Safety first

KKI attains OHSAS18001 and the coveted RoSPA silver award

All in: a key aspect of KKI’s system is gaining the engagement of all employees

Keeping on track: regular reviews and audits of the system will take place
Health and safety has always been an integral part of Kent Introl’s philosophy, and the company’s robust approach has recently been independently recognised, via the attainment of both OHSAS 18001 and the RoSPA silver award.

KKI employees accommodate a number of key hazards in their daily working lives: moving heavy components, slinging and lifting, forklift truck movements, pressure testing, and machining activities.

Even though the company was starting from an excellent position, since attaining OHSAS 18001, many lessons have been learnt and new approaches taken, resulting in further reduction of incidents, greater employee engagement and improved customer satisfaction and awareness.

Securing the standard

In 2011 the management team made the decision to embark on the journey towards achieving OHSAS 18001 as part of the continuous improvement plan being implemented through the Kent Introl Business System (KBS). The OHSAS 18001 system would be implemented alongside Lean Manufacturing, Kaisen, 5S, Visual Management, Process Flow and Waste Elimination objectives as part of a company-wide continuous improvement programme.

The decision gave employees, customers and suppliers a clear message about the company’s intention to focus on maintaining and, if possible, improving health and safety.

The first step was for LRQA to conduct a gap analysis and produce an action plan. The EEF were also employed to conduct a legal compliance audit. From here, new procedures were devised where required, and rolled out to managers and employees to ensure full awareness of the implementation of the new management system. In due course, this paved the way for a successful Stage 2 Audit, and the award of the standard.

A collaborative approach

One of the key objectives in gaining the standard was the continuing engagement of all employees. A number of new initiatives have since been introduced to support this aim:

• All employees have successfully completed the IOSH Working Safely course and new employees are required to do the same. As a result, the number of employees actively requesting to undertake training for roles such as fire marshal, first aider and risk assessor has increased, as employees actively participate in safety culture.

• The introduction of monthly ‘Health and Safety walk-rounds’ for managers, factory personnel and the HSE team on a ‘you and me - not us and them’ basis. This exercise has been fully embraced by all participants, who welcome the opportunity to discuss working practices and the work area.

• The inclusion of factory-floor employees in the risk assessment process and attendance at the HSE meeting.

• The introduction of a ‘Hazard, Incident, Near Miss, Observation and Suggestion form’ to allow employees report hazards and to suggest improvements. Every employee has a pocket book containing reporting cards which they can fill out and place in drop boxes, which are checked daily by the HSE team. This channel has proved invaluable to the ongoing improvement process.

KKI’s HSE team continues to work with the audit team to review risk assessments and procedures and to continue developing the system. The first surveillance visit was conducted by LRQA in February 2014 and no new non-conformances were identified.

Sharing knowledge

The HSE regularly publishes ‘Safety Moments’ and ‘HSE Tool-box Talks’ and produces posters relating to topical issues. To ensure lessons are learned from serious accidents occurring elsewhere in the industry, KKI uses the ‘Safety Moment’ bulletins for display on internal notice boards and for use in meetings and team briefs, as well as Tool-box Talks, hand-outs and posters linked to hazards which have been identified through employee input.

Valuable benefits

Attaining the OHSAS 18001 accreditation paved the way for KKI receiving the prestigious RoSPA silver award, which will be presented at RoSPA’s annual awards event in Birmingham in May.

KKI is regularly audited by existing customers and has received universally positive feedback since the implementation of the new systems.

But the most important benefit of all is the fact that, even though rates were well below the industry average to begin with, the occurrence and frequency of accidents has halved since the standard was achieved.

Koso Kent Introl
Tel: 01484 710311

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 29

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