How Recovery Partners got Shanes Trees through IMS development and accreditation in just six weeks
Shanes Trees Professional Arborists are based in the Sutherland Shire in NSW. The business was started by Tommy Lawson over 35 years ago and is now proudly operated by Tommy’s son, Ben. Shanes Trees offer various services, including tree lopping, removal and pruning, stump grinding, land clearing and preparing arborists’ reports for residential, commercial and government customers. The Shanes Trees business activities can be very high risk, as team members are often working at heights, using equipment such as chainsaws and stump grinders and contending with environmental factors such as noise, wildlife and weather. Gaye Cameron is the Senior Safety Consultant who was appointed to assist Shanes Trees.
Ben from Shanes Trees approached Recovery Partners about a tender he wanted to apply for, which would position his business as a preferred arborist of the Sutherland Shire Council. However, the tender required applicants to have an accredited Integrated Management System (IMS), which Ben’s business did not have. Shanes Trees had basic safety documentation, but a lot of development would be necessary to meet accreditation standards. What’s more, the tender submission was due just six weeks from the date that Ben first rang Recovery Partners.
An IMS consolidates business processes into a single unified system that is more efficient and more effective than disparate systems specific to various areas of the business. Accordingly, it’s important for stakeholders to fully commit to the process of IMS development and working towards accreditation. Luckily, Ben Lawson, the owner of Shanes Trees, was on board and prepared to do what was needed to take his business into its’ next stage of growth. ‘Ben was very passionate about his business and enthusiastic about upgrading the safety system to meet accreditation standards,’ says Gaye. ‘He even appointed one of his team members as a Safety Team Leader to ensure this area of the business would continue to be prioritised beyond accreditation.’ To develop the IMS, Gaye worked closely with Ben and his team to learn about the operations of his business and gain an understanding of the various hazards and risks that the team were exposed to in the course of their work. While the IMS was being developed and implemented, Gaye was also working with Sustainable Certification to prepare for the audit that would ascertain whether Shanes Trees’ IMS would be accredited. The IMS consisted of:
- ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety
- ISO 14001: Environmental Management, and
- ISO 9001: Quality Management.
‘Shanes Trees were given accreditation for their IMS just 24 hours before the tender documentation was due,’ says Gaye, ‘so they submitted in the nick of time!’ Gaye worked with Ben and the Shanes Trees team for an additional six days after their accreditation was awarded to assist them with the process of IMS implementation. After that, Ben’s new Safety Team Leader was ready to take over. ‘Ben’s Safety Team Leader took the bull by the horns and has really stepped up to meet the demands of his new role,’ says Gaye. ‘I’m always at the other end of the phone to answer any questions he might have, but I’m confident the business will thrive under this new IMS. An accredited IMS will allow Shanes Trees to apply for further tenders, demonstrate their safety credentials to potential clients and break new ground with the size and scope of the projects they take on.’ Certification is not only reassuring to customers, but management, too, as Gaye points out. ‘Compliance with safety regulations is so much simpler when there’s a system in place. With the IMS in effect, Ben can be comfortable that he’s doing everything he can to look after the safety of his team members.’ Congratulations to Gaye, Ben and the Shanes Trees team for putting in a mammoth effort and getting that IMS development and accreditation turned around in record time!
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au
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