Nottingham City Council

How great customer service has helped Nottingham City Council improve health and safety


Nottingham City Council is the local government authority responsible for providing a range of services and governance for the city of Nottingham in the UK. We spoke to Michelle Ball, SHEQ officer, as to why she chose International Workplace as the council’s IOSH provider.

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Why International Workplace?

"We decided to go with International Workplace because of the level of customer service we received. They were very prompt in their responses and we felt comfortable, like we could trust the company. We’ve had other suppliers that don’t get back to us for days, and we had none of that – it was very responsive.

"Health and safety is a high priority within our organisation. We've achieved ISO 14001, 45001 and 9001 and we're audited on these, so we need to make sure our staff are clued up on health and safety. They know to know the ins and outs of what’s going on. We deliver an in-house health and safety course to our frontline staff, but we wanted certain grades of management to do the IOSH course and have a bit more detail.

"As a council, we've got to cover everything, especially with ISO standards and adhering to rules and regulations. We're a SHEQ team, which is safety, health, environment and quality. We all work together to look after health and safety, the audit, SHEQ monitoring, policies and procedures, risk assessments, and so on. So, the more our staff are aware of health and safety, the more it makes our job a little bit easier.

"We decided to go with face-to-face training. When you’re face-to-face, there's more interaction and it’s easier for them to understand, ask questions and do the activities. It's a lot better for our guys. Mark Barrett was great. He always comes in and sees me when I'm in the office, feeds back as to how the training is going, and if there's anything he needs, he asks. He’s very approachable so we've built up a nice rapport."

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"I think everybody should have some health and safety background. I would recommend it to all councils, it’s essential training when you’re working in the public sector. "

Michelle Ball, SHEQ officer

Improvements in health and safety

"We're getting more near miss reporting now. During accident investigations, our staff are following procedure a lot more and getting to understand how important health and safety is. Whereas before some service areas were a lot more operational-focused, they are going down the health and safety route because the heads of service and senior management have done the course and are taking it a bit more seriously. The process is really straightforward and clear. The guys are friendly. It’s just really good service, and that's why we keep coming back to you.

"Our pass rate is very good. Some of our team leaders, although they're brilliant at doing their job, are maybe not as confident on the computer. So although they do risk assessments on a day-to-day basis, they panicked a little bit in the exam. But the team gave them that little bit of support and it’s all worked well. We had a dyslexic employee go through the course and Mark was able to accommodate everything she needed, and she passed.

"I think everybody should have some health and safety background. The IOSH course covers everything, and it tests them, gets the brain working. I would recommend it to all councils, it’s essential training when you’re working in the public sector."

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