeing’, the mental aspect is probably the first thing that comes to mind. It is well-known that feeling stressed, anxious or having a problem you feel you can’t talk about, it can cause physical health and social relationships to suffer.

Financial Wellbeing

People need to feel they have enough money to live a comfortable life and look after ourselves and their families. If, for whatever reason, they don’t feel financially secure and independent, it can seriously affect self-esteem, performance and all-round wellbeing.

Social Wellbeing

An important part of being happy and successful is building healthy relationships and being able to maintain positive social interactions with others. The importance of the social side of wellbeing has been brought into the spotlight since the outbreak of COVID-19. With furlough, lockdowns, working from home and self-isolation, the restrictions on social interactions have highlighted the importance of positive relationships on physical and mental health, along with overall wellbeing.

Mates in Mind continues to raise awareness, address the stigma of poor mental health and improve positive mental wellbeing in construction and related industries across the UK.


Enhancing Positive Wellbeing

Throughout the pandemic we have communicated with all colleagues several times a week to ensure everyone was kept fully informed of the latest developments, COVID safety guidance, company actions and to provide wellbeing support. We have held regular mental wellbeing webinars and virtual events to raise awareness and encourage open conversations about mental health.

As a Business Champion of ‘Mates in Mind’, a charity set up to encourage discussion around mental health in the construction industry, Tarmac has rolled out a training programme for employees and key managers to raise awareness of mental health issues. We have been training more of our managers to help them better understand mental health and how they can support it. We have started Mental Health First Aider training and have developed some great resources for employees to access via the Tarmac intranet. We also marked World Mental Health Day, an internationally recognised day for global mental health education and awareness, where we shared informative resources and encouraged employees to have open discussions. 

We also provide support to our colleagues through our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), LifeWorks, a free, confidential, independent helpline available to all employees and immediate families, offering advice and support through a personal crisis or stressful situation, be it in their professional life or at home.

Social Wellbeing
While people have been physically distanced from one another, we have seen an explosion of virtual contacts as people have reached out to fill the gap. We have encouraged teams to communicate and build opportunities for social interactions, albeit remotely. As soon as the national lockdown was announced, people from across the business shared activities, parenting and wellbeing tips to help each other through the experience of being cut off from their usual support networks. Tarmac’s community networks were established to help people get talking to each other on issues that are of importance to them.

It was also important to ensure colleagues, who were fuloughed for a period of time during 2020, were kept up to date with what was happening in the business, so that they stayed informed and stayed connected. We achieved this by providing a weekly newsletter update.

Following the pandemic, it is more important now than ever to be conscious of mental and social wellbeing and to know where to get help and to be confident of raising issues. We encourage employees to do what they can to keep in touch with our colleagues, family and friends and notice when they are struggling. In our wellbeing webinar series, we have held a focused session on social wellbeing to raise awareness of its importance. 

Financial Wellbeing
Experiencing financial problems can make people feel ashamed or afraid to talk about them, which is why we offer confidential and impartial support through our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), LifeWorks.  We have also developed a new Money section on our employee portal ‘Tarmac Rewards’, which provides a wealth of useful guidance to help employees better understand some of the key financial areas that impact us all and know where to seek help if they need it. We used a session in our wellbeing webinar series to signpost employees to these tools and how they can help. 

Looking forward

Having reached the end of 2020, we are about to launch the next phase of our sustainability strategy. Safety remains a key priority for our business, and we will continue to drive towards our goal of zero harm. Alongside this, we will transition our focus from health to wellbeing to embed a culture that enhances positive wellbeing. Our Wellbeing Plan will focus on making significant strides forward in the four key areas: physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, social wellbeing and financial wellbeing.