<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1052797658146671&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Days lost through injury reduced 25%

Ibstock Brick is one of largest brick manufacturers in the UK, with 20 factories producing more than 500 styles of brick. Like any brick manufacturer, they need to counter the risks that the rapid, repetitive handling of bricks presents; to do so, Ibstock Brick contracted an osteopath to take a new approach to manual handling injuries. They also invested in more suitable equipment. As a result, injuries and absences have reduced, benefiting employees, managers and the company.

A holistic approach

Rather than just tackling the manual handling tasks, Ibstock Brick looked to remedy many contributing factors to injury.

Training in injury prevention and symptom recognition

An osteopath provides training on how the body works, appropriate handling techniques and symptom recognition.

Training in easy self-treatment and exercises

The osteopath explains to first-aiders and crew straightforward treatments and exercises that can help prevent injury.

Pre-employment medicals

Potential staff are evaluated for existing conditions so that new starters are not given tasks that may aggravate existing injuries.

Early treatment for all manual handling injuries

All manual handling injuries (including those that occur at home) are seen by the osteopath within 48 hours. There are also annual check-ups with the osteopath to identify any problems early.

The proof is in the numbers

Ibstock Brick’s proactive approach to manual handling safety quickly paid off. Benefits included:

  • Days lost through injury reduced by 25%
  • Brick production capacity improved by 1.5%
  • Lost time incidents cut from 14 in the year preceding the initiative to 5
  • Manual handling injuries reduced from 10 to 3 per year
  • Lost time injury rate dropped from 30 days lost per 100,000 staff hours to 23 days lost

As a result of these changes, the company’s reputation improved and their efforts were recognised with an award for ‘Best Occupational Health Initiative’ for a medium-size company.

A happy workforce

The initiative was well received by the workforce. At each stage of the initiative, feedback from the workforce has helped the scheme to improve. Production crews have found solutions themselves to problems that had affected their work for years. The workforce has become more stable as staff retention improved.

As a result of these changes, the company’s reputation improved and their efforts were recognised with an award for ‘Best Occupational Health Initiative’ for a medium-size company.

‘We’ve fewer shorthanded teams which has helped to reduce stress. We’re achieving higher productivity and can spend more time on further improvements!’

Ray Austin, Site Manager

A worthwhile investment

Ibstock Brick spent $540,000 on new equipment designed to reduce manual handling hazards with a working life of at least 15 years. Over two years, the cost of the external osteopath was $18,500 for training and treatment.

With such a significant investment, Ibstock Brick were looking to reap significant financial rewards – and they did. Brick production increased by at least $55,000 a year. Added to this figure is the savings associated with a lower staff turnover, the reduction in time spent on managing production with short-handed teams, and reductions in potential civil claims from injuries.

These savings have enabled the initiative to pay for itself over the lifetime of the new equipment.