BIF Services Limited is a small, specialist resin flooring and hygienic wall cladding contractor based in Retford, Nottinghamshire, which work on a variety of industrial, commercial and government projects.
Managing Director, Simon Bellamy explains: “We provide safe, durable and hygienic working surfaces for industry, retail and the public Sectors. This is a wide offering because we provide a complete service of repair, preparation, installation and after care of floor, wall and ceiling surfaces.
“The company employ 12 staff, split approx. 50% with over 15 years’ experience with us, 25% with over 7 years. The company’s operations are overseen by a 5 strong Management Team who bid, implement, monitor quality and oversee the installation teams.
“We operate from Retford, but our work takes us across the UK, so management of our projects is constantly changing, adapting and developing.
“The company has been a specialist resin contractor for nearly 45 years, with the last 5 years easily being the most challenging. Restricted business volume, increased awareness of health & safety, employment law, sustainability & changing business employment practices have led us to undergo a major reorganisation so the business can compete more effectively to attract the right levels of business.”
“The company has always directly employed and trained staff, we firmly believe that well trained, motivated employees will provide a better service and experience than hired hands. This is in contrast to many of our competitors who only hire installation teams in for their projects.
“Subcontract (Labour Only) staff are quicker and possibly more efficient, but our trade needs careful and methodical installation, so the need to offer an alternative quality, safety and service approach has become extremely important over the last few years. We’re now an extremely attractive proposition for working in sensitive sites such as in Mental Healthcare Facilities, Police Custody & HM Prison sites as well as on MOD Sites, or in Large Blue Chip Manufacturing sites where our confidentiality and considerate working are primary concerns for our clients.
“The emphasis on Health & Safety has also increased sharply, with online portals requesting increasing detail and in-depth specialist knowledge. Our company uses chemicals, creates dust, generates waste and at times we make quite a bit of noise. We move people across the UK to remove, dispose, apply materials and we need to manage this work safely, protect others from the effects of our work and ensure we minimise the effect of our activities on our environment. The combination of these factors puts us at the higher end of the risk scale
“It became clear that we needed a cost effective, easy to implement, easy to manage Health & Safety System which would support the needs of our business. Our systems needed to allow us to demonstrate our compliance easily and to have expert guidance immediately to hand.
“Croner Simplify provides an extensive, well organised system which adds credibility to our business and helps us organise our people and our systems.
“Employing an in-house Health & Safety Manager isn’t really an option for a small business and with experienced people already organising work, a carefully chosen outsource facility met our need to obtain guidance as or when we need it.
“We tried several types of Health & Safety consultants. Smaller consultancies provided basic systems, which proved adequate for several years, but with Health & Safety in the workplace increasing, we chose to seek the advice of recognised experts. Other larger consultancies felt distant and when we looked around, Croner appeared to be a leading consultancy with an online offering which proved the best opportunity for us.”
How We've Helped
“The annual review is very helpful. It gives us eyes on the ground to ensure that our premises are correctly organised, that we have performed our obligations correctly each year and it provides us with guidance to steer us on new legislation, or better ways to manage Health & Safety.
“We primarily use the Simplify system for easy access to guidance on our Health & Safety Policy and information on Health & Safety issues we may come across during the year. On the very few occasions we needed to contact Croner for guidance, an email to our Health & Safety Consultant quickly provided the answers we needed.
“The revised CDM Regulations needed reviewing; we don’t get too involved with this because we always work on behalf of a main contractor or end user who both act as Principal Designer/Principal Contractor, but we took guidance provided by Croner and were able to respond with confidence. This adds credibility to our business.
“We’ve received a full inspection of our offices, stores and external yard areas, including guidance on pallet racking, shelving, storage of LPG, a review of fire safety arrangements & traffic management. During the visit we also ran through our Health & Safety Policy, individual Management responsibilities and a full review of the findings of the audit completed the previous year.
“The meeting was informal, friendly and we covered a lot of ground; all of which was summarised (with advice) in a report arriving about a week later. This forms our action plan and allows us to quickly resolve, modify or implement systems without too much disruption to the business.
“I wouldn’t say Croner has had a noticeable impact, but that’s the point! Sudden changes would cause disruption but our company has quickly become better organised with issues relating to HR & Health & Safety. Both BIF Management & our staff are clearer on what we have to do, what our individual responsibilities are and how what we do, can affect our customer.
“Whilst small specialist businesses like ours will always endeavour to act safely, organising and implementing work safely is far easier knowing that we have a full Health & Safety system behind us and expert guidance on hand should we need it.
“The assistance available and knowledge at hand is great. The service from Croner will continue to support our business growth.
“Croner ensures that we’re given the guidance to allow us to continue to meet our obligations in Health & Safety and Employment Law. This is only our 2nd year with the service but it feels a natural part of the business and one which will remain central to our needs as we grow our business with increased staff numbers.
“Sales during the last year have doubled, our health & safety record is excellent and we’re better organised to successfully bid on key projects (online Portals now complete and our applications have been accredited) and more focussed company-wide to deliver work safely.”
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