Over the course of 2018 FQM Ltd have been engaged in providing HSE support through a coaching and mentoring programme with key personnel with our client Farnbeck based in Edinburgh. Farnbeck are a niche provider of specialist rubber coated fabrics, supplying bank note printing companies across the globe. The aim of this coaching and mentoring programme was to provide Farnbeck with the awareness, guidance, skills and confidence to implement and manage a health and safety management system which will benefit their organisation and help protect their employees going forward.
The programme kicked off with an initial health and safety legislative GAP analysis, a process we always undertake to educate us on where a company “is” and where they need to be. This assessment allowed us to prepare and present a report outlining the key areas identified as requiring improvement in meeting health and safety legal requirements and importantly provided guidance on the key actions that Farnbeck had to implement within their facility. Farnbeck proved to be very receptive to this initial assessment and report, thus giving us the confidence that the coaching and mentoring program that would follow would provide the lasting skills and impressions required to take Farnbeck to the next level with regards to their management of health and safety.
After the submission of the GAP Analysis report the subsequent session with the Farnbeck management team focussed on the implementation of safety interventions and toolbox talks to further promote health and safety awareness in the workplace and to develop and enhance the communication and consultation with the workforce regarding health and safety matters. Not only did this session focus on the practical methods of conducting these interactions but also the behavioural aspect ensuring the management team were prepared for any resistance in implementing this programme. Various members of the management team were involved at this stage, ensuring that we had cross disciplinary support, to ensure that the message came from the board room and the shop floor.
We left the team at Farnbeck for some weeks to focus on their new health and safety workforce engagement skills, knowing that they had a production team with many years of engrained behaviours to work on. (But they always knew that FQM were on hand, should they need that little bit of extra encouragement). The next session at Farnbeck’s production facility looked at the methods of health and safety barrier management and the associated ‘barriers’ that Farnbeck have in place and how effectively managing these controls can lead to a reduced potential for an event occurring. Various barriers were discussed at this coaching session, including; risk management, management/supervision responsibilities, equipment/facility maintenance, procedures/work instructions, housekeeping and competence management. It was portrayed that having a robust barrier system in operation reduces the potential for an undesired event occurring. Walking through each of these potential barriers, we were able to identify together areas that brought the greatest risk and some simple methods to address these across the business. Of course, some required investment of time and money, but many were addressed by utilising the communication and workforce engagement skills which had already started to take effect.
With a greater understanding of principles of health and safety management our next session focused on the implementation and management of an Integrated Management System developed in conjunction with FQM and tailored to Farnbeck’s operational requirements and risk profile. At this time we undertook an in-depth review of the management system processes, documentation and associated management responsibilities and accountabilities to ensure Farnbeck had the knowledge required to manage a system which would be beneficial in the ongoing running of their business.
With a foundation of various programmes instilled within the management at Farnbeck it was now time to develop a plan for the implementation and roll out of the various initiatives. It was paramount that prior to the commencement of any programme that there was a robust plan to maintain momentum of the programme and to ensure that these didn’t wain over time.
Douglas Main is the Managing Director at Farnbeck in Edinburgh and he had this to say about his experience of working with the FQM QHSE team:
‘FQM came to Farnbeck with a no-nonsense approach which helped us greatly to improve our QHSE system to the level we needed to attain Certification. They combined humour with practical guidance to give us the confidence to develop our internal systems to ensure greater compliance with H & S legislation, and also to progress our Quality Systems to benefit our business generally.’
FQM ltd continue to work with Farnbeck and we are happy to announce that there has been a marked improvement on the management of health and safety within their Edinburgh facility and credit should go to the management and staff at Farnbeck for continually striving to improve their QHSE performance and legal responsibilities.