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Testimonial Collins Reinforcements Ltd - March 2011
Hi, I’m Paul Collins from Collins Reinforcements Ltd, a small family-run company based in Wigan. We’ve been working with Eric now for, I’m thinking around about five years. He started off helping us with our health and safety policy and risk assessments, and since then we’ve gone on to do some training and computer-based training and just developed really the health and safety policy as it’s gone on over the years.
Eric has also done a noise survey for us and from the noise survey it became apparent that we needed a hearing protection area, so that has now been enforced and Eric is now conducting hearing tests for us on a twelve monthly basis to make sure our measures we have in place are adequate.
We manufacture steel for reinforcing concrete which is all done by some heavy machinery inside a factory unit, so the noise that is produced is quite high. There is also a lot of heavy plant used, fork-lift trucks and overhead cranes etc. so in some respects I suppose you could say it’s quite a hazardous place to be I suppose. With the help of Eric, we managed to do a lot of risk assessments and developed safe systems of work, and generally just tidied the place up really. I personally look at the manufacturing area now and think it’s far better now than it was ten years ago, and far safer as well. I think what people are doing in the manufacturing process is less physical work than they were ten years ago. It’s more mechanical now, automated – that’s the word, isn’t it?
A lot of it is more organisation really and putting it down on paper. Maybe we are getting more organised ourselves, and with the help of Eric it is documented as well. Documented organisation, which I suppose is the key isn’t it? There is also the element of managing the system. Eric comes around once a year and makes sure that I’m making sure that the boys are doing things correctly, which is always a good thing isn’t it?
I’ve found that working with Plus Safety you get a reasonable sort of answer to questions you need answering, ‘cos if you ask the HSE or read up in their stuff, it’s all so vague and grey, you don’t always get the answer you are looking for, and if you ask other people that are in the same industry as you, they come up with an answer that you think ‘Oh that doesn’t sound like an answer to me, that sounds like adding more and more problems, and sometimes if you get someone from a third party who looks at it completely different, and comes up with an answer you hadn’t thought of, so it’s just nice to get a third party ( is it a third party or a fourth party?)
In terms of the solutions that have been implemented, they have been easy to implement and they are getting easier now ‘cos I find myself thinking in the same direction as Eric, which I would not have done years ago. I would have thought ‘Oh what a disaster, what am I going to do with that?’ So I have developed personally, and I think that other people working here have as well, they’ve developed and changed their attitude.
The overall experience of working with Plus Safety has been very good actually. It has helped us develop as a business I suppose along the lines of keeping things safe. I don’t like keep using the term ‘health and safety’ all the time, ‘cos that’s just an executive part of the government isn’t it? I like to think of it as working safely with people. It has helped a lot, yes.
Eric hasn’t been the first person I’ve used as a health and safety adviser in Collins Reinforcements Ltd, .but he is a lot better than the person I had before. I have no problems recommending him.
Carlisle Interconnect Tecnologies Ltd. Testimonial - February 2011
I’m Jackie, Manufacturing Manager at CIT and I’m responsible for everything on the shop-floor, stores and engineering. When we originally came to look at health and safety we really decided we hadn’t got enough knowledge between us, so we contacted Plus Safety to see if they could come in and do some courses, and do some training with us. When Plus Safety came in to see us and we looked at all our systems that we had in place,we realised that we did not have enough knowledge to do anything, and what we had in place wasn’t worth much.
So then Plus Safety came in and went through our systems, did a ‘look through’ of them, and from thereon I realised that the impact on me alone felt like I had a lot of work to do.So, working with Plus Safety and Eric and a couple of other guys on our team, we’ve managed to go through the journeyin the 12 months it has taken us, and I feel now that we are quite good in what we do, and understand, and we’ve got the knowledge there. Plus we’ve got Plus Safety to fall back on if we have any problems or need any advice, so I think it’s been a worthwhile journey for everybody.
On a personal level it has given me a lot more confidence in what I know and understand, and it’s also given me a confidence that I can go out to our parent company and pick things up. I hadn’t realised until I actually did that, how much I had learned and how much I’ve taken on board, ‘cos I can walk into places now and think ‘Well that’s not right…. that’s not right…they haven’t got this in place’, and that’s all through Plus Safety and going through the training programmes we’ve gone through.
Everyone is going through the on-line training at the moment. They seem to enjoy going through it, it’s easy enough, it’s good to understand and you learn things from it as well. It has been a good experience for the ones that have done the courses, and it is well worth taking on.
Carlisle Interconnect Technologies Ltd. Testimonial - February 2011
I’m Cath Bardsley and I work for CIT. We are a company which manufactures cable assemblies to go in various things from military products to the automotive industry and to the space industry, so we work with a range of companies. We initially contacted Plus Safety in 2009as we had decided that we needed to up-date our employee training from a health and safety point of view. They hadn’t done anything for many years and there were employees who had joined the company who had never done any formal health and safety training.
When you came in we talked about your training packages, but then we talked about health and safety in general, what our position was, what we were doing currently, and we realised then probably that we were out of touch with it really. No-one had specific responsibility for it, we were doing very little. We were doing the absolute bare minimum, and no-one really had the confidence to carry it out.
So we decided to ask Eric to come in and complete an assessment of us basically, so he spent 2 days with us looking at what we do now and really making recommendations as to what we should actually be doing. As a result of that we decided to go ahead with an installation from Eric, to train us, to make sure we were doing everything we should from a health and safety point of view, putting systems and processes in place, so getting us started and then working with us to make sure we were confident enough to go off and do it on our own.
Eric has been working with us for over a year now and we now have numerous systems in place, a management system, an employee handbook. What we found with those documents is that we actually ‘own’ them, they’ve not just been written for us, we know exactly what’s in there, and the systems and the processes we all use, it’s not something that is just going to be put on a shelf.
At the beginning it was not scary but when Eric originally came in I don’t think we expected to hearwhat we were being told really, I think we thought we were better than we were, so there was some resistance to what we were being told because it seemed like we had a huge mountain to climb but actually it’s not. Because it’s been done over a year, and there have been three main people involved from CIT, we’ve worked as a team so it’s not been on one person’s shoulders. So the journey has been good actually and we feel like we’re in a really good place now, which is great.
The reason why we opted for on-line training initially is that it is so convenient for us. Not all our employees are computer-based, but to take them off the shop-floor for a day or more, and there was at least four training programmes we wanted each person to go through, it would have been extremely disruptive for production.
So we found it extremely convenient, the system has been really easy to use, and we’re really progressing with it now. We obviously have a year to do it so it’s not something we have to panic about, we’ve just got to make sure we’re constantly getting people to do it, so we don’t miss our year’s opportunity to get everyone through the training.
Chris Brammall of Chris Brammall Limited - November 2010
The business was expanding at an increasingly rapid rate and we felt we were getting behind in what we should have been covering from a H&S point of view. Our staffing levels increased from 3 to 12 people and we recognised that we had gaps in our H&S provision. We are blacksmiths and fabricators and needed some professional guidance in developing the H&S side of the business to an acceptable standard.
We were conscious about H&S in the workshop before and we needed to know what we were doing right and what we needed to improve on and PS gave us the right feedback with good positive direction
We have 2 sides to the business. The workshop and site fitting.
As any tradesman knows you do things in a certain way, things that you have done for years and years. Since working with Plus Safety I have become more aware of the risks involved and the effect of those risks on both the people who work for me and the business. You do start thinking a little bit more about processes and teaching and educating the people. It is quite a lengthy process to teach things to people who have been doing things a certain way all their lives. PS kept driving it home to us that we had to make those changes otherwise it would become an issue for the business from a safety point of view, so it gets driven home to you that you have to take these things seriously.
It’s been great working with PS. I have found we can be very frank and we also get a very frank response which is what you need. You need pulling up on stuff and having things explained why, and also what the effect will be of not doing what you should. That is the sort of interaction I like. It is a personal level but very professional and the outcome of your actions explained very clearly.
Putting together all the H&S documentation required by law is a very lengthy process and outside the scope of what we do, and it has been a huge advantage that these have been pulled together by PS.
The SSOW are particularly focussed on our working practices. It is not just a matter of being given a document and saying this is your safe system of work, it is up to us to say what those safe systems are. This is advantageous for us as managers as it makes us take the time to look at that machine and the process involved which makes us stop and consider who should be using it, how should they be using it , what extra training is required, and how we can improve on it.
Working with PS (Eric) has turned the H&S side, which was massively daunting, into a good experience. It has educated us and we have enjoyed working with Eric. The business benefited whilst working with PS as we reviewed our work processes to make them safer which also improved efficiencies and we were able to present a more professional appearance on site
Mark Athersmith of Athersmith Motors - November 2010
I knew Eric as he has conducted a Health & Safety review for me in the past through Cumberland Rural Enterprise Agency. At that time I became aware of what I needed to do from a H&S view although there just never seemed to be the time to get it done.
It was when my insurance company, Aviva, came to do a full insurance inspection that I realised that this work was still outstanding. So I arranged a further review with Plus Safety. Soon afterwards the insurance company gave me a list of mandatory risk improvements to complete, with timescales, as a condition of cover; so this was a good incentive to get the work done.
Our business has grown over last 2 years from 2 people to 6 people and we were not really taking any notice of H&S just doing things safely. Now we had to do something. It is very daunting for people like me who just….never been trained and don’t know too much about it
I’ve found the experience of working with Eric very good. He has guided us through it stage by stage what we need to do and how to do it. It has opened my eyes quite a bit. I have gained a lot more knowledge and become much more aware of H&S issues through our meetings together and going through everything step by step.
The business has benefited by working tidier and more safely, generally everything has improved. My staff are doing the on-line training which they are finding very good. One of them remarked that you can’t just skip through the course, you have to listen to every stage of it before you can move on. They have found it very convenient being able to do it at home or at work, just need to get on-line. I get the e-mail saying what they have done and how far they are. It’s very convenient. A small business like ours couldn’t send guys off for days off. It’s easier to pick an hour out of a day, get them to do an hour here and there.
I’m very pleased with Eric. He’s very professional and has opened my eyes. We’ve got lots done and I’ve enjoyed working with him. It’s been a good experience and hopefully we’ll continue the relationship and he will carry on every year and keep helping us as we go through.
Whenever he says he is coming he is always here. He makes an appointment and sticks to it.
Richard Rose Electrical - December 2010
Andrew Cameron, Director
As a director I am responsible for many areas of the work, one of which is health and safety. In order for us to compete in larger contracts, we have to fulfil certain health and safety criteria, both for CHAS and for specific paying contractors. Part of that means you have to be up-to-date and on-the-ball with all health and safety training requirements. The problem we’ve had over the years is that in order to get all the engineers back to fulfil a course:
it is problematic because it is down-time from work
it is an additional cost that a lot of people don’t want to pay
The solution that we’ve found is an Internet-based training, which means that any engineers with any down-time of say an hour or so are able to complete training courses and get their training up-to-date. We have all the documentation we need from it which can be forwarded to existing and prospective customers.
It is of better value, in my view, than going out and doing a course in a classroom. A lot of people on courses in classrooms can get away with sitting at the back of the class and at the end of the course, as long as they haven’t fallen asleep, they get a piece of paper that says they have passed. With the Plus Safety training you have to complete one question after another and you have to pay attention to the information that is provided otherwise you will not be able to answer the question. For me this makes it more valid than a lot of health and safety training courses that are out there, which is why I recommend it.
Judith, Health and Safety Manager
At Richard Rose we take health and safety very seriously. We make sure all our staff has the necessary training and we found that taking people off site for a day and co-ordinating their training had been causing problems, losing time at work etc. So we decided to do some internet-based training and we contacted Plus Safety. The training is absolutely superb.
Our staff can do the training on their computers, either at work or at home. This has been really useful to us when the engineers come back to the office and we have nowhere else for them to go. At least then they can sit at a computer for an hour, they can end the training midway and it can be saved, stored and they can go back to that same course. They have found this relatively easy as I had prepared a little crib sheet for them with their passwords so they could all log on. The majority of them said that doing training this way has been relatively easy. We’ve had one or two who would have preferred pen and paper, or to sit in a class, but it really has been very, very good.
I did some of the trialling at the beginning on some of the awareness sessions and I found it very easy, but really as I’m the administrator for the system, I decided that I would just take on the manager’s area of the website. This means I can check whether they’ve done any training and print any reports off, We can change any of the pass marks so the main particular courses we need are higher pass marks. We get certificates which are printed off and given to the lads for their own files.
We scan the certificates and the beauty of that is that when we go to certain jobs we can e-mail all the forms to the guys we work for. We’ve had to do this a lot for all the main contractors. So it really has been very good for us at Richard Rose Electrical.
Fayrer Garden Hotel - December 2010
Although we’ve had some health and safety knowledge in the past, it hasn’t been as much as I would have liked, so I was very keen to get a health and safety consultancy involved to point us in the right direction. I found that Plus Safety was able to offer exactly what we wanted. Health and Safety is such a minefield but the consultant put everything into perspective and it wasn’t as big a job as I was expecting. Certainly with the right guidance it puts everything into more manageable chunks. The work is there but it’s a lot more organised and suddenly everything slots into place and after 18months we have a pretty good Health and Safety Policy which is being implemented and it works a treat!
Being an old building there are lots of things that are wonky, not straight and so we felt that there was always the possibility that instances could occur and that we would be liable, so it’s always good to have input from someone else to say actually yes this might happen but we can assess the risk involved and take it from there. We had a few lapses in the management of our Accident Book, our fire safety could have been improved and general bits and pieces.
We got involved with Plus Safety and found that they were able to help us do the whole thing from start to finish. From very early on in our risk assessments, little things like slips, trips and falls that are of course associated with our wooden floors and stairs, and uneven surfaces in our dining room, all the way up to our electrical safety, and of course the grounds outside. We have 5 acres of grounds and our gardener can be very isolated. He is using powerful equipment and I had no idea that this was such a high risk situation as he is a lone worker. So again, having input from someone else from a safety background made it so much easier. Another instance where Plus Safety helped us was in the kitchen. We have a small compact kitchen and cater for up to 70. It’s not the easiest of kitchens to get around as it is very disjointed and we have space constraints. The risk assessments that Plus Safety helped us put together have enabled us to make it a much safer working environment.
Another area where Plus Safety helped us was the cellar where access isn’t great at the best of times, and from thinking “it will be alright and never happen to us”, it has certainly opened our eyes to the consequences involved if it did happen, and the liability we would face. The knowledge and expertise of Plus Safety were invaluable in helping us sort out the risks involved with gas storage and ventilation, and with the boilers being down there as well the safety related to gas and water. The cellar itself is encased in a film of asbestos coating for fire prevention. This is great in one sense but highly dangerous in another. Through Plus Safety’s experience we were able to get that sealed so that it doesn’t cause as much of a danger as it would have done if someone was to strike it when removing a chair, for example.
Being an old building there is asbestos everywhere, but knowing how to treat it and how to look after it meant that we have been able to sort it without putting anyone at risk which is great. Similarly with the electrical tests and things like that, having the knowledge of what has to be done means that we are not putting anyone at risk. We are able to document it and keep on top of it. It is not something that is pushed to the back of your mind. Having this system has helped me and it has certainly helped everyone else in the hotel.
In conjunction with Plus Safety we have done a lot of training. This includes fire safety training and evacuation of the buildings, which is now much better than it used to be. We have also done training in working at heights, slips trips and falls and how to avoid them as such, and basic manual handling. We don’t do an awful lot of these things but it was more to provide guidance to inform people of the dangers involved and to make the right choices when it comes to doing things. For example, don’t leave the cable trailing along the corridor, use the plug on the other side, and two people carry tables rather than our previous practice of only one person doing this. Really informing people to make the right choices, and suddenly it all just slots into place and works well and creates that safe environment we’re all wanting, but not with all the mountains and mountains of paperwork that you think are associated with it.
Plus Safety gave me the tools to be able to inform people better. I have had only basic health and safety training and it was good to have someone with a broad spectrum of health and safety knowledge to support me through the process, and also to include things I didn’t know about.
The on-going processes contained in the H&S Manual have ensured we maintain those high standards. So certainly Plus Safety helped us no end really in trying to make our workplace much safer than it was two years ago.
Working with Eric has been excellent, mainly because he is so approachable. Right from the start it was a very personal and very bespoke service. It was very much “This is your property, and this is what we need to look at”. It’s not an ‘all tarred with the same brush’ scenario, it was very much “Let’s look at what the problems are in your property and we can go from there”. An action plan was developed which identified what we needed to do and we worked from the top and down to the bottom. At the very end which took us about 18 months we had our own Health and Safety Policy. All the way through it Eric was available if I needed help or advice. On a number of occasions something might have happened and it was always nice to have a friendly voice at the end of a ‘phone saying “right this is how you sort it” or “this is what you do to prevent the same problem happening again”. It has been great, the whole process has been fantastic. We look forward to working with Plus Safety in the future to maintain the policies and keep everything up-to-date
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