Northgate Vehicle Hire, the UK’s largest vehicle rental business, is enhancing its reputation for promoting health and safety among its employees and customers with the launch of a new campaign fronted by Ms Safe and Mr Sound.

Ms Safe and Mr Sound

Darlington-based Northgate, which employs more than 2,000 people and operates a fleet of more than 60,000 vehicles from 62 locations across the UK and the Republic of Ireland and also operates in Spain, has unveiled its 10 key principles to staying safe and sound at work.

The ‘Safe and Sound’ campaign has been launched in the wake of Northgate winning a prestigious Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ (RoSPA) Gold Award for the third consecutive year.

The company’s safety and environment manager Colin Gilstin said: “Two new colleagues, Ms Safe and Mr Sound, are being used to raise and promote health and safety awareness across all of our workplaces. By following these simple but effective 10 key principles, which take a sensible and practical approach to health and safety, employees can help improve standards and avoid accidents or incidents where they work.

“The focus of the campaign is to help influence safety behaviour and attitudes, both of which are paramount in meeting Northgate’s objective of providing a safe place of work.

“We are confident that our existing health and safety systems are very good and rival or better any others in our industry. The company’s safety record is comparable with any organisation because of the controls we already have in place and the culture Northgate has adopted over many years, but we are always looking to improve”.

The 10 principles are being introduced across all areas of Northgate’s business including workshops, rental and sales depots, head office and support services.

The safety principles are supported by other processes and controls which include risk assessments, safety inspections, effective accident and incident investigation, competence training and the continuous development of employees through initiatives such as staff attending British Safety Council accredited training courses which are carried out internally by the Northgate safety and environment department.

Mr Gilstin concluded: “The overriding objective of the campaign is to improve culture, and everyone’s appreciation of working safely. We want this to become an everyday habit rather than an occasional hindrance. We want all employees to ‘work safe, stay safe’ in whatever role or task they carry out.”

The 10 principles to staying safe and sound at work are:
Keep Safe – if you see anything that looks like it could be hazardous, let the company know
Read, look, listen – understand rules, signs and instructions before starting work
Clean up – keep work areas neat and tidy to avoid unnecessary accidents
Cover up – ensure protective clothing and special equipment are in good condition
Speak up – all accidents, incidents and near misses must be reported to your manager
Don’t DIY – do not adjust, modify or repair any work equipment unless competent and authorised to do so
Do it right – only trained and competent people should use work equipment and machinery
Spot check – check tools and equipment are in good condition and use the correct ones for the job
Weigh it up – before lifting, assess the load and capability to move it
Any ideas? – any suggestions about making the workplace safer.

The poster and microsite campaign is fully supported by senior management and all employees in the UK, Ireland and Spain will be given information about the campaign through various mechanisms such as in their safety committee meetings and toolbox talks at locations.

For more information:  For more information please visit Northgate Van Hire