With the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) turning the thumb screws even tighter on site safety, it’s the small to medium sized build firms that need to be on top of their day-to-day obligations.
That’s the view of Mark Jones, managing director of leading Cornish building firm MJ Building Services, who believes the HSE will come down like a ton of bricks on those companies that do not comply with any of the new regulations.
Launched in 2001 MJ Building has continued to expand operations and is a prime example of a business that works smart with all of its health and safety. Mark and his team are totally confident regarding any new regulations brought in by the HSE as well as their other day-to-day health and safety obligations.
By using Health & Safety Xpert, they know they have the very latest paperwork to hand which is printed off, placed in a file, then read and signed by all members of the team before they are allowed on site to commence work.
Regardless of what the job is, whether new build or small project, this process has given Mark real peace of mind as he knows the risks have been minimised.
Using the software has also saved Mark a lot of money on external health and safety consultants which in the first year alone amounted to a saving just short of £5,000.
Mark now believes the arrival of CDM 2015 and HSE’s every increasing clamp down on site safety will only lead to more fines for those who are non-compliant.
He also thinks it is only fair for the HSE to intervene where they find something wrong, vindicating those who operate well within the law.
Mark said: “We use Health & Safety Xpert daily on site as well as the office in order to comply with the constant changes in the H&S regs such as risk assessments and method statements. It helps make the job a lot, lot easier.
“Because the software already has a number of pre prepared templates it makes compliance with the day-to-day running of our sites very easy. All we do is input the relevant information and the software does the rest.
“We now use it on everything from new builds, renovations, ground works, extensions, heating and plumbing jobs and any electrical work.”
For Mark, running numerous sites at the same time means he has to be on top of the game and as a site agent the first thing he does is make sure files are up to date before anyone steps on site.
Regardless of the job, whether it’s a new build, small project or day works, he still uses the system to make sure all health and safety obligations are covered.
Mark added: “We use the software no matter what size or sort of project. There are still risks involved so Health & Safety Xpert makes sure staff are working safely and how I want them to work.
“It also gives me a sense of security. I can’t be everywhere all the time so I need to have confidence my guys are working safely. It’s my head on the block if they are not, so minimising the risk any way I can is why we use the software.”
Another reason for Mark’s vigilance is on the back of the HSE’s Fee For Intervention (FFI) initiative which is now raking in the cash from non-compliant builders.
Mark said: “With FFI you can end up paying big fines so using the software and doing what it tells you is paramount. This includes things such as check lists on site set up and PPE registers. We make sure the documents are read and then signed by staff.
“Every part of software is used by MJ Building on a daily basis. It’s very easy to use and had no problem setting it up. Our staff use it for updating method statements, risk assessments, toolbox talks, site inductions and daily sign in sheets.
“You’ve just got to keep up to date with current legislation. I truly believe the HSE will make it a lot harder for smaller companies. I also think the HSE should intervene more with those not complying. We do, so why should others get away with it?
“The cost of the software far outbalances the risk of fines and is something we would never think of not having.”
To learn more about Health & Safety Xpert click here