Walk round any manufacturing business in the UK and you’ll see constant reminders of safety at work.
It’s high on the agenda for all successful companies. At a recent site visit to Smurfitt-Kappa in Norfolk, the attention to safety was tangible in every aspect of our time there, from top to toe PPE; green lights, red lights; clearance to walk in certain areas; the requirement to ‘go the long way round’ to keep us safe; to reminders and updates on information boards, corridors and more.
As the supplier of instant buildings we are invited on site to organisations of all sizes to have meetings, undertake site surveys and make essential checks way before our site teams arrive to even begin the build project. Our approach to health and safety means that not only are we looking after our people but we are also working in tandem with our customers, respecting and reflecting their requirements.
Working with our customers’ health and safety criteria can often mean we need to adapt as, depending on their industry sector, there might be additional things to factor in. We’ve worked airside at airports, within nuclear power stations, in schools during term time and even at a wind farm in Taiwan. All of these environments have called for additional risk assessments and safety measures as well as integrating any further requests from the customer.
“The on-site team was managed by Andy Freeman at Smart- Space and I can’t say enough about how well they worked with us. I work very comfortably with Andy, we understand each other’s work approach. Despite having worked together before, we still had to go through the airport’s rigorous induction process. The team listened, understood, and did everything we asked of them. Packaging was immediately disposed of and they were incredibly tidy and respectful of the environment: this is particularly important on the runways of course” said Tony Hiorns, Engineering Director and project lead at Leeds Bradford Airport.
Another layer of health and safety considerations is called into play when we work with Tier-1 construction companies. They might have a set of check boxes that mirror ours but again, they sometimes include additional information to bring all parties together and ensure we are all working at the same incredibly high standard.
“It all went like clockwork. Everyone was very impressed, including the council’s Health and Safety people who operate to really high standards. Tom Willoughby, the framework contractors who managed the project, said it was fantastic” said John Wagstaff, site manager, after a successful, multi-company build at Sherburn High School in Leeds.
There is also the need to risk assess and support all equipment and plant being used on a build. Each piece of kit needs to be checked and supported with paperwork – in close partnership with the qualified (and experienced) operating member of the team, our health and safety standards and all in context at the client site – taking into consideration any additional points to note there.
“It was refreshing to work with a business for whom health and safety was an automatic process - it reinforced my belief that we had chosen a supplier who does things properly” commented Matt Dakin, Commercial Manager of Universal Fabrications.
As Operations Director I am focused on safety around the clock – for every person involved with every project - and on a day-to-day basis in and out of our own premises. We have a very successful initiative that has become part of the Smart-Space culture which we call the ‘No Surprise Rule’. It ensures that the senior management team is made aware of all safety concerns or incidents within 15 minutes of them occurring. It gives us the opportunity to review, investigate and implement improvements, no matter how small, to support our constant journey to zero harm.
“The RAMS presented by Smart-Space were commended as one of the best set of RAMS that the site have had submitted by a subcontractor, and when the team arrived at site their professionalism, decorum and attention to detail was second to none. The onsite team worked and conducted themselves impeccably with nothing but good reports, this is unusual on a nuclear site particularly for people who are new to the nuclear industry” said Marcus Butler, Project Site Manager, Altrad.
Of course Smart-Space has been installing buildings of all types and sizes, in all sorts of conditions and for different uses for well over thirty five years. We have a dedicated safety team, train all staff who work on site, and have a number of industry standard accreditations. Maintaining that reputation and continuing to put our people and customers first means we also ‘go the long way round’ and will always do so.