Merlin has gained the standard, which demonstrates its commitment to ensuring everyone works in a safe environment after three years of work. The final stage of the process was a week-long visit from auditors, Alcumus, at the end of March. They spent the week interviewing a range of staff, visiting the area offices and works depot, and shadowing some of the operatives as they worked in customer’s homes.
Safety, Health and Assurance Manager Helen Jones said “This has been three years of very hard work across the business on this, developing and reviewing more than 40 health and safety procedures and improving the way we monitor our compliance with them.”
“We have introduced a new software system to improve the way in which we record and monitor our compliance systems. We’ve also carried out a huge amount of in-house training to improve staff awareness and competency on safety issues. Everyone should have confidence that they can come to work and go home safe and healthy at the end of the day.”
The auditor’s report praised the improvements Merlin have made, stating: “[Merlin] have installed an extremely robust management system maintained by a dedicated and enthusiastic team. The auditors have no reservation in recommending certification. The auditor stated that she was impressed with the positive and proactive safety culture at Merlin and in the quality of responses she received from staff.”
Helen added: “We are delighted to have gained the OHSAS 18001 certification which really shows our commitment to health and safety at Merlin. It’s been an amazing effort by all. But there’s no putting our feet up now as it’s an ongoing certification and there are still plenty of actions that need to be completed. We will be having surveillance audits on a regular basis and they are due back in October. So we need everyone to stay committed to this.”
OHSAS 18001 was first introduced in 1999 and requires organisations to assess their risks and implement an effective Occupational Health and Safety Management System to promote a safe and healthy working environment. Certified organisations are committed to continuous improvement and are assessed annually to ensure progress is being maintained.