Customer story
How CMB Engineering achieved health & safety excellence with HANDS HQ

“The engineers have time to do their jobs, to engineer; they're no longer spending all their time on RAMS”

CMB Engineering is one of the largest independent building services contractors in England and Wales. Over 20 years, they’ve grown from a small partnership to having over £80 million turnover. Recently, they shifted the entire firm over to HANDS HQ. We talked to David Williams, Group Health, Safety & Environmental Manager at CMB, to find out how HANDS HQ helped their business.


  • Reduce the time spent on RAMS
  • Move away from generic documents to site-specific
  • Create high-quality, professional, documents

As one of the largest independent building services in England and Wales, CMB Engineering has seen exponential growth since being established over 20 years ago. Over the past 2.5 years alone the company's turnover has increased from £28 million to £86 million, and at any one time, it can be operating over 35 building projects across the UK.

Its project managers and engineers were under pressure to get their jobs done, and done profitably, and it was taking up to two hours to create a single RAMS document. Multiplied across all of the tasks on all of its sites, this was a significant drain on resources for the business; made worse by every single RAMS was rejected by the firm's clients.

“Like a lot of companies, we had a generic word template for risk assessments and another for method statements,” said David Williams, Group Health, Safety & Environment Director at CMB Engineering.

“These would be altered to suit each job, and our clients were leaving ten to fifteen comments per document on what needed correcting before each RAMS was accepted. It wasn't very professional,” continued Williams.

Digitalising its business

With its rapid growth over the past few years, CMB has set its sights on digitalising its business. “We have 35 sites live at a time; which means 35 site supervisors. Digitalising our business to speed everything up is a real focus to ensure we can meet growing client demands” said Williams.

Implementing HANDS HQ has been a core part of the digitalisation process. Since shifting to HANDS HQ nearly four years ago, the time taken to complete RAMS has gone from a couple of hours to 20 minutes. Engineers on site can quickly create site-specific documents, then using the approval workflow they are immediately in the hands of the supervisor, and health & safety manager for them to approve, ensuring RAMS are created the way CMB wants the work done. The quality is continually improving, and the workflow provides engineers with education and training around CMB's process and approved safe systems of work.

“I love the system,” says Williams, “it's so good and so quick; the engineers have time to do their jobs - to engineer. Their time is no longer spent on paperwork”.

“We are so reliant on the platform; the HANDS HQ system formulates the safe systems of work for CMB Engineering.”

By shifting to software explicitly built to streamline the creation of RAMS, not only has CMB noticed an increase in time and quality, its clients have too. “Since moving to HANDS HQ, we've gone from every single RAMS being rejected to barely any. We may get one or two negative comments, at that” said Williams. “Wilmott Dixon [one of the UK's largest and most exacting construction firms] love the system”.

Achieving Health & Safety Excellence

HANDS HQ has become a core part of how CMB Engineering operate. “We are so reliant on the platform," said Williams. “Our information and the HANDS HQ system formulates the safe systems of work for CMB Engineering.”

It has helped CMB save time, create professional-looking documents its clients love, and crucially move away from generic content to every RAMS being site-specific.

And the relationship is also gaining external plaudits, with Williams saying that HANDS HQ is instrumental in the company winning Investors in People accreditation. And most recently, in September 2018 CMB were named ROSPA Gold winners. The internationally renowned award recognises achievement in health & safety management systems.

Find out how HANDS HQ can help your business. Contact us today.