Making health and safety innovative!
After a short break for the August holidays, I would like to focus this week’s blog on Health and Safety. We are all reminded of the awful consequences that can result when proper health and safety measures are not put in place – the Grenfell Tower fire is a powerful reminder to all of us of this.
CMG employs a dedicated and highly qualified Health and Safety Advisor, Faye Doncaster, who is responsible for everything health and safety in CMG. Whilst this role encompasses many different ‘hats’, I’d like to cover some of the innovative and inclusive initiatives that Faye and some of her colleagues are working on to ensure CMG is not only complying but engaging people at all levels.
Whilst we already have stringent fire safety checks in place, Faye is currently collating fire safety audits that have been carried out by front line managers in every CMG home following the Grenfell disaster. This includes checking the quality of any cladding used as well as ensuring emergency evacuation procedures and face to face fire marshal training is in place. Faye also works closely with Surrey Fire and Rescue Services and has set up a Primary Authority relationship with them meaning she has access to expert fire safety information and support which greatly benefits CMG.
Another initiative that Faye and colleagues introduced last year is the inclusion of people we support in CMG in health and safety. Faye has formulated a group of service users who receive specialist training and certification in various aspects of health and safety. For example, they have already received training in: fire safety, water safety, first aid and are looking forward to the next session on food safety and infection control. This knowledge not only assists the services in which they live to have stringent, inclusive measures in place, but also brings a rich and diverse range of skills to the service users involved.
Faye also manages health and safety training for service users in CMG who are employed externally in paid/unpaid work or for people who are looking for paid/voluntary manual work. This training includes first aid, hazard spotting, risk assessment, equipment safety and manual handling. This is not only great for building service users’ knowledge base, but also ensures their increased safety and confidence and is also great for their CV’s!
There is also a committed team of CMG Managers who are part of a health and safety sub-committee. CMG has funded IOSH managing safely qualifications for these managers who are also responsible for supporting Faye to review, design and roll out standardised health and safety records and documentation across CMG services.
And as if Faye is not doing enough to make Health and Safety more innovative in CMG, she is in the process of organising a really creative Health and Safety Conference this year (we hold a Health and Safety Conference annually in CMG for all Home Managers). I am told it is going to include a ‘mock civil trial’ with a mock judge and jury presiding over a fictitious case involving staff injury in a service. I can see some interesting role plays taking place!
If anyone has any queries about Health and Safety in CMG, or any staff or service users who would like to get involved in the initiatives mentioned above, please contact Faye on; firstname.lastname@example.org