Efficient Safety Structuring: Holiday Post

Posted by Andrew McGiffert |13 Sep 13 | 0 comments

Efficient Safety Structuring: Holiday Post

In my last post I introduced the multinational retailer Primark, who operates 198 stores in UK/Ireland and a further 58 through Europe. From a safety perspective the size and speed of Primark’s operation intrigues me and whilst in the UK I will be visiting a range of Primark stores to better understand how they keep their team members and customers safe. One of  the aspects I wanted to explore within Primark is how they resource safety.

While safety is an important part of the Primark business, like any other operational area it is run in accordance with lean methodologies. Primark employes in excess of 27,500 people in the UK / Ireland operation alone. In 2007 Primark began working with ‘Santia’ who effectively provides the Primark Safety team to UK/Ireland working under the guidance of the Primark EHS Executive.

Santia provides 5 consultants to Primark within the following areas

  1. North West, Yorkshire and East Midlands (Project Manager and Lead Consultant) – 3 days per week
  2. North London, South and West London and Kent – 2 days per week
  3. South West and South Wales – 2 days per week
  4. North East and Scotland – 2 days per week
  5. Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland – 2 days per week

Standard services are provided to Management within Primark to aid in the development of a safety culture, and effective implementation of the risk management system. The approach taken to raising awareness of safety and safety management within Primark is flexible and stepped, a foundation of coaching and mentoring was seen as key before moving towards and auditing regime.

Consultants assist in promoting and enhancing the current Health and Safety culture through encouraging active interest and acceptance of responsibilities and communicating all of the positive benefits that can be gained through operating a robust Health and Safety Management System throughout Primark’s organisation.

The dedicated Health and Safety Lead Consultant works to co-ordinate and develop all activities associated with Policy, Planning, Implementation and Operation, Checking and Corrective Action, Management Review and Continual Improvement under the Direction of Primark’s EHS Executive.

Overview of key services provided by the Santia team:

  •  Bespoke guidance and support to Primark Managers on the Primark Risk Management System.
  • Development and review the Primark Corporate Safety Management System. Development of the Primark Corporate EHS Policy, Procedures, Risk Assessments, Guidance Documents, Work Instructions, Newsletters, Safety Alerts and other material as deemed necessary.
  • Completion of incident investigations for those of incidents which are RIDDOR reportable.
  • Production of relevant Emergency Action Plans and Business Contingency arrangements.
  • Completion of Fire Risk Assessments.
  • Safety tours of stores, moving towards store audit programme ?Development and roll out of bespoke Primark Risk Management courses, having a focus on the Primark safety systems in place and a practical bias reflecting the nature of personnel attending the course.
  • In store training, including manual handing and risk assessment.
  • Chairing of Safety Committees.
  • Acting as the focal point and main source of information and advice for all Health and Safety related matters for their dedicated region.

Close liaison takes place between Santia and Primark in the stores visited, and up to date management information is provided monthly, including a breakdown of activities undertaken.

For those looking for retail safety support in the UK Santia provide services to customers ranging from small business to multinationals and can be contacted through their website http://www.santia.co.uk

 Over the coming weeks I will be visiting a range of Primark stores to further explore their safety standards and to ascertain if their safety resourcing model is effective.


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