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39 41 Feature Jan11

British Safety Council featured article (January 2011 issue) for NESHEP/EMSS; Exploring the excellent work of the Partnership and its 80+ member organisations...

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39 41 Feature Jan11

  1. 1. Feature www.britsafe.org Sharing is caring for north east partnership Having witnessed a horrific and fatal accident during the early years of his career, Alan Bassett discovered he had a real passion for health and safety. Now chair of NESHEP – North East Safety, Health and Environment Partnership – he talks about the work of the organisation and what it is striving to achieve. Joanna Gurman NESHEP is a self funded membership The NESHEP philosophy is based on Sharing ideas and solutions organisation currently representing around “competitors in business but partners in NESHEP is endorsed by various client 80 contracting companies in the north east safety”, thereby encouraging a learning and organisations, as well as being affiliated of England. These companies range from sharing culture amongst its members. to, or co-operating with RoSPA, IOSH, the SME organisations to national and Members receive updates and training by British Safety Council, Safety Groups UK, international companies, employing way of bi-monthly meetings, presentations, Teesside Safety Group and the “Working Well more than 20,000 people. lectures and correspondence including Together” campaign spearheaded by the HSE. NESHEP’s main aim is the continuous access to the website and groups on social As part of its function the partnership has improvement of all aspects of SHE including networking site LinkedIn. a number of sub-groups which cover: promotion and maintenance of excellence The Teesside SHE Partnership (TSHEP) • Sharing and best practice in safety, health and environmental was formed in 1999. A number of contractors • Training and development management and performance throughout who were part of the “ICI SHE Challenge • Membership the member organisations and their 2000” initiative, that ended with the demise • Environment workforce. Sharing and learning is high of ICI’s presence on Teesside, decided to • Health on the agenda and is encouraged at every continue the good work in promoting SHE • Measurement opportunity within the partnership. initiatives across their various workforces. • Excellence The partnership devises training and Approximately six years on, the much • New technologies education programmes for the joint expanded organisation decided to align the • Promotion and publicity workforce, to promote safe working and work of the TSHEP to that of NEPIC (North For each sub-group there is a chairperson engender changes in behaviour and attitude East Process Industry Cluster) and this and they all meet at the partnership steering towards safety, health and the environment. resulted in a name change to the North East group every other month, along with SHE Partnership (NESHEP). enthusiastic members and associates, to INFLUENCE: Alan Bassett, chair of NESHEP. agree new initiatives and the way forward. The organisation also responds to questions and concerns raised from its annual questionnaire, and these are discussed at the meetings. There have been a number of initiatives to come from the steering group including an auditing toolkit for use by members to audit each other’s businesses. This has been very successful and is another example of sharing solutions. Alan joined NESHEP in 2003 and has been chair for almost four years. He says: “I joined the partnership because I was keen to see what problems the industry faced first hand and I wanted to share my thoughts and ideas on how things could be improved.” And this, says Alan, is the key to the partnership. “Without the function of sharing ideas and solutions, everybody would just be re-inventing the wheel over and over, making the same mistakes time and again, which is all too common across industry. It has been great 39 | Feature | Safety Management January 2011
  2. 2. www.britsafe.org Feature to see the sharing of policies, procedures and produce something that was fit for SHARING SOLUTIONS: The steering group and best practice by large organisations to purpose, all of which have been achieved, meets on a bi-monthly basis. the SMEs because they do not have the same says Alan. complained about having to put their workers resources and networking opportunities.” The EMSS is an online database system through multiple passport schemes to access He adds there are many challenges facing that eliminates the need for complicated various sites across the UK. This training was industry in the north east, particularly in light paper trails and costly administration. Users essentially the same in all cases and was a of the economic downturn, and it is times upload their key industry training to their huge waste of resource “that needed stopping like these when the partnership’s policies and profile, which can then be instantly and in its tracks”. procedures are put to the test. Alan explains: securely shared with their employer and any Alan says: “The EMSS scheme has “Being a part of NESHEP is invaluable in site they may attend. transformed the way in which individuals, overcoming issues. It is a pleasure to work Client sites can instantly audit contractors, clients and the HSE share vital alongside so many dedicated and enthusiastic individuals for their safety passport and information on the safety and competency of professionals, each of whom is aligned key industry competencies live on the individuals working in heavy industry.” with our common goal of improving the website (www.emssonline.org). They can Benefits of the scheme Tightening up of controls on personal “The NESHEP philosophy is based on safety competence and providing an easily accessible audit tool are the principal benefits ‘competitors in business but partners in of the scheme, according to Alan. “It also provides an excellent facility during accident safety’ thereby encouraging a sharing investigation and reduces the administrative culture amongst members” burden dramatically across all industry sectors and the millions of man hours wasted on duplicated training courses which can now be put to better use on more specific focused health, safety and environmental culture also receive an email containing a link to a training and induction,” he adds. of our region. user’s profile before they even arrive on site. The EMSS scheme has been well received “The success of the partnership is attained This new system will allow the employer/ by members since its implementation and the through co-operation, mutual respect and manager to invite people to join their network organisation is yet to receive any negative the learning and sharing of best practice. allowing them to review their competency feedback about the initiative. “Everybody I The wealth of experience, expertise and in one location. The employer/manager can talk to is keen to get behind the scheme as dedication of our member companies helps also upload training courses and supporting soon as they see the benefits,” says Alan. sustain continued improvement.” evidence to multiple profiles and instantly “Having an EMSS card guarantees a share their industry relevant competencies minimum standard of health and safety Providing a standard with client sites they may visit. knowledge and that the qualification has One of the main successes has been the EMSS Meanwhile, workers can prove they have been validated with the issuing body. So, not (Essential Minimum Safety Standard) scheme the necessary competencies without the need only should individuals work more safely that the partnership has implemented in to carry paper copies of their training records now, but they know that everybody around consultation with the industry, client groups with them. them should be working safely as well.” and contractor support organisations. It ran According to Alan, the EMSS scheme came The courses included in the EMSS scheme numerous workshops to develop the format about after many of the NESHEP members have primarily been driven by NESHEP’s January 2011 Safety Management | Feature | 40
  3. 3. Feature www.britsafe.org “As a company servicing the needs of many of the major oil, petrochemical and steel companies, including Conoco Phillips, Lucite International and TaTa steel, we are constantly seeking methods of improving