Construction health and safety management case study
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Andy LeMarie
- Group Head of Health and Safety
Share on Facebook
Share on Linkedin