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Mech-Tool Engineering Ltd

Company profile

  • No. of employees: 80 to 115 depending on work load
  • Business sector: Engineering
  • Business activities: Design, supply and installation of protective enclosures
  • Stakeholders: Employees, GMB Union, managers and company owner
  • Location: County Durham

Upgrading the company management systems to ISO 9001:2000 has improved customer confidence, increased orders, and a tenfold increase in productivity. It also means that this company can pre-qualify for tender opportunities.

The challenge

Mech-Tool Engineering's customers work in high hazard industries and expect exceptional standards in health and safety. Mech-Tool has focused on this, being ISO 9000 accredited and RoSPA and Norwich Union award winners. Updating to ISO 9001.2000 gave the opportunity to simplify health and safety management by integrating it into the overall management system.

What did the company do?

The Directors committed the company to achieving ISO 9001:2000. This includes a review of all management processes and integration of health and safety management into the system. In making this commitment they also empowered the Quality, Audit and Safety Manager to manage the change.

Key success factors were;

Business benefits

Health and safety benefits

'The inclusion of health and safety into an integrated management system assists the company in demonstrating a commitment to health and safety to both customers and employees. The more standardised systems and processes give numerous benefits.'

Steve Sheridan, Production Supervisor 

Cost benefits

The initiative has enabled a number of management and process improvements to be identified and implemented. These include:


The company supplies high risk industries and therefore adopted a culture aimed at minimising the risk of accidents in the work place. This approach is embraced by the Board of Directors and is overseen by a full time HSE Manager. Employees are encouraged to be safety conscious at all times and in all places, regardless of their role. Continuous awareness initiatives include regular meetings, toolbox talks and safety audits. Safety Management review meetings are held every four months with representatives from staff, hourly paid employees and the Managing Director. A Company Council meeting is held monthly and encourages representatives to raise health and safety matters. In recent years Mech-Tool has received formal recognition of its health and safety record from the EEF and RoSPA.

Worker involvement

A key objective of the initiative was to engage the workforce in continuous improvement. Company Council and Safety Management Review meetings provide formal consultation; this is supported by regular briefings by the MD, tool box talks and safety audits.

An employee safety improvement award scheme has been implemented to encourage the workforce to seek improvements.

'Management involvement demonstrates that they are very approachable in matters of health and safety. This sends out the message to the workforce that continual effort is being put into providing a safer working environment.'

Kevin Quinn, Representative of Workshop Safety

Updated 2020-07-30