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HSE Case Study 1 MAST 4 SMEs Sawmill

Timber 4 Trade is a group of sawmilling companies consisting of 5 sawmills, and a roof truss-manufacturing unit; around 650 – 700 employees within the group.

Lumberjack Mill has 100 employees processing logs into sawn timber products for construction, pallet, fencing and packaging. The site can produce kiln dried, strength graded and treated timber products ranging from floor joists to featheredge fencing and slats for the packaging industry all to a quality standard.  Trading is very competitive in the economic downturn. However a large long term contract with a nationwide truss manufacturer was won against all competition.  Following the closure of one of the 5 mills production at this site has increased, through investing in more capacity.

The management structure consists of group management [CEO, Directors and Group titled managers] at HQ.

A Mill manager and a structure of middle managers govern this site with specific responsibilities for areas such as log purchasing, logistics, sales, H&S, Production and Engineering.  Team Leaders and leading hands are competent to IOSH managing safely standard and the majority are first aid trained.

In terms of performance, all sites are benchmarked in H&S, quality and environmental performance by producing monthly KPI figures that are displayed into a graph for analysis. These graphs are based on a rolling 15-month average so that performance can be monitored and trends identified.  The performance indicators for h and s are RIDDOR, risk assessments, safe systems of work, lost time incidents; and pass rates for Quality and non-conformances for Environmental aspects. CEO makes a point of walkthrough spot checks once a year. Risk assessment indicator (% complete) for significant risks was 100% last year.

In terms of production the site has to achieve a set throughput target with an acceptable recovery rate for co-products such as chips and sawdust. Likewise there are targets set for development of timber products, normally based around cubage figures.

Each site will have a figure as its insurance quantum for the forthcoming financial year, anything paid out over the quantum results in profit coming off the bottom line, therefore there is incentive for good H&S based around the site performance.  As result of insurance premiums being held for 3 years some good across the workforce production bonuses lifted morale

Site conditions

Transport key hazard managed by well signed one way systems, reversing alarms, load gantries, control/supervision of haulage contractors.  Recent claim by driver who tripped on site rejected by insurer.

Newly installed computer controlled EU standard processing equipment included in comprehensive safety management monitoring arrangements.

Some evidence of dermatitis through handling timber after the preservation process. 

Regular monitoring of supervision standards for use of control measures such as PPE, machinery guarding, housekeeping.  Several workstations continue to score below expectations, managers can’t understand why, as workers have been with company many years, and have toolbox refresher talks.  And agenda on h/s committee majors on individual work areas and ppe/tidiness issues.

Updated 2009-09-15