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Health, safety and welfare verification

In 2008-09, ASK was contracted to conduct a health, safety and welfare verification of all the sites owned and operated by one of the UK’s leading hazardous waste management companies. Working in partnership with Renaissance Risk, our consultants visited each site in turn to make individual assessments and produced a consolidated report of the company’s overall performance, with recommendations for improvement.

The case:
The company has a variety of operations, including transfer stations, treatment facilities and landfill sites. Due to recent growth through acquisitions, standards varied considerably between sites, so the company sought independent assistance to verify the implementation of its integrated management system at site level and to identify key areas of concern, as well as instances of good practice to disseminate throughout the company.

ASK involvement:
We worked in tandem with Renaissance Risk to carry out a thorough audit of each of the sites. The audits embraced site inspections, interviews with personnel and reviews of documentation (incident reports, method statements, training materials, risk assessments etc), and incorporated internal and external benchmarking. We ensured against both bias and loss of focus by adhering to a checklist compiled from regulatory and industry sources and augmented from our combined experience.

In reporting, we used a “traffic light” system to highlight issues that should be prioritised.At each site, we compared actual performance, issue by issue, to the site’s own perception of its performance. Our consolidated report compared performance between the sites and between the company as a whole and the rest of the industry.

The result:
The exercise identified both site-specific and company-wide strengths and weaknesses, and produced both detailed and general recommendations commensurate with the observed risk which, in turn, will help the board to set targets to improve health and safety. The consolidated report identified one site in particular which was in need of concentrated attention. An unexpected (and welcome) finding was that, in eight out of the ten categories audited, the sites generally performed better than they perceived.

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