Allison Enterprises recognises that consistency breeds confidence. With customers the focal point for this Perthshire-based fencing, landscaping and fabrication solutions provider, Allison has founded its reputation upon delivering the results client’s desire reliably and effectively, time and time again.
A significant part of its success is its dedication to quality, an extension of which is the company’s robust health and safety practices. The nature of its work – which includes a broad spectrum of specialist fencing solutions, hard and soft landscaping, site clearance, tree works and ground works across Scotland and northern England – means operatives face a number of safety critical challenges on a daily basis. Indicative of Allison’s work ethic, the company values the health and wellbeing of its workforce as its chief priority. It has therefore continued to develop its policies and procedures in order to enhance its overall capability through health and safety best practice.
While the commercial benefits of accreditation to such organisations as CHAS, Constructionline and Achilles are clear, Allison is rightly proud of its achievements says Debbie Priest, who oversees health and safety within the company, because it highlights how effective policies have been implemented across the business. Added to this by its ISO 9001accreditation, the company has proven that only the highest standards will do.
“Having these accreditations is vital to winning work,” remarks Priest. “But it’s more than that because these audits highlight that you have the relevant training in place, that operatives are properly qualified, and that your procedures towards the wellbeing and safety of the your workforce are robust and effective.” Importantly, she adds: “It gives clients confidence in you as a business.”
Allison has successfully utilised an external health and safety consultant to oversee its policies which are then managed by Priest internally with qualified Contracts Managers and Team Leaders monitoring day-to-day onsite. It’s a method that has worked well for the company which recently passed two Achilles audits (one specifically for tackling risk on the railways, and the other its construction-focused Building Confidence) without any non-conformances.
These accreditations are an ideal way for a business to track its own performance on an annual basis, in turn helping it to better itself year-on-year. “One of the areas we’ve looked to improve recently is our safety checks on the various equipment we use, particularly making our inspections specific to each type of equipment,” says Priest. This has been complemented by additional day-to-day risk assessments that re-focus attention on safety to ensure it forms the cornerstone of the workforce’s thinking.
It’s not easy, says Priest, as operatives want to go out in the morning and get the job done as quickly and professionally as they can. “What we try to instil is an approach that encourages them to take a step back in the morning; to make sure they are doing their daily briefing. We also brought in a policy called Take 5, which is effectively a daily mini risk assessment. It is about trying to encourage the thought process that says: health and safety is just as important as getting the job completed.”
Internal training has increased to help staff while toolbox talks have enhanced safety awareness by making it less about paperwork and ticking boxes and more about its wider benefits to the implementation of an effective project. Such group discussions also evoke a more proactive interpretation of health and wellbeing by allowing staff to raise issues, ask questions, and put forward their own ideas.
It’s evident that Allison Enterprises gives its staff the same respect its gives its customers. Internal development has created a work ethic based on pride, which has helped the company grow its stature, its client base and its reputation.