In this weeks Leading the Way blog, Health & Safety Officer, Debbie Mayneord, shares her experience of working with Bristow & Sutor, both before coronavirus and beyond.
Over to Debbie …
I began my Bristow & Sutor career in October 2000 and have held a few different roles within the company since then. It was not long before I realised that Health & Safety was something that interested me and I eventually became the company Health & Safety/Quality Officer. My role in the business today is to oversee the Health & Safety Policy and Procedures and look after our ISO Standards.
Health & Safety has always, thankfully, been pretty low risk at Bristow & Sutor, until the coronavirus happened. But, out of negativity comes opportunity, so I have used this time as a chance to use the knowledge I have gained over the past several years and put successful methods to good practical effect.
The challenges of lockdown
At the very start of lockdown, when we all started working from home, I began work with the Return to Work Team to develop our Safe Working Procedures and Risk Assessments. Our main focus was to keep everyone safe and this remains our top priority. I have recently arranged training for our First Aiders which focuses on the coronavirus. Designed to work in conjunction with existing first aid training, attendees are taught about preventing the spread of COVID-19 whilst administering lifesaving techniques. I felt it was important for our First Aiders to have this experience as it will give them confidence and hopefully alleviate any concerns that they may have about the pandemic. Also, staff will be reassured knowing that our First Aiders have been trained to a high standard.
I am proud of what we have achieved I could not have done it without the help of my colleagues and support of the wider business. Everyone has a part to play in Health & Safety. My personal aspiration has been to create a positive Health & Safety culture and I believe that we, as a company, have achieved that. I was recently in the office for a meeting (socially distanced of course) and someone stopped me at the drinks machine to say thank you for making work so safe. This kind of feedback makes me incredibly proud.
Way of life changes and impact
I am extremely proud to have a dedicated and confident team of First Aiders and Mental Health First Aiders. Life in the office is different now and with this in mind, I was very keen to ensure that our First Aiders and the rest of the Bristow & Sutor staff felt safe during the pandemic. I have issued additional PPE such as face visors, disposable masks and disposable aprons to this end. I have also written a Safe Working Procedure for First Aid Provision.
Our COVID-19 collection of Risk Assessments and Safe Working Procedures are all stored in Central Files, Intranet and on SharePoint. The Risk Assessments are used as a benchmark for when we conduct an internal audit, and they are reviewed at that point and any necessary changes are made accordingly. Our latest report showed no accidents or near misses have been recorded in our most recent period of activity.
All First Aiders have been asked to complete an online COVID-19 First Aid Course and I have recenty completed an IOSH Managing Coronavirus Safely course myself. Internal Fire Marshal training will be rolled out to new Fire Marshals and existing Fire Marshal’s soon and then refreshed annually. AED refresher training will also soon be given to all First Aiders.
I mentioned earlier that Health & Safety requires everyone to play a part and that has been the case throughout this time, with no end to that ethos in sight. For example, Phil Richardson, our Maintenance Operative, has made sure that the safety measures agreed, such as one-way systems and social distancing in the office, have been implemented successfully and continue to keep us secure. Matt Young, our Administration Clerk, has also gone above and beyond, undertaking some additional cleaning duties to keep us all safe.
Every member of our team, whatever role they play, recognises Bristow & Sutor must ensure the safety of ourselves and each other. My colleagues are all doing a fantastic job during these extremely difficult times and remain committed to keeping each other safe.