Isle of Anglesey County Council and Verdant Group Plc
The Isle of Anglesey is located in the north-west of Wales and covers an area of some 71 400 hectares. The population is approximately 65 000, with around 32 000 households, although the population varies seasonally due to tourism.
The authority has contracted out its residual and recycling collection services, together with its street cleansing function, to Verdant Group Plc. In order to ensure the contract is performing as specified, the authority holds monthly operational meetings with Verdant to review performance and develop the service.
In addition to looking at performance against key indicators, including residual waste, recycling totals and missed collections etc, health and safety is also continuously monitored and reviewed.
At these scheduled monthly meetings there are both reactive and proactive monitoring items on the agenda:
- The reactive items include accident reports and near-miss data, looking for trends, and confirming that actions have been taken to learn from incidents.
- The proactive items include the number of health and safety monitoring inspections conducted, reviewing the findings of these visits and working as a partnership to improve things further in the future. Andy Dutton, Business Manager at Verdant, explained: 'Our regular meetings with the Council give an opportunity to review the previous month's accidents and near misses and take action where necessary. We also review the historical data allowing us to track any reoccurring patterns.'
Verdant's own supervisory staff and monitoring officers from the council carry out regular inspections on the service both collectively and independently. Carys Roberts, the council's Senior Waste Management Officer, explained: 'All our monitoring staff receive IOSH training since a major part of their role is to monitor the health and safety of our contractors continuously. We work with Verdant supervisory staff to ensure health and safety systems are implemented and improved.'
The authority has also instigated a unique internal health and safety audit programme, where council officers carry out an independent peer review of internal and external services. Jon Eastwood, the Council's Principal Waste Management Officer, explains: 'The Peer Review process allows officers who do not normally work in a particular area to carry out a health and safety audit on a new service function. This ensures our reviewing officers come to the audit process with a fresh pair of eyes. The Peer Review process audits both our contractors and our own internal work units, allowing evidence to be gathered relating to the quality of health and safety systems.'
In another positive development, the Council's Waste Management Section has formed a unique partnership with Wylfa Nuclear Power Station, whereby a member of the waste team will spend a 2-3 week work placement at the facility learning about their health and safety systems. The intention is to share good practice with the council so that it can be implemented internally and with contractors including Verdant.