Unsung Heroes 2010 - Bill Priday

Bill PridayIncreasingly the health, safety and environment is having an impact on the way the industry does business. Stagecoach Manchester needed to find an individual who was aware of the needs of the business, but also had a passion for health and safety and an acute awareness of how the company business affects the environment ...... well they found him, and he’s called Bill Priday.

Bill Priday has a dual role at Stagecoach Manchester. He splits his time between being the Health, Safety and Environment advisor for the company and being part of the Roadside Service Delivery Team. His HS&E responsibilities are to ensure compliance with group HS&E policies and procedures and to develop and implement strategies to improve the HS&E awareness and performance at depot and company level. This involves taking a proactive approach to HS&E. This means developing existing audit procedures to ensure they remain relevant and deliver outcomes, and are not just a 'tick box" exercise. The role is very much hands-on, assisting local depot management with both practical advice and sharing best practice. Reporting to the Engineering Director, Bill is tasked with improving HS&E audit performance and employee accident reduction.

Bill started work with the company as a bus driver in 1989 and continued in this role for 18 years at the Princess Road depot. Bill then put his name forward to represent Princess Road as their local HS&E representative. During this time Bill demonstrated a talent and passion for HS&E, which resulted in his appointment in 2008 as the HS&E Advisor for Stagecoach Manchester. This was a new role in the company and Bill has worked passionately to deliver a high standard and has taken the role and the performance of the company to new heights. The role is delivered on a part time basis, allowing Bill to also maintain his understanding of service delivery through his other part time role as an Outside Inspector.

Accident Prevention and Reduction Strategy

Bill is called upon to investigate employee accidents- involving depot visits, taking statements, and gathering evidence to identify the root causes. But Bill, being Bill has extended this responsibility further. In 2009, he developed a strategy for Stagecoach Manchester to reduce employee accidents. The course focussed on work place accidents, the causes of accidents and how detailed investigation can identify trends and therefore provide an excellent framework for accident prevention. The course was delivered by Bill to all supervisors and managers and it has had a significant effect on employee accident reduction, which is down year on year 56%.

Health and Safety Initiatives

Using his own initiative Bill has developed several in house HS&E related training courses, ranging from roadside recovery training to his secondry support course focusing on the correct supporting of vehicles in the workshop.

He has developed the route risk assessments for our drivers. The format and attention to detail of these assessments has been recognised by other companies in the Stagecoach group, who have taken up Bill's assessment format as the standard.

Bill has created and delivered contractor site safety courses, where he explains the HS&E expectations the main contractors must meet whilst working on our sites. With Bill's attention to detail and relentless following up of his health and safety findings the company has successfully improved year on year annual group health and safety scores.

Bill is also regularly called upon by the group Director of Health and Safety to conduct studies and assessments of various HS&E projects.

Environmental Initiatives

As a responsible operator, Stagecoach Manchester has been working to reduce the carbon footprint of the company through recycling, waste reduction and energy consumption reduction. Bill was instrumental in the setting up of the depot 'green teams' which focus on environmental issues, and with his help, guidance and enthusiasm are delivering year on year reduction in electricity usage of over 20%.

Bill recognised that the company had to improve their recycling credentials. Following extensive and thorough research, Bill suggested that the company use a specialist waste recycling firm called Bagnal and Morris. Working closely with them to analyse waste disposal data and having conducted a field trial at Hyde Road depot, Bill's recycling recommendations have now been implemented across all depots. The company is now forecasting to cut its waste disposal costs by over 30%, whilst increasing the recycling of general waste over the next few years to over 90%.

In 2008 Bill recommended the company take the portable appliance testing of electrical equipment in house, he carried out a detailed investigation into the test equipment and training required, this initiative has resulted in annual savings of over £20,000 against using an outside contractor. Bill is now responsible for all Stagecoach Manchester PAT testing.

Bill’s enthusiasm about health and safety is infectious, he has the ability to energise people around him in what is, lets be honest, not the most stimulating of subjects. He has the ability to communicate this at all levels, from delivering a presentation on waste recycling initiatives at a company management meeting, to holding a secondary support course for first year apprentices.

He is well respected by the company directors, his colleagues and peers, not only because he has experience as a bus driver, but he has proved his ability to give sound HS&E advice, backed up by research and knowledge of the industry which has resulted in tangible outcomes and benefits for the company and the group. It's those tangible outcomes that set Bill apart: he is commercially aware of the impact HS&E can have on any business and yet he has demonstrated that his HS&E initiatives can, and do, save money.

Bill meets regularly with the Engineering Director to discuss HS&E issues and after bouncing around ideas it is not unusual for the Engineering Director to receive an email from Bill in the early hours of the morning, where Bill has been researching and comes up with his classic line .... " I've been
thinking...".

Probably the most startling fact about all of Bill's achievement is, that all this has been achieved by Bill working part time, as his other day job is as a route inspector on the roadside service delivery team. He is studying, in his own time, the recognised Health and Safety Qualification NEBOSH (National Examination Occupational Safety and Health). This clearly demonstrates just how committed and focused Bill is in his role: he really does eat, sleep and drink the health and safety of his fellow employees, and understands the way we work has a massive impact on the environment around us.

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