Putting safety into context – how across the board training has helped a major waste management company
Augean is a leading UK operator of sustainable, compliance-led, waste recycling, recovery, treatment and disposal services. The company specialises in managing the UK’s hard-to-handle wastes, making life easier for customers by providing certainty and security, underpinned by technical expertise and a high standard of customer service. Carol Earp, Communications Manager, has been with Augean for 19 years and tells us how International Workplace has helped put health and safety into context in the company.
As a hazardous waste management company, we take health, safety and compliance very seriously. Health and safety training is carried out as a matter of normal business. Our objective is to ensure we provide a minimum level of training – ranging from IOSH Working Safely for those working on the ground, IOSH Managing Safely for our supervisors, to NEBOSH for Senior Managers and IOSH for Senior Executives. So it's not just the “boots on the ground” – the company directors need to lead from the front, understanding the importance of health and safety and how their attitudes can trickle down the company ladder.
Obviously, waste itself is a health issue but there are a number of other safety concerns across our sites – mobile plant, confined space entry and manual handling to name a few. So, in addition to the induction and ongoing training we provide, IOSH and NEBOSH (well-known names within the safety industry) courses provide our staff with the necessary training to protect themselves and their colleagues at work and instil good working practices.
Refreshing training practices
This training provides a benchmark for employees who require knowledge on health and safety practices, all the way up to those who have worked in an industry environment for 20 or 30 years and just require a refresher.
International Workplace offers virtual training, allowing teams from any one of our 23 sites to attend, saving time and travel requirements.
The courses are headed up by a trainer, with whom I have various conversations to ensure our key points are raised. One of the things I like about working with International Workplace is the fact that they get to know our terminology and are happy with us providing our own information, such as our health, safety, quality and environment policy and our risk assessment template. This way the trainers show the learners exactly what we use and how it works for Augean. It puts it into context.
“One of the things I like about working with International Workplace is the fact that we've been able to provide our own information so that the trainer can show the guys exactly what we do.”
Making an impact
We're very hot on staff reporting safe acts, unsafe acts, near misses and accidents. We have seen a rise in reports over the past few years, and I think it’s down to a combination of the training we’ve rolled out and the internal communication we’ve done to push it. Overall, our reporting of ‘safety cards’, as we call them, has increased, which is great.
International Workplace are very easy to work with; they respond quickly, so it’s great customer service.