Lagan Valley Steels

Lagan Valley Steels Limited has grown from its small beginnings in the 1970s to become one of the biggest independent steel stockholders in Northern Ireland.

Background

Initially, the company operated from two small hay sheds on the Moira Road, Lisburn, which is a far cry from its current 105,000 square foot modern office and warehouse facility in Culcavy, Hillsborough. The management of day-to-day employment law and health & safety matters is the responsibility of company accountant Margaret Keighley, who has worked within the steel industry since 2002. For more information contact 028 9268 0900 or visit www.lvsteels.net

The management of day-to-day employment law and health & safety matters is the responsibility of company accountant Margaret Keighley, who has worked within the steel industry since 2002.

Challenge

“Northern Ireland is very different to the rest of Great Britain in my experience because it is a smaller country where everyone knows everyone and as a result there seems to be less of a claims culture.

"This means some of the employment law issues that crop up regularly in Great Britain do not tend to arise here. Consequently, I mainly use Croner for health & safety issues and compliance at Lagan Valley Steels Limited.

“Working in this industry is high risk and clearly we have to be fully compliant with the required legislation. For instance, a number of the fire regulations changed recently, which we had to work through quickly to ensure we were in-line with the changes in the legislation."

How We've Helped

“We have used Croner to provide the required documentation to evidence our health and safety systems. We have also had visits from a Croner consultant to review our policies and procedures. By working with them we can be sure that our business is fully compliant.”

For Margaret, the need to be fully compliant is essential, following two serious health & safety incidents at a previous employer, which required Croner’s help.

“We had a situation at a company I used to work for where an employee made a spurious claim of a health and safety breach for injuring himself with a piece of equipment that he was not trained or authorised to use.

“The case went to court where we were able to present the documentation that had been recommended by Croner. As a result we were able to show that we had followed correct health and safety procedures and had the documentation to prove it." "The case was found in our favour and the judge made a specific reference to the quality of the paperwork provided.

It was the templates, equipment safety checks and employee training records provided by Croner for the health and safety manual, which helped us prove that the employee should never have been using that piece of equipment.

“The second health and safety dispute I encountered was when a number of previous employees were claiming they were affected by noise levels which had adversely affected their hearing.

“Croner carried out an inspection of our premises to ensure that the noise levels were not beyond the permitted limits and to ensure they had the appropriate ear defenders. They also ensured that we were using the correct signage to warn of noise levels and the requirement to use ear defenders if necessary.

“Following the report from Croner which independently quantified the decibel levels on site, we were able to show that the claims were invalid and they were consequently rejected.”

The company benefits from Croner’s Simplify Complete service, which is the smart way to improve efficiency, protect your business and ensure compliance with HR and health & safety.

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