‘It’s not ticking boxes, it's about practical, useful advice’
Having been a customer for many years, Swanbourne Estate in Buckinghamshire is well placed to assess the benefits of NFU Mutual’s Risk Management Services.
The traditional country estate, owned by the Fremantle family for over 200 years, is also responsible for many of the houses in the village and much of the surrounding farmland. It also supports many local businesses.
Joanna Clement, NFU Mutual senior health and safety consultant, says she usually visits the estate at least twice a year and the long-term relationship means the health and safety service has been adapted to suit the specific needs of the estate.
“We were able to identify that an 'off-the-peg' solution wasn't right so I have worked on providing a truly bespoke service which includes risk assessments, simple working safely staff documents, staff training and site inspections tailored to the estate.”
When we decided we needed to have a regular health and safety check up NFU Mutual seemed like the best place to start.
Examples of health and safety areas covered at the estate include staff training and contractor management, asbestos management, LOLER (Lifting Operations Lifting Equipment Regulations) management, work equipment safety, and residential and commercial tenant management.
Estate and farm manager, Tom Finchett, said some initial risk reports were produced by NFU Mutual about 15 years ago which had provided the business with useful advice about health and safety policy and risk management.
“When we decided we needed to have a regular health and safety check up NFU Mutual seemed like the best place to start,” he added.
“We take our health and safety responsibilities seriously and our motivation for this is to reduce our risks as a business but particularly to ensure our employees are protected.”
During a consultancy day, Joanna and Tom will usually spend time catching up on any changes or new projects at the estate, before discussing current cases and priorities which the Health and Safety Executive is engaged with and any new or upcoming legislation and how it may impact the estate.
Having assessed progress made since the previous consultancy day, Joanna and Tom will spend a significant amount of time focusing in depth on a particular aspect of health and safety which is of most importance at that time. This allows Tom to feel he really understands an issue and can act to ensure any risks are properly managed.
He says: “We have been using NFU Mutual for our health and safety checks for quite a number of years now. I have had other organisations approach us offering their health and safety services but I have always declined - what we get from NFU Mutual is ideal.
“We receive really practical advice on the best ways to ensure we understand all legal requirements and that our staff are well looked after - it's not just to tick boxes, it's really useful advice tailored to our estate.”
Find out more about NFU Mutual Risk Management Services.