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Case Study: HMS training reduces risks

17th December 2013

Introduction

Housing Maintenance Solutions (HMS) was established in 2011 as a subsidiary of Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH), Liverpool’s newest housing association. HMS directly undertakes operational activity for LMH’s 15,000 homes in the city, ensuring responsive repair and maintenance requirements are met. In order to carry out their duties safely, workers must receive the correct training in all areas of
health and safety.

The built environment industry can be a minefield of potential hazards if workers are not properly aware of how to safeguard their well-being and minimise risks.

A prominent concern is asbestos. An average of 20 tradesmen die every week from exposure to asbestos and asbestos-related diseases are continuing to rise. Despite this, awareness amongst construction workers of how to protect themselves against the dangers faced is low, and it is crucial that they undergo dedicated training to understand the risks and how these can be avoided.

Other activities such as working at height, using machinery and handling equipment all come with their own dangers, but the majority of accidents can be avoided so long as health and safety protocols are understood, followed and maintained.

Employers have a duty of care to ensure their workers are properly trained, and HMS works with local training providers and colleges to supply skills and development training for their staff. HMS will only work with training providers that are members of nationally accredited bodies, ensuring training and learning is awarded at a professional level.

The challenge

HMS approached Bromak to develop a variety of in-house flexible training package to HMS staff throughout 2013, covering a range of health and safety issues. It was important that training was delivered to delegates in a way that is both enjoyable and informative, and that HMS’s own health and safety policies were incorporated.

Significantly, the training was to be given to staff at all levels, from on-site workers, to office staff, to senior management. Courses therefore had to be developed in a way which was accessible to all employees.

The solution

Bromak, working in partnership with the HMS health and safety team, developed bespoke training courses to deliver to all HMS staff.

The courses included first aid, fire awareness, working at height, abrasive wheels, asbestos awareness, Institute of Managing Health and Safety (IOSH) managing safely, and Site Managers Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS).

Bromak has delivered at least two sessions each week throughout the year, with training ranging in length from half-days, to courses lasting three and four days.

Bromak used the same three trainers throughout the year so that staff and trainers were able to build up a rapport, creating a friendly and effective learning environment.

The results

Around 200 HMS staff members have received bespoke training so far, and the schemes are still ongoing.

John Barrow, operations director for HMS, said he recognised the benefit of internal training and how it brought staff together, and he said the courses have been well received by HMS staff across the board.

Janet Broughton, scheduler at HMS, attended the health and safety course and said: “I enjoyed the course, it highlighted issues staff encounter on site and how these issues can be rectified. The course was delivered very well.”

Safety advisor Dean Oliver added: “The tutor was really good, he got the delegates talking and was very enthusiastic.”

Carl Fairhurst, a gas engineer, attended the asbestos course and said: “I am now aware of the dangers and familiar with the correct action to take. The tutor made the course informative and easy to follow.”

Summary

As a result of the training, HMS’s operatives, office staff and management are able to work both efficiently and safely with a greater awareness of the risks they face in the workplace.

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