AN engineering company in Huddersfield has joined a scheme designed to help industry improve its safety record.
Westin Drives, which celebrated 90 years in business during 2011, received accreditation from SAFEcontractor, a programme which recognises very high standards of health and safety practise among UK contractors.
The £1m-plus turnover company, which employs 17 people and is based at Phoenix Mills, Leeds Road, offers repair services for all types of motors as well as pumps, gearboxes and electronics.
Serving the chemical, pharmaceutical, food, textile, engineering and aggregate industries, its recent clients have included major players such as Santander Bank, Greggs Bakery and Lockwood-based David Brown Gears.
The company’s application for SAFEcontractor accreditation was driven by the need for a uniform standard across the business.
“Achieving this accreditation is a great accolade and testament to the companies commitment to its customers and safe working practices,” said managing director Richard Bruffell.
SAFEcontractor accreditation is expected to enhance the company’s ability to attract new contracts. Its commitment to safety will also be viewed positively by its insurers when the company liability policy is up for renewal.
SAFEcontractor is applicable to most sectors, although it is particularly relevant to food manufacture, property, facilities management, retail and leisure sectors, all of which are big users of contract services.
John Kinge, head of risk at SAFEcontractor, said: “Major organisations can no longer run the risk of employing contractors who are not able to prove that they have sound health and safety policies.
“More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in the way that Westin has done. The firm’s high standard has set an example, which hopefully will be followed by other companies within the sector.”
Under the SAFEcontractor system, businesses undergo a vetting process, which examines health and safety procedures and the firm’s track record for safe practice. Those companies meeting the high standard are included on a database, which is accessible to registered users only via website www.safecontractor.com
Employer organisations who sign up to the scheme can access the database, enabling them to vet potential contractors before they even set foot on site.
More than 150 major nation-wide businesses have signed up to use the scheme when selecting contractors for services such as building, cleaning, maintenance, refurbishment or electrical and mechanical work.