Assure 360

East Coast Insulations

Written by Nick Garland on Thursday March 14th 2024

Paperless asbestos site management case study

Background

East Coast Insulations was established in 1983, becoming one of the first licensed asbestos removal companies in the UK. Today the company provides asbestos surveys, removal, management and training, along with insulation, fabrication and reinstatement works.

In 2014, East Coast Insulations was a founding member of the Assure360 system. From the product’s earliest days, East Coast was able to benefit from features including training needs analysis, helping it to focus its investments only on the necessary training courses. At the same time, East Coast’s feedback was invaluable during Assure360’s early development.

Challenge

Despite being a longstanding Assure360 customer, East Coast Insulations was still using a paper-based system for its mandatory record keeping on licensed removal projects. With paperwork typically remaining on site for the duration of a project, managers needed to make frequent visits to monitor progress and check for issues. Given the very rural nature of the business’ operating base in East Anglia, this involved valuable time lost to travelling every day.

However, East Coast’s rural operating environment also presented a potential hurdle to the adoption of new technology. With much of its catchment areas prone to patchy mobile communications, the company was keen to avoid potential issues with unreliable data synchronisation in a cloud-based system.

Additionally, many of East Coast’s supervisors are industry veterans with decades of experience in using conventional paper systems. It was imperative that any solution to remove paper should be both reliable, and easy for workers with sometimes limited digital experience to learn and use.

Results

Towards the end of 2023, East Coast Insulations and Assure360 conducted testing to ensure the stability and reliability of the Paperless solution throughout East Anglia. With this successfully established over the course of the trial period, the company rolled out Paperless on Android tablets, transferring its supervisors from a paper-based system to the app in January 2024.

East Coast immediately began to see the benefit of moving away from paperwork. Supervisors were able to keep their site diary electronically through a simplified interface, designed to minimise the need for typing, and allowing photos to be taken and attached directly from within the app. Each supervisor now carried a tablet on a holster, allowing them to complete safety checks and update personal and job records while mobile on the site – rather than on paper in the welfare unit.

The introduction of Paperless also gave managers far greater oversight of their projects, seeing at a glance who was onsite, how the job was progressing, and whether there were any issues that needed their attention. In turn, this dramatically reduced the need for site visits, recovering managerial time that could be focused on income-generating work such as bid preparation. Managers are also now saving additional time at the post-completion stage of each project, as the Paperless solution also removed the need to recover, audit and file site paperwork when closing off a project.

What the client said

Some of the boys we work with have been in the game for 24 years and all they know is paperwork, so the new system is a bit of a jump for them. I’ve been an iPhone man since they came out, I’m not an Android guy, so it’s taken me a bit longer to get used to it. I wouldn’t say I’m the best at computers at all, really, but it is mega easy to get, really. And if there are problems you can text Rick [Garland] and he’ll get back to you in about 30 seconds.

Before, we had a folder with all the certs, your standard procedures, your licence, so that was always a nightmare to try and find one. It was all in a big folder, which wasn’t the best really.

Now it’s more being a supervisor than just doing the paperwork, because you can add pictures. It’s dramatically helped me time-wise, and also just the professionalism of it. Asbestos strippers aren’t known for their spelling or writing, but now if you have a visit from the HSE or anything someone can always read what you’ve written. They can go through the site diary and you’ve just got everything there.

Everyone agrees that it’s a better system, completely. I just keep the tablet round my shoulders on the little strap thing and then if anything comes up just add to it. At the end of the shift you haven’t got anything to fill out: just click all the buttons and sign it off.

Client name

  • Joe Cooksey
  • Supervisor

I’ve only been using it these last six weeks and I haven’t used it every day, but I do think it’s a good system, and it looks quite professional. And it’s easier managed than a load of paperwork.

In the early days – maybe sometimes if you got back late and then on the next day you had an un-notifiable job – your certs could slip, and before you knew you were getting on site and you had certs that were out of date. This, now, rectifies that problem, which is very professional, and quick and good.

It’s definitely saving time, and especially after the first day when you load it all up with everything, then it’s just a matter of pushing the buttons after that – it’s all been stored. I do think it’s a very professional tool, there’s no doubt about it – and easier.

Client name

  • Adrian O’Neill
  • Supervisor

With a paperwork system you spend a lot of money on paper, then you’ve got to audit the paperwork; you’ve got to file it. There’s a lot of post-completion work after the actual removal job has been done.

So it wasn’t that Paperless wasn’t appealing – it was really appealing to us because it would just save us so much time. But there are quite a few rural areas up here where it’s hard to get a signal, so we were a bit worried about how that could impact our operations. We did a trial period to check how that would work, and then we went with Paperless after.

It does save me a lot of time as a manager. For example, this week I’ve got three jobs running. I know I don’t have to run around to these sites because I can have a quick look on Assure360, I don’t have to go there and I can concentrate on seeing clients, preparing quotes. I can spend more time on the plan of works.

The industry’s so busy at the moment, but you can’t be everywhere at once – and you don’t get anywhere quick in Norfolk. Instead of doing a site visit and making sure everything is alright, we can actually do that from our office, which saves us a bit more time. 

And for the supervisors, they don’t have to come down to the seating area, the welfare or to the office to do paperwork – they can do it on the move. They’re loving it because it saves us a lot of time. The guys are more hands-on, so they’re better at managing the operatives, and it makes it easier for me to manage the jobs.

Assure360 Paperless does all that work for you as the job starts and progresses and finishes. So all I’ve got to do is just close jobs out in the end, then that’s uploaded and stored for the HSE’s audit for our licence renewals. So it saves us a lot of time with paperwork.

Client name

  • Adam Lubach
  • Associate Director

Savana Environmental

Written by Nick Garland on Thursday January 11th 2024

Construction health and safety management case study

Background

Savana Environmental is an asbestos removal contractor, operating nationally out of its base in the North East. It’s a familiar name for many, but in late 2021 the company was taken into new management. Under managing director Craig Robson, it has relaunched with a mission to deliver the highest quality projects, with exemplary levels of service.

Savana’s new management team benefits from more than 40 years’ experience in the industry, so it knows full well the complexity of managing asbestos removal jobs, and the people, resources and expertise needed to ensure safety and compliance. The fast-growing company offers a full suite of investigation and removal services, and already has a track record of successful outcomes for clients including construction and demolition contractors, government bodies and local housing authorities.

Challenge

Savana was relaunched from the ground up. This approach allowed its experienced management team to start from scratch, implementing best-in-class solutions to the common opportunities and challenges of running a licensed asbestos removal company. With the usual administrative demands, plus the challenges of managing, training and supervising many new staff, it was quickly evident Savana would need an advanced software solution to help with all the key aspects of its operations.

While some Savana staff had previous experience of an in-house system designed to minimise on-site paperwork, the team wanted a purpose-built solution that would help them manage and optimise all aspects of their asbestos-removal operations. In particular, they wanted a solution that included personal compliance monitoring, to help them comply with the long-awaited Asbestos Network (AN) guidance on personal sampling and exposure.

Results

In late 2022, the company started discussions with Assure360, and in early 2023 it became a customer, rolling out the Assure360 Paperless app to its supervisors. Assure360 was able to move quickly, rapidly onboarding the company and initially providing essential training to contracts administrator Benjamin Eckford and three supervisors. Like all Assure360 customers, Savana has also benefited from the extensive how-to guides and videos in the Assure360 Help Centre, along with unlimited free support from its in-house specialists.

Savana quickly began reaping the benefits of the Assure360 system. Using the Paperless app, its supervisors were able to cut the time spent recording essential safety checks and completing paperwork, leaving them with more time to supervise and support project work. The office team gained direct visibility of projects and were able to gain insight in near-real time, rather than potentially waiting weeks for site paperwork that would need to be processed manually.

Assure360’s inbuilt support for compliance monitoring, which includes features such as automatic calculation of four-hour time-weighted average exposures, has already proved invaluable. The system has been designed to support the practical uses for personal monitoring as described in the AN guidance, including exposure estimation, and maintaining exposure records, test records and health records.

Through ongoing support from the team, Savana has been able to optimise Assure360 for its purposes, while exploring and getting the most from additional features. This has further improved the company’s return on its subscription, helping it deliver the exceptional quality and value it aspires to.

What the client said

There was only a very short period between us deciding to use Assure360 to us actually being up and running, and now quite a few months down the line I couldn’t imagine my job without it. With our initial training session completed, we could just dive straight in. Rick from Assure360 had reassured us that we would quickly get the hang of it, which is definitely true, but we’ve had his support via some Teams meetings, which has also helped us tweak a few things for our purposes.

Assure360 has made many, many aspects of our job – particularly for me as the administrator – so much easier. It’s a lot less labour-intensive than paper forms, and a huge timesaver. It’s really helpful for us retaining records of jobs that we’ve done, and all their different aspects – such as helping us identify training needs, and then keep the records of that training.

A major benefit is that it gives me more time to get on with the rest of work. I’ve always got loads of work that isn’t related to Assure360 or reported on Assure360, so the fact that the Assure360 stuff isn’t that time-consuming helps me achieve more.

It hasn’t just been a time-saver for me, it’s been a time-saver for our supervisors who are actually out on site. All our site supervisors have a tablet, and they have the Paperless app. We’ve recently taken on another contract manager who was already familiar with Assure360 from his previous employer, so that saves time too.

Client name
Benjamin Eckford
Contract Administrator

Vertex Asbestos Removal

Written by Nick Garland on Wednesday September 14th 2022

Construction health and safety management case study

Background

Peter Cooper is surely one of the most experienced site workers in our industry, having begun his career aged 18, shortly after leaving school with few qualifications. During Pete’s 35 years at the coalface, the rules and guidance surrounding asbestos removal have changed markedly. Pete had already been in the industry a decade when asbestos was finally banned in the UK. And like all of us working with the material, he’s still dealing with its legacy.

Today Pete works as an asbestos supervisor for Vertex Asbestos Removal. Providing nationwide coverage from its base in Essex, Vertex provides a full range of asbestos management solutions to schools, hospitals and commercial premises, together with the offshore and marine industries.

Challenge

After a couple of years working for a different licensed asbestos-removal contractor, Pete returned to work at Vertex. During his time away the company had rolled out Assure360 and begun to use the Paperless app. Not being particularly familiar with computers and technology, Pete was concerned that he may struggle to adjust to recording safety checks and managing other site information on a digital system.

Results

Along with Vertex’s other supervisors, Pete received an introduction to the system from the Assure360 team. Supported by the growing library of instructional videos in the Help Centre, he quickly found himself learning the Paperless app and growing in confidence.

Today, Pete is an enthusiastic user and advocate for Assure360. Remarkably, through using the system, he has become more comfortable with technology in general. His new confidence has helped him adopt other solutions such as OneDrive, allowing him to work completely paper-free on site – and benefit from having more time available to actually supervise.

What the client said

In the years when I first started there wasn’t any personal monitoring as such. I never had that for probably the first 10 years of my career. There were no face-fits, you just got a full mask that could have holes in it, or cracked pipes. It just wasn’t regulated like it is now.

Wherever I’d worked before we’d used paper to record checks and manage the work. Apart from maybe having a couple of certificates on your iPhone it was all paper.

I’m not the best on computers and things, and I was a bit nervous about using Assure360 at first. We got a trial of the system, and Nick [Garland] came out and showed me how to do it, and from there I just got better and better at it. When you ring Nick he answers his phone straight away and helps you out with it. I’m clued up on it, but I’m still progressing with it – getting into all the things.

I’ve got used to Assure360 now, and it’s kind of turned me on to other things; it’s moved me over to working out how to use things like OneDrive as well. It’s done me a favour really; it’s got me used to doing things on iPads that I never thought I could have done.

I seem to have got better with technology now that I’m using it every day.  I haven’t got any paperwork on my site whatsoever!

Paperless is better because you don’t worry about people spilling things on your paperwork, or the wind blowing it away, it’s always just there whenever you go back to it. And it’s quicker. When you went to fill your paperwork out it could take four or five hours, whereas with 360 it could take 20-30 minutes in the morning, then you just go back to it during the day.

I can use the free time to actually help my team: carry things and sheet up with them, whereas before I’d be sat here with my glasses on with my paperwork. It’s even better for the analysts with four-stage and signoffs and everything; no messing about with bits of paper to get the sign off – it’s all on there.

It’s a good system and I’d recommend anybody to try it. If you keep tapping at it it will come naturally to you – even for somebody who hasn’t got GCSEs or other qualifications. I prefer it to the old systems. It’s quicker, easier – everything’s better with it. You haven’t got to sift through lots of paperwork, or worry about something stupid happening to it. When I first came to work at Vertex I was handed a large hard file for every job. Assure360 is much better.

Client name

  • Peter Cooper
  • Asbestos supervisor

We’re really happy with how it is going – it’s much easier to plan projects and get the information to and from site. The transition over has also helped us to comply with our ISO 14001 requirements when it comes to carbon footprints etc.

Client name

  • Glen White
  • Managing director

Clifford Devlin

Written by Nick Garland on Thursday June 16th 2022

Construction health and safety management case study

Background

Since 1962, Clifford Devlin has been providing specialist services to the construction industry. Now celebrating more than 60 years, the business has grown to become a leading provider of demolition, construction and asbestos management services.

Demolition has been at the core of Clifford Devlin’s business since its inception. Today the firm offers a full range of demolition services, on buildings ranging from schools and residential buildings, through to medium-rise office blocks. The business’ building division – originally established in the 1990s to support complex demolition projects – is now a multi-disciplined, stand-alone service capable of delivering complex schemes in its own right.

For nearly 40 years, Clifford Devlin has also been providing asbestos remediation to support the construction sector. A corporate member of ARCA for the last 30 years, Clifford Devlin typically works to support reactive and planned maintenance programmes for local authorities and housing associations. Today, its asbestos division numbers more than 20 highly trained operatives. The firm’s attention to detail extends to its fleet of custom-built site vehicles, with air-tight waste compartments for asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), ensuring fibres aren’t released during transit.

Challenge

Clifford Devlin’s asbestos management division faced much the same challenges as other leading contractors. Legacy systems revolving around paper-bound site and project management were reducing the efficiency of its field teams. The delays in processing paperwork from its sites limited the usefulness and timeliness of the information being gathered there. And the recording and processing of mandatory safety data had grown to become a significant drain on time and resources.

With teams tasked to multiple sites and clients, Clifford Devlin needed a system that would streamline the gathering, recording and sharing of information between its site and management teams. And rather than sifting through folders of paperwork after the end of a job, it wanted the ability to generate meaningful insights during a project, allowing it to act on safety and quality issues as they arose.

Results

In 2020, Clifford Devlin became an Assure360 customer. Assure360’s secure, cloud-based system provided the business with a modern, digital alternative to slow and onerous paperwork. The Assure360 Paperless app allowed the company’s site teams to ditch paper in favour of streamlined and efficient record keeping. The app’s ease of use has allowed supervisors to complete their mandatory checks more quickly, and freed them from the need to process and submit reams of paperwork afterwards.

Clifford Devlin also moved to the Assure360 Audit app for completing site audits. As with Paperless, Audit’s cloud data synchronisation means that information gathered on site now appears near-instantly on the office team’s web dashboards.

With no need to wait to recover site folders after a project, managers have gained a real-time view of what’s happening on their projects, allowing them to react to safety or quality issues before it’s too late to fix them. The Assure360 system also allows the business to demonstrate this better site management to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It makes it easy to evidence that site issues are being recorded, and that appropriate actions are taken to prevent recurrence.

What the client said

For our site teams, it makes jobs easier, there is considerably less paperwork and the system is reasonably easy to use. From an office point of view it collects all the data we require and streamlines what our admin team have to do. Where we are not using paper, we are not printing out hundreds and hundreds of Permits to Work that subsequently have to be scanned for saving into our electronic post completion records, so it’s cost-effective and time-effective for both our contracts managers and our administration team. All of our project information is in one place and allows us to access what we need almost immediately.

From our dashboard in the office we can see what has written in the site diary or when a work area has been completed, without making that phone call to the site team – we can just look at the Assure job record file. We can see in real-time what’s happening on that particular job. If, for example, the personal monitoring comes back with an elevated reading, we get an email, which allows us to react straight away, identify the possible reason and take immediate action so that operatives don’t continue to work at raised levels, as opposed to finding out there has been an elevated reading after the work has been completed.

The feedback from the guys is that it’s a lot better than working with all the vast amount of paperwork they used to do. One, it’s streamlined the paperwork that they have to do on site and two, it lets them add time stamped diary entries, so that if the client raises a question or there is any other issue, we can refer back to exactly when and what happened on the job, on a particular day.

When it comes to licence renewal, the system provides us with the information to demonstrate to the HSE that where issues arise, or we have identified a problem, we have taken action to resolve it immediately. We can physically demonstrate performance, corrective action and trend analysis, as the data collected from Assure is provided to our management team at our monthly compliance meetings.

Client name

  • Steven Greenhalgh
  • Compliance Manager, asbestos division

Breyer Group

Written by Nick Garland on Thursday October 14th 2021

Construction health and safety management case study

Background

Originally founded in 1965, the Breyer Group has grown to become one of the UK’s leading principal contractors. Still owned and managed by the Breyer family, the group now has more than 400 employees, and specialises in roofing, construction, responsive repairs and maintenance.

Breyer’s success is founded on its reputation for customer service, environmental care, and commitment to health and safety. Its management systems are ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018 accredited, underlining its focus on delivering satisfaction and ensuring the wellbeing and safety of everyone on site. To this end, it has a dedicated Health, Safety and Environmental team, which works to performance targets set by the board.

Challenge

As a large company comprising hundreds of staff, working on multiple sites for many different clients, Breyer faced the challenge of effectively monitoring and maintaining health and safety. Historically the company had audited its sites with a bespoke software tool, but this didn’t extend to tracking accidents and incidents. The cost and complexity of maintaining separate systems had begun to mount, and were becoming an obstacle to improvement. In addition the internal system’s support contract was due to expire, adding urgency to the need to find its replacement.

Breyer became an early customer for the Assure360 system, and the Assure360 Audit health and safety auditing app. The company now also uses Assure360 Incident to track and act on all accidents, incidents and near-misses.

Results

Assure360’s configurable cloud database delivered the flexible approach that Breyer had been missing. Quickly implemented to work ‘out of the box’, the system was further customised to provide bespoke auditing questions. Not only did it replace and build on the functionality of the previous auditing tool, it combined accident and incident tracking into a single, integrated solution.

Enhanced by the specialised Audit and Incident apps, Assure360 provided Breyer with a single, centralised platform for the effective monitoring and management of health and safety throughout the group. Reporting observations and incidents became quicker, while the system provided ready visibility to all who needed it – from site managers and clients, all the way up to the board.

Today, Assure360 plays a vital dual role within the Breyer group. Most importantly, it’s fundamental to the group’s ability to inspect sites and ensure compliance with best practice. The system’s granular approach to data, and cloud-based synchronisation between site and office, ensures that the management team is immediately provided with audit and incident data.

Secondly, Assure360’s powerful reporting and analysis features help the business demonstrate its legislative compliance and exemplary track record – whether that’s to internal managers, the Health and Safety Executive, or to potential clients.

What the client said

It’s fundamentally important to us as a business that we bring our staff home safely every day. Only the very highest health and safety standards will do.

More than this, our customers only want to work with contractors who can demonstrate exemplary standards. It’s important for winning new business and building long-term partnerships that we have the track record and the figures to back up our strategic commitment to safety.

And while safety is our overriding focus, there are other advantages to constantly striving towards the safest working environment. By minimising injury, we pay less on insurance, for example.

Assure360 has been a breath of fresh air since we started using it. It allows us to quickly and easily audit sites, and to report, track and investigate health and safety incidents. The cloud database lays all of the information I need to do my job on a plate. I can instantly understand what our findings are telling us. Reporting to the board is no longer something I have to take weeks to prepare for: everything is at the touch of a button.

And that’s what you want. You don’t want to trawl through loads of paperwork and information. That’s not relevant today. Assure360 is easy to use and has helped us get rid of all that. What’s even better is that the system is so easy to use, it is no longer me and my team that ‘do health and safety’ – all of the contracts managers and directors participate.

Assure360 Incident

It makes safety proactive rather than reactive. With the Assure360 Incident app – because everyone loves an app – something that people look at as a boring chore in fact becomes interesting because you’re looking at a mobile phone. They haven’t got to fill a form in, or go to the table we used to have.

They just get out their phone, answer six or seven series of questions, upload a photo, send it off to me and it goes into my stats. So I can see efficiency, and near-misses like “Tiles left on footpath” or “Skip not closed”. It’s good for myself, but also clients: they always ask “How do you report near misses?”. With Incident I can show them.

Assure360 Audit

One of the things I like about Assure360 Audit is that it doesn’t just highlight non-conformity, it creates an action for what you’re going to do to close it out. So for example you might sit down with the contracts manager and say, “Handrail missing from scaffold.” You’d resolve it by assigning the action to contact the scaffold company, with a three-day timeframe. Then the contracts manager or site manager, when they’ve rectified it, will go in, upload a photo, and then they’ve closed it out.

So it’s not just there to show people’s failings, it’s there to put an action plan in place. A lot of apps just go out and mark everything as bad news – “That’s wrong, that’s wrong, that’s wrong, that’s wrong” – but not how you’ve closed it out or how you’ve made it safe. Whereas Assure360 produces a trail that shows how you’ve made it safe. You can record best practice, too – highlight the good stuff that’s on site.

That’s useful not only because it means that things get resolved, but also because you can demonstrate good practice to clients, contractors, borough councils, or for things like our ISOs and accreditations.

Client name

  • Andy LeMarie
  • Group Head of Health and Safety

www.breyergroup.co.uk

Horizon Environmental

Written by Nick Garland on Friday July 23rd 2021

Asbestos management case study

Background

The Horizon Environmental group was founded in 2011 to deliver comprehensive asbestos removal and land remediation services to the construction and public sector across the UK. Focusing on consistent high quality work and exemplary health and safety practice, the business has grown rapidly.

Today the business has expanded beyond the UK, delivering international asbestos removal services to British government sites overseas. It has also worked across Europe, Africa, Asia and in the Middle East. Horizon remains dedicated to maintaining the highest standards, upholding practices that create long-term value and enhance the firm’s reputation for honesty, integrity and safety.  

Challenge

As a large asbestos services company, Horizon Environmental is typically responsible for multiple asbestos-removal projects at any one time. With major clients including several NHS hospitals, projects can often be complex, and last for many weeks. In order to maintain the very high standards to which it aspires, the company uses a system of internal auditors who visit sites on a round-robin basis. In addition, an external auditor is contracted to provide regular independent audits.

Operating a business of this scale, with this level of oversight, in such a heavily regulated industry, requires a huge amount of record keeping and organisation. This is hard enough to achieve using paper-based systems, but such traditional approaches also have the effect of ‘locking up’ valuable data and insights.

Additionally, businesses using many auditors face the challenge of ensuring consistency. While multiple auditors provide a broad base of insight and experience, differing auditing approaches and report formats can make it harder to identify trends, or produce and act on consistent training needs analysis.

Horizon Environmental has long been mindful of these challenges, and aware that emerging technology could provide solutions. In 2014 it became one of the earliest adopters of the Assure360 system, leveraging the Audit app to manage audits and generate insight. In 2018 Horizon was involved in the design of Paperless, Assure360’s digital supervisor support tool, and the company became one of the launch customers for the app..

Results

Horizon’s use of the Assure360 platform has become fundamental to its ability to manage the high volume of audits it conducts. Assure360 Audit provides a framework through which Horizon can ensure a high level of consistency between auditing approaches, obtaining meaningful and comparable results between auditors. In addition, the app helps Horizon to track and report data, providing insights that help contract managers deliver high quality outcomes on time.

Horizon was already familiar with many benefits of Assure360 Paperless. For example, the system has helped the business liberate critical safety data from site folders, allowing it to respond to process or training issues at the time they arise, rather than when the paperwork finally comes back. Under the coronavirus restrictions, however, the system proved its worth in other ways, such as by helping support remote-working staff, and showing live on-site progress to contracts managers working from home.

Most recently, Horizon benefited from Assure360’s help during its early 2021 licence renewal. By drawing on the licensing modules built directly into the database, the company was able to streamline and accelerate its application by providing high-quality reports in the required format. In addition, the Assure360 team was available to provide support and advice based on its experience with guiding other customers through the process.

What the client said

“Our internal auditors picked up the process very quickly.

“With Paperless, myself and the contracts managers really like the real-time monitoring that’s available. With your archaic, traditional site folders, you wouldn’t really get to see the bones of the project until completion – or on a longer project when we did a changeover of the paperwork. The Paperless system allows us to have that real-time monitoring and see that all the checks and everything have been done in real time.

“In Covid, where we obviously had a lot of staff working remotely, we were able to tap into the Paperless system and have a real live feed of activity on site and how things were progressing. And with the picture functionality that’s been rolled out in the latest version, that’s really, really helped in that respect as well.

“Rolling out Paperless has reduced the strain on the administrative side of the business, which obviously allowed us to allocate staff to other projects in the business, which has been massively beneficial.

“When it came to re-licensing (in early 2021), using Assure360 we could directly generate reports from the vast amount of data in regards to exposures, personal monitoring – all that kind of really technical stuff. We used those as part of our submission, our supporting evidence. We had a very good experience of the new licensing process.

“I would highly recommend the whole Assure360 system. The auditing side I think is fantastic: it allows us to have a real in-depth understanding of how our sites and staff are operating. We’ve got the training needs analysis feeding into that, which once again is extremely helpful.

“The whole system – from Audit and Paperless to the cloud-based database and what you can pull from that – I think is a really useful tool. I would highly recommend it to other licensed removal companies.”

Client name

  • Tony Baker
  • Operations Manager

www.horizon-uk.com

Asbestos Essentials

Written by Nick Garland on Wednesday June 23rd 2021

Asbestos management case study

Background

Asbestos Essentials was founded in late 2017 by a leadership team boasting more than 50 years of industry experience. With offices in Milton Keynes and London, the company has expanded rapidly to offer comprehensive, UK-wide asbestos surveying, removal and remediation services.

The foundations of Asbestos Essential’s growth come from its twin commitments to customer service, and best practice safety and environmental standards. In addition to a highly experienced management team, the business is certified to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001, and licensed by the HSE and Environment Agency in asbestos management and disposal.

Challenge

The asbestos industry is highly regulated. As Asbestos Essentials’ business gathered pace, it faced many of the common administrative challenges posed by mandatory record keeping. With site records completed on paper and held in large binders on site, managers didn’t have easy access to information that would help them improve the performance on safety of ongoing jobs.

Additionally, the team faced the headache of processing large quantities of paperwork once it returned to the office at the end of an audit or project. With huge files, containing hundreds of sheets of paper, the task was taking up valuable office time that could be better dedicated to improving standards and growing the business.

In spring 2020, Asbestos Essentials became an Assure360 customer. It chose to deploy the Assure360 Paperless app, in the process equipping its site supervisors with iPads. Asbestos Essentials took advantage of the Assure360 rollout to provide supervisors with other support for remote working, installing Dropbox to allow the easy sharing of plant and equipment paperwork, along with policies, licences and other useful site documentation.

Results

Asbestos Essentials quickly began to benefit from Assure360 Paperless’ ability to streamline and simplify asbestos management paperwork. While some of its less technical staff initially needed extra guidance, the team could call on Assure360’s technical support and assistance to help ensure that everyone quickly understood the new system.

Assure 360’s granular data capture and cloud database meant that critical site and employee information could now be gathered and stored electronically, dispensing with the need for bundles of paper. Additionally, with essential reference documents now provided electronically, project teams no longer needed large folders to hand while they worked.

Aside from streamlining on-site record collection – and allowing supervisors to concentrate on supervising – the move to Paperless brought major benefits to the office. With information gathered and shared in near-real time, the management team could see at a glance what was being done on site – and whether anything had been forgotten.

The ready availability of site data has also freed office staff from the chore of processing large volumes of paperwork as it returns from site. And with automated analysis of the data, the team has easier access to insight that can help them drive safety and environmental standards still higher.

What the client said

“The amount of paperwork, audits and so on that we produced was astronomical. Having a cloud-based system like this, it allows us to see in real time what’s going on on site. Plus all of the paperwork that had to get done and sorted when it got back to the office, that’s now done on the system – rather than having big huge files which we then have to archive.

“It means as well that I don’t have to pull out files and show auditors: ‘well, that’s this file. That’s this file.’ and so on. Now I just need to find a job on the system and pull it up and it’s there.

“Our work in this industry is very much process-driven. A really good thing about Assure360 is you can’t move on to the next bit until you’ve done the bit before. It won’t let you close the job at the end of the day until you’ve done all the checks and all the things you’re supposed to do.

“Also, if we have jobs going on where we’ve got multiple supervisors, you can actually hand it over to another supervisor and it appears on their iPad instantaneously. If an HSE inspector turns up and says ‘you only started working at four o’clock today; what happened during the rest of the day?’, you can run through all of the things that have been done on the previous shift because it’s all there for you.

“When we first took on Assure360, we met with some initial scepticism on our supervisors’ part. All that they had known was paper, so their concerns were understandable. However, with support from myself – and directly from the Assure360 team, they have really taken to the system.

“The Paperless app is so easy to use and intuitive, it cuts out nearly all of their admin tasks. They love it – even if I wanted to go back to the old ways, they wouldn’t let me.”

Client name

  • David Wilson
  • HSEQ Director

BIACS Auditor

Written by Nick Garland on Friday April 23rd 2021

Asbestos audit case study

Background

BIACS is a provider of safety services ranging from IATP-audited training, to nationwide asbestos surveying. Founded by Paul Beaumont, BIACS embodies more than 30 years’ of experience within the asbestos industry. The business is focused on being impartial, independent, but fair when assessing progress, procedures and compliance.

Challenge

When building his business, Paul drew on his extensive experience of operating licensed asbestos removal companies to design consistent and comprehensive audits for his clients. As the demand for audits increased, it became more obvious that much of the auditing process relied on set procedures and questions. Paul realised that gathering information in a structured and repeatable way would help BIACS to improve the consistency of its work, and further raise the quality of the audits it delivered.

In early 2020  BIACS began using Assure360’s auditing capabilities to support and enhance its work. Among the benefits, the simplicity of the Assure360 Audit app meant that Paul could turn up on site armed only with an iPad – doing away with the need for pens, paper or clipboards.

Results

BIACS’ adoption of Assure360 has proved a boon for its auditing business. Offering guided support through a comprehensive site audit process, Assure360 Audit ensures that Paul can capture detailed information on site with the minimum of fuss. By implementing a structured data-gathering process, the app ensures that no checks are missed and that the audit is thorough. Widespread and simple support for photo evidencing means that all findings can be backed up with images, helping highlight both shortcomings and good practice.

By following a consistent process, the app guarantees extremely high consistency between audits. This helps ensure that no checks are missed, but it also supports higher quality analysis and comparison between audits. Able to demonstrate a highly consistent approach, BIACS is often asked to audit alongside LARCs’ own internal auditors, providing a benchmark and comparison.

Repeated auditing with Assure360 allows BIACS to produce detailed training needs analyses for its clients. Where those clients also use Assure360, the data can be pooled to ensure the most complete understanding of training requirements. As an IATP-audited provider of training, BIACS can use its deep understanding of clients’ needs to provide tailored and highly targeted training.

What the client said

There’s a benefit to auditing based on a consistent process. Fundamentally it means you can’t forget to do something – either on site, or when writing up the audit. The flip side of that is I’ve done audits for other organisations where you’re literally given an A4 document with tick boxes on it, and you go down and tick them. You’re limited to ticking the box. And you’re also inheriting any blind spots in their system.

It’s not like that with Assure360. You’re going through the boxes and you’re saying: “yes, the guy has got training, yes he has got a medical, yes he’s fit-tested”, but you can comment on anything. With Assure360 it’s got that consistency: the layout’s the same, the information is the same.

It’s easy to follow and it’s easy to identify needs in operatives as well. When I deliver training for clients who use Assure360 they can present us with information to say, for example: “We’ve got three guys who aren’t that good in this particular area. Can you cover that in the training?”. It lets us focus the training more – makes it more valuable.

Back when I was personally getting trained as an operative, we’d turn up for mandatory training every 12 months and go through the same training course we’d had the previous year. What a proper training needs analysis allows us to do is to tailor that course, not only to make it informative, but also to make it interesting so they’re actually learning something, rather than just sitting there going through the same old stuff they did before.

Client name

  • Paul Beaumont

Client role

  • Proprietor

DMD Environmental

Written by Nick Garland on Tuesday February 23rd 2021

Background

DMD Environmental is an asbestos specialist with offices in the East Midlands and East of England. Offering asbestos surveys, management, and removal, the company works with customers ranging from major government bodies and housing organisations, to individual homeowners.

Challenge

Like many licensed asbestos removal contractors, DMD Environmental has found that the successful expansion of its business has come with a large administrative burden. Mandatory record keeping, and the need to analyse and act on the data it collects, represents a major undertaking for a business running multiple projects and sites at any one time.

DMD Environmental had previously tried to address this, implementing a digital form-based system to capture site data. Unfortunately the system was only a partial success, with staff finding it complex and hard to use. Moreover, the company was still heavily reliant on paperwork, and committing many hours of manpower to labour-intensive processing and analysis.

As the company continued to prosper, it faced a growing need to streamline its existing processes. Additionally, it recognised that modernising its data collection and analysis had the potential to improve the way it could manage projects and staff. In January 2021 it hired group coordinator Kriston Fox, and tasked him with finding solutions.

Fox quickly understood that the existing system didn’t meet DMD Environmental’s needs and, after fruitlessly contacting the vendor, began looking at alternatives. With an entrepreneurial background in IT and customer-facing roles, Fox sought out a data capture and analysis solution that would support a modernised, paper-free approach to site management. Within a month, the business had implemented an Android tablet-based solution powered by Assure360.

Results

Fox understood the full potential of moving DMD Environmental to cloud-based technology. By adopting Assure360 Paperless and Assure360 Audit, the business was able to free its supervisors from the burden of paperwork. Just as importantly, with data flowing back from sites in near real time, managers gained a more detailed view of their projects, letting them offer more proactive and timely support.

The rollout of Assure360 presented an opportunity to reinvent the way that DMD Environmental managed its sites. Fox equipped the tablets with Zoom and Microsoft Teams, creating a tool that connected managers with their project teams. With easy communication, instant data capture and paper-free site management, the business cut down the need for site visits, and removed common friction points from its asbestos removal workflows.

Importantly, the solution has been embraced by the same staff who had a poor experience with the earlier system. During training, supervisors were astonished that they could fill in job details in Assure360 Paperless, and seconds later see the data arrive in the cloud-based Assure360 dashboard. Instead of having to carry large ring binders of paperwork around, site teams and their information are now linked to the wider business via a single, wipe-clean tablet.

Quick roll out

DMD Environmental’s experience shows that it’s possible to rapidly improve and modernise paper-bound asbestos removal processes – even when they are longstanding.

Assure360’s experience and support also played a key part in getting DMD Environmental up and running quickly. From video-based demonstrations during pre-sales, to extensive support and training materials during rollout, the Assure360 team was on hand to ensure a friction-free experience. It also worked with Fox to ensure that the business could realise the full benefits of the platform, and get the maximum return on its investment.

What the client said

“Our business had a lot of paper – the industry itself is very traditional, and can be quite tech-averse. At the same time, the people who work on site have an exceptional level of knowledge and understanding. Our goal was to try and get the two to merge together – supporting our workers’ expertise with technology that would help them apply it.

I took a look at the previous system and understood the feedback the staff had given me on it: ‘I tried it but it doesn’t work. It’s too complex. It’s not user friendly’. I realised I wouldn’t want to use it. I knew we needed something better, and having spoken to Rick and Chris [Garland], we landed on Assure360.

People in the office can’t go and strip asbestos out of a building – they wouldn’t have a clue. But you need to provide the information from the site in the way that people in the office – and the Health and Safety Executive – want it. That’s what Assure360 does. The more you use it, the more info it collates, the more detailed your reports become – it’s pretty mega.

Having Assure360, the hard work’s already done. As soon as we’re inputting the info on site, our contract manager or auditor can go out and audit again using Assure360. This constantly gives us a live picture of where we stand.

Being able to have instant, live connectivity is a game-changer for this industry. And anyone that’s in this industry that doesn’t realise that will fast become outdated, and they will struggle – look at what’s happened in retail. Now I can instantly see how things are going on our sites. Our MD or contracts manager can come in and ask me ‘What’s going on on that job?’ and I hit a button and there it is – with pictures and everything.

And if we get a problem, we can crack on Teams and sort it out. Rather than the supervisor having to call in, and the contract manager having to go out to site – which could be 100 miles away. That saves them two or more hours of driving, and the manager thinking ‘What are the problems going to be?’, and having to work out ‘If we need a new bit of equipment, where are we going to get it from? If we need a new member of staff, where are we going to get them from?’

If we know straight away, we can deal with that issue straight away.

I think it helps that when I send Assure360 an email I get a response, whereas with our previous vendor I didn’t get a response until I terminated our contract. What I found in Assure360 was a provider who was open to new ideas, wasn’t holier than thou, and was credible. They know what they’re talking about.”

Client name

  • Kriston Fox
  • Group coordinator

 

Asbestech goes Paperless

Written by Nick Garland on Tuesday August 11th 2020

Background

Established in 1983, Asbestech has grown to become one of the leading asbestos and hazard-removal businesses in the UK. With a nationwide presence, supported by five regional offices, Asbestech delivers the highest quality solutions for major clients in the public and private sectors. Originally focused only on asbestos removal, today Asbestech has extensive hazard-abatement expertise spanning specialisations including lead paint and ventilation cleaning. In addition, the company has expertise in reinstatement work to replace hazardous materials with modern alternatives.

Challenge

Already an Assure360 customer, Asbestech was using the system to reinforce and extend its culture of safety, quality and performance. In particular, Assure360 had helped the company dramatically improve the way it audits and analyses its performance on site. However, despite enjoying increased efficiency, and having gained a more dynamic view of where to focus investments in process, training and support, operations director Phil Neville was keen to target further improvements.

In particular, Neville was aware that the Assure360 Paperless app might offer significant productivity gains, by reducing the on site paperwork burden for Asbestech’s supervisors. However, for various operational reasons – the company had yet to move forward with the upgrade.

Things changed at the peak of the Covid-19 lockdown. As Neville successfully renewed the company’s asbestos-removal licence, he realised how much adopting Paperless would have helped with the questions asked by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). At the same time, Assure360 was working on a revised Paperless app which would support Asbestech’s existing Android mobile device infrastructure, and the company became part of the beta testing programme.

Results

Asbestech used the momentum of the lockdown to implement improvements to the way it manages jobs on site. In addition to investing in updated Android tablets and the Assure360 Paperless upgrade, the company installed remote working tools including Zoom. Doing so immediately helped increase face-to-face contact with teams using the new virtual tools, and reduced the need for staff and paperwork to travel between office and site locations.

In addition, the switch to Paperless allowed Asbestech to improve and streamline its processes on site. With supervisors no longer needing to make and manage paper records, more time was available to supervise asbestos-removal work. With data regularly synchronised to the cloud, rather than languishing in folders in the site office, contract managers gained a real-time view of supervisors’ checks, helping identify and correct any issues as they developed.

What the client said

“We used a paper-based system before. We’d do our checks then we’d have to go and finish our paperwork – it was very time consuming that way. Even so, I was a bit sceptical about using a paperless system at first. I’m not the most computer-literate person in the world.

“The new system is better. Obviously it takes a few days to get used to the app – but once you do it’s quicker. It’s exactly the same checks you’d be doing with a paper system, but you haven’t got the folder. You haven’t got the paper there – it’s just done on a small screen. It’s made my job easier.”

Client name

  • Mark McGonagle
  • Major works supervisor

“Paperless is a more efficient way of doing the paperwork on site. It means nothing gets mislaid or has a cup of coffee spilt over it, and you can always read it because there’s no poor handwriting to contend with. It’s very efficient.

“It wasn’t easy making changes during lockdown, but what prompted me to roll out Paperless in the middle of the pandemic was that I could see how much it would help our site teams, and also with the questions that the HSE were asking as part of our licence renewal.

“Removing the paperwork has really helped us. Now supervisors don’t need to bring reams of paperwork back to the office, which is good because that’s one vector through which the coronavirus might otherwise spread. It’s also good in terms of eliminating unnecessary travel, helping us meet the environmental commitments of our ISO 14001 certification.

“The other way in which it is a real godsend for us is that my contract managers get the information everyday, whereas before they were talking to the sites, but they wouldn’t see paperwork until they did a site visit or it came to the end of a project. Now we can see every day what paperwork’s been done – and quality check it. If one of the supervisors needs a bit of coaching on filling out his site diary effectively, we can jump on it straight away rather than wait until the end of the job.

“It has helped in other aspects of the business too. For example, we recently had a scheduled audit from the British Standards Institute as part of our ISO 45001 accreditation, and being able to run through the site info via the PC while screen sharing with the auditor made the process simple. The auditor commented that he thought the Paperless system was excellent, and that he wishes more of his clients he audits had it.”

Client name

  • Phil Neville
  • Operations Director

Related links

Website: www.asbestech.com

twitter: @asbestech

Greenair

Written by Nick Garland on Thursday July 23rd 2020

Asbestos management case study

Background

GreenAir Environmental is a Glasgow-based asbestos surveying and removal company. Founded in early 2016, the company has built its reputation on exemplary standards and competitive pricing, delivered through a partnership between experienced staff and cutting edge technology.

Today, GreenAir has grown into a leader in the asbestos industry, completing contracts of all sizes across the UK. Using technology from CCTV to drones, it prides itself on offering full transparency and accountability to clients and the Health and Safety Executive.

Challenge

GreenAir’s director, Graham Patterson, has pursued a clear strategy to distinguish the company in the marketplace. By using the latest equipment and systems, GreenAir aims to offer not only higher standards of safety and cleanliness, but to operate with streamlined workflows and agile working methods.

Graham has focused on the application of technology to achieve greater transparency and better results, for example by equipping all enclosures with wifi enabled CCTV which allows for remote viewing. At the same time, he has designed record-keeping and collaborative working systems that reduce paperwork, and support scalable, flexible teams. By minimising his administrative overheads, and reducing the need for him to be on site, Graham’s business can work more efficiently and offer more competitive pricing.

GreenAir chose Assure360 as a central component in its technology-led approach. By exploiting its combination of app-based, granular data collection and a secure, cloud-based dashboard, Graham has been able to cut paper out of his business processes, and improve his vision of what happens on site.

Results

Graham’s approach has proved a great success in normal times, but during the Covid-19 pandemic it became vital. Like many asbestos removal contractors, GreenAir’s protective equipment meant it could keep operating at the height of lockdown. Even so, restrictions on staff contact meant that the company had to devise new working methods that met or exceeded social distancing requirements outside the enclosure.

Assure360 proved fundamental to these efforts, supporting a completely paperless approach. “We wipe the iPad down and we can pass it to each other,” said Graham. “Having the iPad on site is transformative. We use date-stamped photographs to record attendance, and whether someone’s clean-shaven – our guys can take the photos from two metres away. We can pass the method statement round on the iPad, so everyone knows what they’re doing.”

This ability proved critical under lockdown, as partners and principle contractors queried multiple details in an effort to ensure safe working. “We got to the fourth revision of the method statement before we were allowed on one site,” Graham explained. “To be honest, not much had changed from the first revision, because they were trying to get us to implement things – such as face-fitting our masks – that we already do.”

“We wouldn’t normally mention face fitting in a method statement because it’s mandated by our licence,” he adds. “So we were having to add stuff that we wouldn’t normally put in, for their benefit rather than ours.”

What the client said

“Assure360 itself has streamlined the company massively, but it’s helped greatly under the lockdown. If it wasn’t for Assure360 I think we’d have a major issue. The supervisor’s doing all his checks and enclosure inspections on Assure360, so again it’s all done at the click of a button. If work needs updated we can do it remotely and it’s updated on the system – we don’t need to print anything off.

“We’re lucky that, while we’ve never experienced anything like the Covid-19 pandemic before, the precautions that they’re asking us to take are something we do on a daily basis without actually thinking of it too much. But if we were to go back to the old paper systems for actually managing jobs I think we would struggle.”

Client name

Graham Patterson

Client role

Director

Emchia

Written by Nick Garland on Sunday February 23rd 2020

Asbestos management case study

Background

Emchia Asbestos Solutions was founded in 2016, and has quickly grown to become a major provider of asbestos services. Despite being a relatively new company, Emchia’s management team represents decades of experience, with managing director Luke Gumbley an industry veteran of more than 18 years. Today, Emchia operates from offices in Preston, Coventry and London, providing asbestos removal, land remediation and soft strip services for major clients across much of the UK.

Challenge

Since its inception, Emchia has aimed to provide – and become known for – the high-quality of its services. A core strategy for growing the business was to use modern technology to reduce the administrative overheads and increase the efficiency of the business, allowing Luke Gumbley to focus the company’s resources on achieving the best outcomes.

In starting a licensed asbestos-removal contractor (LARC) from scratch, Luke faced a common challenge. While Emchia couldn’t perform licensed asbestos removal until the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had granted it an initial 12-month licence, even getting to that stage required significant investments of time and money. As with other licensed asbestos-removal businesses, it was essential during the first year that the business performed as it said it would, and that it kept the records it would need to prove this to the HSE.

It’s often said that keeping an asbestos-removal licence is harder than gaining it, so at renewal time, LARCs such as Emchia need to be able to prove that the processes they described in the initial application have been implemented properly and remain effective. And with the HSE’s recent switch to an online, evidence-based system, businesses need additional guidance on the appropriate information and examples that the HSE needs, and how they should be presented.

Results

From the outset, Luke chose to improve the efficiency of his business and gain greater insight into its performance through Assure360. “We had the software since we first set up the business,” he explains. “We used it for the audits and the personal monitoring. It helped us when we were setting up to keep the cost down, because we didn’t need a person in the admin team doing those tasks for us.”

As the Assure360 system has expanded, new features and apps have further helped Luke to streamline the business and ensure it performs to his exacting standards. Emchia signed up to the Assure360 Paperless app shortly after its launch, immediately reducing the paperwork burden for supervisors, and for Luke’s back office team.

“It’s user-friendly for the guys – they prefer it as it’s reduced the time they spend on inspections right down, giving the supervisor more chance to actually supervise instead of completing documents. They can get their checks done fairly quickly first thing in the morning, then they’re free to manage the site instead of having their heads buried in a folder of paper for a couple of hours.”

Crucially, Paperless allows Luke to take a daily view of the checks and activity on site, ensuring that all the equipment and processes are working as they should be. This helps Emchia avoid a major drawback of the traditional paper-based approach, that minor issues tend to stay on site until the paperwork returns to head office. “If that happens on a three or four-week job, you’ve kind of missed the boat,” Luke explains.

Licensing

Assure360 has been instrumental in supporting Emchia through its initial asbestos-removal licence application, and during two subsequent renewals. After just 12 months of operating, Emchia so impressed the HSE’s inspectors that it was granted a two-year licence. When this approached its expiration, however, the business found itself among the first to experience the initial problems with the HSE’s revised, evidence-based renewals system.

“I completed the online form from start to finish,” says Luke. “It took me about four weeks and I think I’d still be there now if it wasn’t for Assure360! There were a few teething issues at the start of the new HSE process because their communication wasn’t the best, and I think over the first few months it was hard for applicants to know what evidence to present, and how to present it.

“While I was doing it I thought it was the worst thing in the world, but with Assure360 the information I needed was at the tip of my fingers. I leaned on them, asking where the information was and how to present it, and they were great – even sending me links to the actual information for my business, which I could then share with the HSE.”

Emchia completed the process, gaining a three-year licence with no conditions. “Now I’m done I’ve come around on the new system,” adds Luke. “It’s helped me understand my business more and given me confidence that we’re doing exactly what’s required. Emchia is now set up perfectly the way that the HSE wants it to operate, and I can clearly see that, and I can clearly show them the proof.”

What the client said

“Every decision that’s made, whether it’s commercial or health and safety, I’m in touch with that site through Assure360. My time’s been freed up quite a bit, so I get more time to go out and manage the jobs.

“Assure360 helps me see where we can save money, or where we can do things better or improve slightly in the future. Ultimately it helps me earn a better margin doing better quality work – supporting the key way in which we’re growing the business.”

Client name
Luke Gumbley
Director

Website: www.emchia.co.uk

Asbestech

Written by Nick Garland on Sunday February 23rd 2020

Asbestos management case study

Background

Established in 1983, Asbestech has grown to become one of the leading asbestos and hazard-removal businesses in the UK. With a nationwide presence, supported by five regional offices, Asbestech delivers the highest quality solutions for major clients in the public and private sectors. Originally focused only on asbestos removal, today Asbestech has extensive hazard-abatement expertise spanning specialisations including lead paint and ventilation cleaning. In addition, the company has expertise in reinstatement work to replace hazardous materials with modern alternatives.

Challenge

Asbestech’s mission is to build a culture of safety, quality and performance that’s unmatched elsewhere in the hazard-abatement industry. A fundamental part of this commitment is an emphasis on exemplary health and safety (H&S) practice throughout every project, underscored and supported by regular auditing and analysis.

Previously, the company’s internal auditing tool was an 18-20 page document completed onsite, analysed, then filed away for quarterly review. While effective, Asbestech was seeking a way to do more with its auditing data, improving its analysis to provide fresher and more powerful insights that could further improve site safety and the quality of the work being done.

Through a longstanding professional relationship with Assure360 founder Nick Garland, Asbestech became an early customer for the Assure360 system, principally using its powerful auditing tools and personal exposure monitoring features.

Results

Assure360 has enabled Asbestech to dramatically improve the way it audits, interprets and improves its performance on site. “The massive advantage with Assure360 is that it covers more than our previous audit form used to,” explains the Asbestech Operations Director, Phil Neville.“With Assure360 you can do a quick site inspection, you can just do a paperwork check, or you complete an in-depth site audit of all the H&S aspects which encompasses environmental practice, quality systems and everything else.”

“The data gets fed back to a central cloud-based system, so when I open it up the first thing I see is a screen with headline charts and graphs. It’s immediately apparent if there are any trends I need to look at, if there’s any particular processes that have gone awry, or if there are individuals we need to coach.”

Neville explains that the system’s visual reporting has proved an invaluable tool in providing direction and feedback during monthly meetings with contractors and supervisors. “We can bring up the visual charts and show the teams: ‘These are the kind of things that are being picked up on site so we need to concentrate on trying to improve those.’ Because it’s pie charts and bar graphs, it’s much simpler for people to understand – rather than us just showing them a big spreadsheet full of numbers.”

Crucially, rather than relying on the time-consuming analysis of paper records to spot safety trends, Assure360 provides Asbestech with a dynamic view of where to focus improvements in process, training or support. The benefits include real-time improvements to safety and performance, helping Asbestech protect workers and building users, and deliver to the high standards that it and its customers expect.

Licensing

Asbestech prides itself on having continually held full asbestos-removal licences since licensing was introduced. It recently submitted its first application under the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)’s new evidence-based system.

“The licence renewal used to be that you’d send them information such as your standard procedures and H&S manuals, and then they’d come in and spend a day or two interviewing you and going through everything in great detail,” says Neville.

Under the new system, however, the emphasis is on asbestos-removal contractors to collate and send much fuller records and evidence via email. Neville explains that Assure360 helps demonstrate that Asbestech is managing its site auditing systems well. It also helps with the ‘hot topic’ of personal exposure monitoring.

“Assure360 makes it very simple to demonstrate to the HSE that we are collecting personal exposure information, that it’s all being stored on a cloud-based system, and that management see and review it regularly. We can show that we use the information from it to identify trends, but also to identify our anticipated exposure levels – which we need to draw up our method statements. Ultimately we use it to make sure we are keeping our team members safe.”

What the client said

“The HSE has stated that they expect licensed asbestos-removal contractors to be ‘exemplary’. Assure360 helps us demonstrate that we are.”

Client name
Phil Neville
Operations Director

Related links

Website: www.asbestech.com
twitter: @asbestech

Armac Group

Written by Nick Garland on Friday August 23rd 2019

Asbestos management case study

Background

Founded more than 20 years ago, the Armac Group has grown to become one of the UK leaders in demolition, and land reclamation and remediation. Today the group comprises two companies – Armac Demolition and Armac Environmental – which together provide every service necessary to turn a derelict site into a cleared, safe environment ready for re-use.

Asbestos removal is a fundamental part of demolition work, and its proper management is essential to the safety of those working on a site, and those who’ll use it afterwards. Armac Environmental exists to manage asbestos removal to the highest standards throughout all Armac Demolition projects.

Challenge

As one of the UK’s biggest demolition companies, Armac typically works on large-scale projects involving major buildings such as schools or hospitals, and infrastructure including road and rail. Complex projects will often run to three or four months, during which time mandatory asbestos paperwork previously remained on site. This presented the asbestos Project Support Manager and his team with a huge challenge as the completed paperwork was returned at the close of each job.

Aside from the significant time lost to carefully processing the paperwork, the team was aware that effective analysis and review of its asbestos removal projects was only possible after it had ended. While acute issues could be addressed through site visits and supervisor feedback, opportunities were being missed to identify and address training needs and improve performance across the job as they happened.

Armac had been an Assure360 customer for some time, using core features such as auditing and exposure monitoring. When Assure360 Paperless launched, the company realised that the new app could offer a solution to the shortcomings of a paper-based system. However, as a major contractor with multiple accreditations, it needed to be certain that any changes to its record keeping and safety-critical processes were appropriate and effective, and that they would constitute an improvement.

Results

Armac began a limited introduction of Paperless on smaller projects, using it to replace conventional paper-based safety checks and record keeping. As a granular, data-based system, Paperless ensured that supervisors’ safety-critical checks were recorded digitally, and shared in real time with the office team. Supervisors were quickly freed from managing mounds of on-site paperwork, enabling them to spend more time supervising the safety and quality of the asbestos-removal work itself.

The benefits were immediately clear to the office team. Not only was it freed from hours and hours spent processing paperwork at the end of every job, it now had access to live data describing its teams’ performance on site. Able to perform analyses during jobs, rather than after them, the team could respond to emerging trends, ensuring that training and other resources could be directed to maintain quality, promote safety and ensure milestones were being reached.

Reassured that Paperless can replace on-site paperwork with a more streamlined and effective system, Armac is now deploying the app across all projects –

What the client said

It’s saving me hours and hours and hours of going through paperwork. It’s a lot quicker, and everything’s visible, so we can see everything as the project’s ongoing.

Say the exposure monitoring is higher than it should be, we can deal with that at the time rather than three months later when we get the paperwork back. If there’s an issue on site that hasn’t been picked up yet, it gives us an extra way to spot it and act before it becomes a problem.

The team’s very helpful. Very quick to respond. We’ve only had one issue: a supervisor who couldn’t log in on site. I called Assure360 and within half an hour it was all sorted out and we were ready to go.

Client name

  • Johnathon Teague

Client role

  • Project Support Manager

Amianto Services

Written by Nick Garland on Tuesday July 23rd 2019

Asbestos management case study

Background

Amianto Services is fast growing to become one of the leaders in asbestos removal in North West England. Founded in 2017 as part of the Carroll Group, Amianto’s strategy is to achieve growth by building and maintaining a reputation for efficiency, safety, and excellence.

Key to this is the innovative and professional approach of Managing Director Tony Loughran, an 18-year veteran of the asbestos removal industry. Under Tony’s leadership, Amianto has already achieved milestones such as Alcumus SafeContractor accreditation, and a full Health and Safety Executive (HSE) asbestos removal licence, which for those who don’t know, enables the company to undertake high-risk asbestos removal work.

Challenge

While many long-established asbestos removal companies struggle with outdated systems and legacy workflows, as a new company Amianto Services was able to begin with a blank slate. Given its ambitious strategy for growth, a core challenge would be to ensure that the company’s safety-critical checks and mandatory record-keeping could be managed in a streamlined and efficient way that would scale to support the growing business.

Tony Loughran was already familiar with the advanced auditing features of Assure360, and was keen to evaluate the system’s ability to help manage the workflows involved in running and growing the company. Specifically, Tony wanted to assess whether Assure360 Paperless could help him minimise the administrative overheads faced by his site supervisors and the back office team. Another key requirement would be that any system should help Tony and his team demonstrate their competence to the HSE during their initial asbestos removal licence application.

Results

The Assure360 team was able to quickly demonstrate that Assure360 is an effective and streamlined management solution for today’s asbestos removal industry. Integrating auditing, trend analysis, competence and training needs with accident, incident and near-miss reporting, the suite provides the essential tools for effective asbestos removal and health and safety management. In addition, Amianto Services was quickly satisfied that the new Assure360 Paperless app was the tool it needed to help manage safety-critical checks and record-keeping, both at launch, and as the company grew and scaled up its operations.

Amianto Services became a full Assure360 customer, and the Assure360 team was quick to tailor the solution to support the efficient and thorough workflows Tony Loughran wanted to implement in the business. The team offered support in the run up to the critical licence application with the HSE, after which Amianto Services was immediately granted its first one year licence with no conditions. It remains on-hand to support Amianto as it further refines and improves its operations. In particular, using Assure360, Amianto will be able to provide all the evidence that the new licence regime could possibly demand – at the touch of a button.

What the client said

I’d had previous good experience with Assure360’s auditing capabilities, and thought from the outset that the suite might prove an invaluable tool as we built an efficient and streamlined asbestos removal company. The results have been fantastic – the software ticks all of our boxes, and Assure360 continues to add new features that fit really well with the way we want to work.

One of the best things about the Assure360 system is that the people are available, and always willing to help. They’re very knowledgeable, both from a programming perspective but also with their experience of the industry we work in. They’ve helped tailor the system to suit some specific requirements we had, and if anything ever comes up the team is straight on it. They were very supportive ahead of our HSE licence inspection, and the system really helped us demonstrate our competence.

As we grow, Assure360 is on hand to help train up our new staff. Assure360 Paperless is really proving its worth here, too. For us it was essential to avoid a situation where hiring more supervisors and operatives resulted in a log-jam of paperwork on site and back at the office. Paperless has helped us build smooth processes around our critical site checks and record keeping, and the app will be a fundamental part of helping us maintain quality and efficiency as we scale up.

On a personal level, I’m made up with it – and excited to think about what I can do next with our business.

Client name

● Tony Loughran

Client role

● Managing Director

Horizon rolls out the asbestos removal Paperless app

Written by Nick Garland on Sunday December 23rd 2018

Background

Horizon Environmental Ltd is a private, independent company led by a management team with many years of providing asbestos removal and environmental services to the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors. Horizon has grown rapidly over the past five years, routinely undertaking very large complex projects. Horizon is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards in all dealings with employees, customers, suppliers and the public. It believes in upholding practices that create long-term value, and which enhance Horizon’s reputation for safety, integrity, and professionalism.

Challenge

The team had grown significantly in recent years and alongside this expansion came additional asbestos removal auditing paperwork for everyone. In particular, the burden of site specific paperwork fell to the supervisors and leadership team, who were tasked with overseeing multiple asbestos removal audits and large amounts of related auditing paperwork and admin.

As an extremely competent and experienced team, with a three-year licence, they were always looking for ways to improve and be more efficient. They knew their paper system, whilst laborious was essential, but felt that there had to be an alternative.

Horizon were keen to get some support from an expert provider and find a solution that could save their supervisors time, while being easy to roll-out across the business without requiring large amounts of training. The also wanted something that could be installed without spending large amounts of money on new equipment.

Results

Horizon decided to rollout the Assure360 Paperless app in Autumn 2018 and, following advice from the technical support team, assigned a few of their supervisors to get training and support the roll-out across the organisation. This rollout took just a matter of days.

With the introduction of Assure360’s Paperless App, the team had a digital support tool that meant Horizon’s supervisors could eliminate all their asbestos removal paperwork and record safety critical checks including everything from site registers, times sheets and inductions to exposure, RPE checks and site diaries through the app.

Not only did the team become more efficient and productive, they were able to get rid of their bulky folders with reams of paper and use their iPads instead. It was a perfect asbestos removal solution for the team and one that the supervisors believe has been transformative for the business.

What the client said

One supervisor, Craig Toomer, who had over 12 years in the industry, was one of the super-users appointed to get Paperless set up. He was an ideal superuser, as he knew first-hand the amount of paperwork, rigorous tracking and time the auditing process entails. Despite how time consuming and inefficient their existing paper system was, he knew that a lot of people in the organisation were familiar with it and might be reluctant to change.

He also knew that a lot of the team were technophobes and were not 100% confident when it came to software and apps; himself included.

‘At first I was very daunted when I heard what was going to happen. I’m not very technical. I can use my iPhone but that’s about it,’ Craig said. ‘I have to say I was taken aback by how simple it was. I picked it up very quickly and now I much prefer it to paper.’

‘The extra time it gives me to supervise them makes my life so much easier. I’ve been using the Gold version, which deals with all of the personnel checks, RPE checks, timesheets, site register and exposure and can’t fault it.

‘It’s also means I have everything on an iPad rather than a huge site folder. Even on a short project it saves me a huge amount of time. I can’t wait for the full Platinum version, which will take care of plant and enclosure checks as well. I am confident it will be absolutely superb.’

Client name

Craig Toomer

Client role

Supervisor

Want to see how Assure360 Paperless could cut through paperwork and unlock efficiencies in your business? Discover more in our free monthly webinars“.

 

Breyer Group

Written by Nick Garland on Tuesday May 23rd 2017

Construction health and safety management case study

Background  

Breyer Group has over 400 employees and more than 60 years’ experience specialising in roofing, construction, responsive repairs and maintenance. They are one of the industry’s leading principle contractors, operating from their headquarters in Romford, Essex and a network of locally based offices.

Challenge

As a large company with multiple offices, more than 400 members of staff, working on many sites with different clients, Breyer needed an intelligent system which could provide a single centralised platform to monitor all aspects of construction H&S. Breyer historically audited their sites using a bespoke tool. However, the system did not extend to tracking accidents and incidents, which had to managed separately. Significant development costs were becoming an obstacle to improvement. The support contract for the internal system also expired in two months, meaning the solution needed to be implemented quickly.

 

Results

Assure360’s approach of configurable cloud database gave the best of both worlds. Working right out of the box, it was implemented within weeks, bespoke questions following very shortly after. Not only did it replace all of the functionality that the in-house system had, it went further bringing in accident and incident tracking too. The tried and tested audit tool meant that actually recording observations became quicker. Reporting via the Cloud platform – instead of being time consuming and labour intensive – was speedy and intuitive. The Cloud approach also gives visibility to all those that need it – site managers all the way up to the board.

What the client said

“Assure360 has been a breath of fresh air since we started using it. The system is very easy to use, but at the same time powerful and comprehensive. We were able to create our own bespoke questions, so even though it is an off the shelf solution – working right out of the box, it has been configured to what we need.

“360 allows us to quickly and easily audit sites along with report, track and investigate H&S incidents. The cloud database lays all of the information I need to do my job – on a plate. I can instantly understand what our findings are telling us. Reporting to the board is no longer something I have to take weeks to prepare for – everything is at the touch of a button. What is even better is that the system is so easy to use, it is no longer me and my team that ‘do H&S’ – all of the contracts managers and directors participate.

“Assure360 allows me to do my job – manage H&S and improve the safety culture of the company. In short – we couldn’t ask for any more.”

Client name

Andrew Le Marie

Client role

Group Head – Health, Safety and Environment

Romford Group

Written by Nick Garland on Monday January 23rd 2017

Project management case study

Background  

The Romford Group provides a comprehensive refurbishment and maintenance service including the removal of asbestos and re-insulation covering the Home Counties and Central London. The Group now has an annual turnover of approximately £5 million.

The Company is renowned for it’s friendly hands-on management approach and we are committed to giving our clients a good quality finish, on time and competitively priced.

All of our labour and specialist sub-contractors are carefully selected and maintain the Company’s personal approach when working in occupied premises.

Challenge

The Romford Group operates across London and in various UK counties and uses a range of different teams of operatives and subcontractors for onsite project delivery.

The company needed a way to synchronise the management of client projects between their in-house employees and outsourced onsite teams. The company also needed a system that presented all of the employee training and competence information easily and clearly.

With the changes in requirements from the HSE, the company needed to increase the data it routinely monitored to maintain its reputation for high health and safety standards.

Results

The Romford Group began using Assure360 in 2015 and now consider it an absolutely integral tool for the successful functioning of their business. Not only has it improved communication and progress tracking between in-house and outsourced teams, it has also provided a means of tracking their employees’ training in order to shine a spotlight on areas of potential weakness and transform them into strengths. The Assure360 system also helps the Romford Group to track the competency and effectiveness of their outsourced teams, helping to ensure they are collaborating only with others who meet their own high standards.

The dashboard approach focuses attention on high level trends and allows a proactive approach.

What the client said

“We have been using the Assure360 system since early 2015 and have found it to be invaluable in developing the business. Nick and the team were able to quickly implement the system for us and whilst it took us a little while to get the hang of things it is now an integral part of our business. It is flexible enough to bring out our strengths but at the same time shine a light on our weaknesses – and help resolve them. The Assure360 System really helped with our recent license renewal, and whilst the HSE made some suggestions on ways to improve it even further, it clearly impressed them. We had no hesitation in renewing our contract.”

Client name

Jim Marling

Client role

Divisional Manager

Horizon Environmental Ltd

Written by Nick Garland on Monday January 23rd 2017

Asbestos software case study

Background

Horizon Environmental Ltd is a private, independent company led by a management team with many years of providing asbestos removal and environmental services to the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors. Horizon has grown rapidly over the past five years, routinely undertaking very large complex projects. Horizon is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards in all dealings with employees, customers, suppliers and the public. It believes in upholding practices that create long-term value, and which enhance Horizon’s reputation for honesty, integrity, and safety.

Challenge

With the rapid growth of the company, came a demand for increased management control and supervision. The traditional approach of auditing on paper did not allow the company to identify trends, understand competence or even close-out non-conformances in a timely fashion.

The management team at Horizon needed a faster way of tracking, recording and sharing their data. The company had also built a reputation for its high standards of delivery and wanted to be able to track the effectiveness of their subcontractors to ensure this reputation continued to grow. Being able to demonstrate to its clients maintenance of these high standards was critical.

Results

The Horizon team have found the use of the Assure360 system transformative. It provides a simple, centralised place to manage their audits effectively and has huge time-saving benefits for busy senior staff members. It is also simple enough that staff new to computer systems can also quickly master it. This has allowed senior supervisors to participate fully in the H&S management system.

The app also provides easy tracking and reporting data, helping to ensure the company can spot and resolve any issues early on and remain on track with targets and deadlines.

What the client said

“We have now been using the Assure360 system to manage our audits for nearly two years and I must say that it certainly does everything we need – helps us accurately manage competence, close out audits, measure trends and highlight re-occurring non conformances. The audit app is so easy to use that even my busiest contracts manager completes reports – as does my senior supervisor. The home page gives an instant health-check and reports are all done at the touch of a button. When you factor in the time saved – it has been a bit of a no-brainer”

Client name

Ben Ives

Client role

Managing Director

AA Woods

Written by Nick Garland on Monday January 23rd 2017

Asbestos management software case study

Background  

Woods was originally formed in 1994 to provide high quality asbestos remediation services across the South East of England. It now operates nationally across five offices located in Harlow (HQ), Milton Keynes, Wellington, Pontyclun (South Wales) and Rhyl (North Wales) delivering asbestos solutions to a broad range of market sectors procured through competitive tender, sole source arrangements or long-term frameworks.

Challenge

To evolve with the rapid expansion of the business, Woods needed a system which would allow their managers – based at five different UK locations – to easily track and monitor all aspects of their client projects, from health and safety record keeping to competence assessments. Senior management based at the head office also needed to spot company-wide trends and be able to support and assist the regional teams in a proactive manner.

They needed a single system reading from one dataset, but accessible across the country – allowing both a regional and national approach when needed. And they needed to track overall success rates in order to highlight any areas which could be improved and ensure overall effectiveness of the teams.

Results

The Assure360 system was rolled out to Woods management staff across the board, and has proved to be indispensable in allowing managers an easy and efficient platform on which to record, share and track the the H&S success of their projects. The ability to measure all aspects of H&S, exposure monitoring, competence monitoring and training needs analysis has saved significant admin time. It also reduces the chance for human error with its reporting functionality. This helps managers to easily provide accurate reports to senior managers, which in turn give a great overview of where the company is succeeding and where it can invest time and energy in improving.

What the client said

“In my role as Compliance Manager I use Assure360 all the time. I find it invaluable, simplifying every task from health and safety recording, competence monitoring, close-out of audits, exposure monitoring and reporting to senior management. The Assure360 Support Team are very responsive and actively encourage feedback. I feel as though the system is continually improving and evolving to match exactly what I need.”

Client name

Louise Morley

Client role

Compliance Manager

Royal Mail Group

Written by Nick Garland on Friday December 23rd 2016

Asbestos compliance case study

Background

Royal Mail have been collecting, processing and delivering letters and parcels in the United Kingdom for over 500 years. It’s the UK’s pre-eminent delivery company. The workforce of 139 thousand postmen and women and support staff delivered some 17 billion items in 2015-16, using thousands of vehicles and operating from more than 2000 buildings across the UK.

The buildings vary greatly in size from the smallest of vehicle workshops to huge mail centres. As well as varying in size there is a broad age range for their sites.

Challenge

It’s a huge infrastructure, and coordinating suppliers and contractors to safely remove asbestos from the Royal Mail Group’s more than 2000 locations was a very daunting task for Asbestos Compliance Manager, Richard Bennion. Coupled with this, there was a requirement to protect Royal Mail Group’s good name and reassure the huge workforce that asbestos and asbestos removal was being managed safely.

Royal Mail Group required a system that would allow a very detailed look at how safely its asbestos specialist suppliers were operating, whether their work adequately protected the workforce and properties, and simplify the KPI measurement process.

Results

Assure360 allows a layered approach to auditing so that internal managers can audit as well as getting its external asbestos consultants to inspect. The result is a large number of inspections and training sessions for the Royal Mail Group team – effectively making them an expert client.

The dashboard gives access to everyone that needs it – including the contractors themselves, who can view their own audits at the touch of a button.

The audit findings drive Royal Mail Group’s KPIs and the contractor assists with the close-out of non-conformances. They are therefore participating in their own KPI process – making contractor review a straightforward, conflict free process.

Not only this, but Assure360 also tracked competencies at an individual contractor level, making it easy for Richard to confidently choose a high-quality contractor that he knew was up to the task.

What the client said

“The Assure360 database allows us to take a top level view of all of our asbestos removal contractors, directly comparing and contrasting them against each other. The audits are detailed but at the same time easy to complete. Inspections can be carried out by our own team, or selected partners – so we aren’t tied to a single consultant. Reports can be produced at the touch of a button. Assure 360 is the solution that provides a robust approach to compliance audits of our suppliers.”

Client name

Richard Bennion

Client role

Asbestos Compliance Manager

LAR

Written by Nick Garland on Friday December 23rd 2016

Asbestos data management case study

Background

LAR are a HSE licensed asbestos removal contractor operating on both a national and international scale. The award winning company is at the forefront of the UK industry with regards to health and safety, training and industry best practice.

As a business LAR work extremely hard to ensure they remain at the forefront of the industry with regards to H&S, quality and performance. The company continues to invest heavily in staff development and training and has been recognised as being one of the industry’s front runners with regards to operatives, supervisors and management completing the ARCA Competency Scheme. In line with new guidance LAR have also moved the business to a more proactive approach to staff development and have invested a significant amount of effort in developing an industry leading Training Needs Analysis system. The efforts the business puts into its own development has recently been recognised by its Trade Association ARCA by being awarded with the Gold Training Award, the National Training Award and ARCA Gold Site Audit Award, where special recognition was achieved by securing this award for the 2nd consecutive year.

LAR’s heritage is major construction, but has specialised in asbestos removal for the last 30 years. LAR have been part of the growth of the asbestos industry and have evolved with it.

LAR work in all sectors of the built environment including:

  • NHS
  • MOD
  • Local Authority
  • Leisure
  • Petro-Chemical
  • Facilities Management
  • Higher Education
  • Retail
  • Housing Associations
  • Utilities (Water, Gas, Electric & Nuclear)
  • Central Government
  • Off-shore works

Challenge

As an established company with national and international clients, LAR knew their product was top quality, but success brings its own problems. With approximately 100 site staff the amount of auditing that is required to keep on top of quality and safety is enormous.

A new system was required to gather the information simply, process the data and create a suite of reports that allow the management of H&S to be integrated seamlessly with the operations and the quality management system.

Results

LAR began using Assure360 in early 2016 as a way of keeping all their compliance and auditing data in one easy-to-access place which could be updated by all staff members involved by the project at any time. The system now drives most of the quality management functions evidencing and supporting BSI compliance.

Since LAR started to use Assure360 it has grown – helping with more departments, in particular the exposure monitoring, competence and training needs analysis.

What the client said

“Whilst initially skeptical of all such systems, now that we have been using Assure360 for a while I am totally converted. It is an incredible asset to my organisation. All the tools and reports allow me and my team to really understand safety in our company, helping us drive through improvements. If licence renewal was brought forward to tomorrow – it would hold no fears for me. I would be 100% confident that Assure360 would make showcasing LAR’s high standards easy.”

Client name

Bob Clarke

Client role

Managing Director

 

“LAR have been utilising Assure360 since the start of 2016. The system has streamlined the way in which we work from both collecting data and also a reporting perspective.

We have showcased the system to a number of clients during tender interview/presentations and they have been impressed with the information we are able to report on. The most notable feedback we have had to date was from the BSI assessors who were undertaking a two day audit of our quality, environmental and H&S management systems, they made a specific reference within their close out report, noting the improvements the Assure system had made to our business from previous years. I would also note that when we have approached the Assure360 team with ideas or improvements, they have been quick to make changes to meet our businesses requirements.”

Client name

Steve Hannah

Client role

Development Director

 

“Assure 360 is simple to use, yet the output of information that links the competency, audit and health and safety has provided us with valuable data that has assisted LAR in improving various aspects of the business. At the press of a button, the visual reports are effective and give real time information button that LAR Senior Board and external auditors have found useful, effective and easy to understand. We find the Status/Actions Required/Due Dates useful tools in ensuring that the correct staff members are notified of, and deal with issues – ensuring effective and timely close off that can all be managed centrally. A real time saver that produces valuable information that assists in improving health, safety and competence that would benefit any business.”

Client name

Alison Brooks

Client role

Quality & Audit Manager

East Coast Insulations

Written by Nick Garland on Friday December 23rd 2016

Asbestos training case study

Background  

East Coast Insulations (ECI) was one of the first licensed asbestos removal companies in the country, starting operations at the same time as the regulations in 1983.

As the largest company in the region ECI provides asbestos removal, management, surveys and thermal insulation throughout Norfolk and Suffolk. ECI is by far the longest established asbestos licensed firm in the area.

Challenge

ECI is a family-run business and continuously invests in its staff training and development program, priding themselves on keeping up to date with the latest regulations, guidelines and Approved Codes of Practice from the HSE to provide top quality service.

H&S management has changed dramatically over ECI’s 34 year history and managing the continual development and training of a large team comes with its own challenges. It was becoming increasingly time consuming and difficult to manage training records and subsequently, to manage whether training budget allocations were being maintained or used effectively.

Maintaining the close knit family approach and yet stay cutting edge was the brief.

Results

In 2014, ECI was one of the founder members of the the Assure360 system. Our training-needs-analysis reports were integrated into the company, allowing delivery of training courses to provide in-depth understanding of the team’s strengths and weaknesses. Not only has this allowed them to invest in training in the right areas to round out their business, the staff training tracking also eliminated wasted time as they now only invest in the training courses which are needed. The detail that it provides, also allows the company to internalise training – getting operatives with particular strengths to help those with weaknesses. This allows the company to make a saving in recouped working hours and unnecessary training course fees.

What the client said

“We’ve been using the Assure360 system for over two years and whilst it took a little time for us to exploit its full potential it is now an invaluable tool in helping us manage the company.

The audit tool is very easy to use and gives us an extremely detailed understanding of the jobs and how they are running. The staff competence system paints a clear picture of our team’s strengths and weaknesses (operatives, supervisors, contracts managers, stores and admin), allowing us to react accordingly. And the exposure monitoring solution is remarkably powerful but still easy to use. It saves us time and effort. The HSE’s response at our recent license renewal was that they had never seen such a powerful and comprehensive system.”

Client name

Jason Boast

Client role

Managing Director

Delta Services

Written by Nick Garland on Friday December 23rd 2016

Asbestos management case study

Background  

Delta Services is one of the leading asbestos removal contractors in the UK. With over 22 years experience in asbestos removal, Delta Services provide asbestos abatement services to a wide variety of clients ranging from NHS Trusts, universities, hotels and large retail chains to small businesses and private individuals.

As a prominent member of ACAD they value their reputation in the industry.

Challenge

As a large company with staff members who frequently work remotely on different sites with different clients, Delta Services needed an intelligent system which could provide a single centralised platform to monitor their asbestos removal processes in one place.

Like all asbestos removal contractors the administration of exposure monitoring and audits is a constant labour intensive problem that required a solution.

Results

Managing Director of Delta Services, Ken Johnson, had not been expecting to find a tool that could reliably manage all the company’s clients workflow in one place, allowing his staff access to universally up-to-date client project data wherever and whenever they needed it. After seeing a demonstration of Assure360, however, he knew he had found a tool which could do this, and much more.

With Assure360, Delta Services employees could access client data in one place at any time, wherever they were, keeping workflows up to date and seamlessly managed from start to finish. This also dramatically reduced the risk of important information being lost or duplicated. .

The system has streamlined all of the processes that most removal contractors wrestle with on a daily basis – making doing business so much easier.

What the client said

“The moment I saw the system demonstrated I knew it was an absolute must for us. It ticked so many boxes – all the areas that the entire industry seems to struggle with. Nick and his team fundamentally understand the challenges and has designed a product specifically for us, allowing my company to improve and showcase our strengths. At our recent license renewal, the HSE inspectors were amazed by the power of the system and couldn’t believe everyone wasn’t using it.”

Client name

Ken Johnson

Client role

Managing Director