Rewriting the COSHH manual helped this print company to reduce operating costs, improve morale and keep insurance premiums static.
The key prompt to introducing the initiative came from the British Printing Industry Federation. Before this contact, Mick Martin of Dolphin was highly cynical of external health and safety consultants ‘trying to sell their services’. At this time, Dolphin had not seriously considered overhauling their health and safety systems because they had not experienced any serious incidents or health and safety breaches.
The major change involved was the rewriting of the COSHH manual. Dolphin was provided with basic worksheets by the British Printing Industry Federation and then were advised how to adapt these to their specific health and safety risks. Alterations were made to existing equipment and a member of staff had previously attended a fire marshals course.
Dolphin received free advice from the British Printing Federation on how to improve health and safety. They worked closely with a consultant who assisted them in rewriting generic COSHH statements to make them specific to the activities within the workplace. Beyond this, they also made adaptations to existing equipment to ensure a safer working environment.
‘After the completion of the process, and now having an updateable policy, the main economic advantage has been the static cost of insurance premiums. It has been very satisfying to achieve a system that we believe is possibly ahead of our competitors.’
Mick Martin, Principal Partner
‘Introducing a rigid health and safety policy and having arrangements for implementing them shows our staff, and anyone else, that hazards have been identified and risks assessed, eliminated or controlled.’
Samantha Elliott, First Aider
Phillip Doe from the British Printing Industry Federation was the external consultant involved in the initiative. There was no charge to Dolphin for his services. Dolphin spent approximately £500 on new equipment or altering existing equipment.
Before the British Printing industry Federation involvement, Mick Martin (Partner) was very sceptical of external consultants offering their services at a cost to the company. However, during the consultation, it came to light that one of Dolphin’s competitors had been refused renewal of their insurance because of inadequate health and safety provision.
‘If advice on how to improve health and safety within your business is available – I would fully recommend that you take it. I started from a point of being fairly cynical, to one that fully embraces health and safety as a result of the help I have received and my awareness of how it impacts positively upon the business’
Mick Martin, Principal Partner
A workers’ committee was revitalised following the initiative, comprising Mick Martin, fire officer, first aider and safety officer. All employees were consulted regarding the implementation of the changes. The greatest benefit has been the raised awareness of health and safety within the company.
‘The new health and safety initiative with the in-house committee has proven to staff that their input is invaluable, and that duty of care is the responsibility of all employees, not just employers.’
Tracy Burge, Company Fire Officer