With 5 project managers, anywhere from 50–100 projects per year, and at least 3–4 hours of health and safety paperwork per project, the company was spending up to 400 man-hours per year on risk assessments and method statements (RAMS). And that's not taking into account the extra documentation that's needed for bigger jobs, like paperwork updates, separate assessments for electrical shutdowns, COSHH assessments and other worksite necessities.
Until March 2014, Alpine Works primarily used an external health and safety advisor to handle their assessment and documentation needs. It involved a lot of copying and pasting, says Jon Elborn, the health and safety manager at Alpine. The process resulted in large Excel spreadsheets that left project managers with only a general idea of the health and safety situation on their projects and spent more time on formatting than considering the site-specific hazards.
Since starting to use HandsHQ, however, things have changed. Elborn says that they've experienced an 80% reduction in the time it takes to prepare RAMS and COSHH assessments. There are a number of benefits to this beyond the obvious direct time-saving ones: now, anyone is able to complete the documentation process, and if one project manager needs to take over another's project, the transition is much simpler - and completely auditable.
On the help that HandsHQ has provided, Elborn was quick to say that HandsHQ's simplicity and ease of use was crucial to the success of the implementation, especially when getting buy in from all the project managers. He describes HandsHQ as "easy . . . and fast," with HandsHQ’s background in construction shining through.
Whenever any new content needed to be added, the support team was quick to respond. As a highly valued customer, Alpine Works was instrumental in helping HandsHQ to add features to the software that have be useful to all of HandsHQ's customers.
"The days of copy-and-paste are over. Accurate documents are so easy to produce with HandsHQ. As a result, staff are taking a real interest developing their RAMS documents now."
Alpine recently passed BSI 14001 and 9001 compliance testing using HandsHQ, which Elborn says addresses a core need of Alpine's business. He and Alpine Works Limited are looking forward to continuing to use HandsHQ in the future, and making even more strides in creating a more efficient, more effective health and safety division.
With their compliance and best practice issues solved, safer working practices in place, and higher employee involvement in health and safety assessment and documentation, a stronger health and safety culture has been established at Alpine Works, and the future looks bright.