Foster a culture of safety to transform a business

Instilling and expanding health and safety practice within every logistics operator will be crucial to securing business growth.

Over 1.4 million people suffer from work-related injuries and ill-health, costing UK companies £15 billion every year. This is according to the latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). “Behind these statistics are real people whose lives have been affected,” says Ian Taylor, Chief Executive of the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH).   

With consumer demand for fast and dynamic service increasing, the focus is often on growing the logistical capacity of a company eager not to waste the profit opportunities. Yet every company must promote the health and wellbeing of its staff and ensure that they are able to work in a safe environment. Companies that invest in this area will reap a multitude of benefits.

Ensuring safety in expansion

Not so long ago, Staffordshire based company Transcentral was focused exclusively on providing same day delivery services. The team’s experience and dedication meant they had a loyal customer base, which included several well-known brands. To support the company’s continued growth, the decision was taken to start offering warehousing and storage services. This expansion required significant investment, not only to get the right premises but also to develop in-house expertise, including health and safety.

When the expansion plans for Transcentral were first outlined, its now Health and Safety Manager, Chad Bott, was not an official employee. He worked in the construction industry but helped with his family’s business whenever he could. Everyone knew Chad was passionate about health and safety, so it made perfect sense to take this opportunity to divert Chad’s career path and for him to become a key player in Transcentral.

“I asked the health and safety professionals that I knew how I could develop my skills and knowledge,” says Chad. He found NEBOSH the best option available. NEBOSH is a UK-based independent examination board providing vocational qualifications in health, safety and environmental practice. Within 12 months, Chad had passed four NEBOSH certified courses, covering general health and safety, construction, fire and the environment. He used the knowledge gained from his studies to develop a complete health, safety and environmental management system for Transcentral.

NEBOSH courses and qualifications range from three-day introductory courses to full Diploma and Masters level degrees. They can be learnt online or in the classroom depending on a person’s learning style, their work and personal commitments. Learning is delivered by the network of accredited learning partners, of which there are over 600 in more than 130 countries. The most popular qualification is the NEBOSH General Certificate, with over 300,000 people around the world holding one of these certificates.

Transforming every part of the business

According to Chad, Transcentral has since been able to implement risk assessments, method statements, environmental policies and traffic management walkways. He insists that each one has been vital to facilitating business growth. As well as investing in the development of its team, Transcentral ploughed money into a new state-of-the art 45,000 square foot warehouse.

“The transformation of the business has been immense, and it simply wouldn’t have been possible without NEBOSH studies and qualifications,” says Chad. Transcentral now boasts a five-star health and safety rating from an international soft drinks manufacturer. “Without NEBOSH I doubt we would have won that tender,” he adds. “We have benefitted financially and culturally from the changes. Everyone feels valued and our team has become stronger than ever.”

Chad also cites positive impacts he has felt on a more personal level, stating that he now has a clear sense of direction and is fully dedicated to the health and safety profession. Next year, Chad will further his expertise by enrolling on a NEBOSH National Diploma course. “For me, it’s been great. I just generally feel more confident and now have a job I love, which allows me to make a difference.”

He strongly recommends NEBOSH qualifications to others working in small businesses. Reflecting on other small companies looking to expand, as outlined in the sentencing guidelines, the level of ignorance concerning health and safety can be quite concerning. Chad concludes that,“from a health and safety point of view, investing in a NEBOSH qualification is essential for any small business.”