Supporting Comfort Controls with its Health and Safety programme
Comfort Controls helps to create energy efficient buildings that are safe, sustainable and beneficial to their occupants. The company achieves this by carefully managing the balance between the users requirements and their energy consumption.
Formed in 1984 and based in the South East of England, Comfort Controls works on controls projects worldwide in a multitude of market sectors including: hospitals, universities, school, retail parks, industrial units and leisure centres.
Comfort Controls operates as a building management controls specialist, manufacturer and installer of motor control centres, as well as electrical contractor. Its success is down to its staff, it is therefore vital these employees are looked after in the best way possible
Rapid company growth – the need for a health and safety solution
Since its inception, the company has grown from a core team of 5-6 people, to now employing over 30 from its head office in Hemel Hempstead.
Kris Mitchell joined the company as a project manager prior to the rapid growth phase. It was during this growth that he realised the company needed to have a more comprehensive approach to Health & Safety. He comments:
“I knew we needed more than an audit; we needed to have full risk assessments undertaken and policies in place.
“We appreciated that we’d now be looking towards working on bigger projects, and in order for us to successfully tender, these would need to be in place. The time had come to really invest in our health and safety practices.”
Bringing in Hosking Associates
Health and safety specialists, Hosking Associates, were introduced to Comfort Controls through a mutual client. Kris Mitchell adds:
“The team at Hosking Associates have the right attitude and experience, and we knew they were the people to take us to the next level from a health and safety perspective. They knew where we looking to get to and how we would achieve it.”
The health and safety policy was collated, and it took three months to finalise. Once a year, the policy is reviewed and fine tuned to suit the updated business requirements.
“During 2014, we will be opening a new office, which will require a review,” added Kris.
Louise Hosking, director at Hosking Associate, adds: “We look at the whole business holistically, and try to develop solutions for their health and safety concerns. We try to create something that reads more like an employee handbook.
“Many of Comfort Controls documents are site specific, and it’s our job to ensure that any risks associated with that site are flagged up.
“We started by undertaking an initial review of their whole business and developed an action plan that we could share responsibility for. We created generic arrangements and agreed ways of working with the directors. We then worked alongside relevant project managers to ensure that site specific assessments and methods of work could be created by them. Creation of a bespoke Health & Safety Policy was extremely important and each year this has been refined to truly reflect how Comfort Controls work and their positive attitude to safety”
Kris Mitchell adds: “At the end of the day, we need to ensure that when an engineer goes out on site they are as safe as possible. Some engineers will be on a job for six months at a time, and others may do 2-3 jobs in a day – we need to ensure we have the right plan in place for each of them.”
The company is now on its fourth revision of the initial policy set out. Kris Mitchell adds:
“We have got to the stage we feel we are on top of our health and safety. In fact, we now take it all so seriously that we have chosen to employ a dedicated health and safety administrator to ensure we are on top of everything – all the time.
“Hosking Associates has made everything very straightforward, and guided us in an area which can be very confusing. They are a professional and dedicated team who have helped to make us proud of our health and safety procedures. They have also empowered us; rather than trying to run it all they have worked hard on guiding us along the way.”