Presenting certificates after training over 100 employees is a work highlight. Over the past three months I have worked closely with a client in Manchester to implement a full health and safety management system that complies with their legal requirements.
One of the key client objectives was that the company would, at the end of the process, be able to apply for compliance awards for their industry sector that would raise their profile further and, lead to increased business and reduce staff turnover at the same time.
At the initial meeting with the client, it was evident that very little in terms of ‘health and safety’ was in place. A blank sheet of paper was my starting point. By working systematically I was able to put into place all that is required for the company to meet their legal obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Throughout the whole process, regular meetings with the client enabled her to learn what she needed to do, the whys and wherefores of health and safety management, and, how to evidence compliance in the future.
One of the many issues identified, was training for over 120 employees in fire safety and display screen equipment (DSE) and manual handling was urgently needed. Fire safety awareness training was urgently needed since the company is based in one of the most iconic buildings in Manchester. The risk of them being responsible for a fire was not an option. Also, the lack of DSE training was clearly evident in the way many people were stooping over their desks. Chairs and screens were set too low meaning that back ache and eyestrain could surely follow.
Despite the company sharing occupancy with other businesses and residential flats, no-one had considered, planned or carried out an evacuation and subsequently could come unstuck in a live situation.
As has happened before, in the middle of a training session, the fire alarms sounded (nothing to do with me) and everyone had a chance to practice what they had learnt. Everything went well from our side when everyone safely evacuated down two floors in less than two minutes. However, that could not be said for the other businesses, some of whom failed to evacuate at all.
By the time three fire engines arrived to investigate, only a third of the business occupants had evacuated the building. Needless to say, the fire officer in charge was not best pleased and tackled the building management company about it. Unfortunately for the management company, they could not answer the questions competently.
I have to say, that I felt proud of the company that day and since, as they have continued to commit themselves to providing a safer working environment for their employees. This can only ever have a positive outcome for all. A safer workplace is a better business.
And the client’s response… “I couldn’t have done it without you Michelle, thank you”.
If you need help to create a safer work environment, get in touch. Call 0161 298 1040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form.
In the meantime, take care.