Created in 2000, Gallions Housing Association manages over 5,600 homes within London and the South East. More than just a social landlord they create and maintain sustainable communities that meet the unique needs of their residents.
Gallions is committed to improving and developing its service in response to the communities it serves, and health and safety is no exception. Due to the nature of the organisation – its function and complexity – having health and safety recognised as an integral part of operational efficiency and not a separate issue is essential. With residents at the centre of everything it does,
Gallions Housing Association is continually exposed to a unique set of challenges and risks that are not faced by most organisations.
Open communication and consultation are at the cornerstone of Gallions Housing Association’s community strategy. Their unique proximity to residents means they have an invaluable insight into their day-to-day lives – lives that are facing pressures and issues including safety and health.
In 2000 Gallions recognised it had nothing robust in place to manage the requirements of the Health & Safety at Work Act and identified Sypol as a like-minded and professional organisation, with an in depth knowledge and understanding in its field of operations, that could help.
Gallions Environmental Services Manager, Tom Broad commented: “Gallions continually reviews its commitment to its residents and staff – which includes making a safer place to live and work. Through access to Sypol’s unique knowledge and experience, we have been able to make significant inroads into setting new standards and adhering to best practice, whilst we maintain and improve our reputation and position in the industry”.
Sypol share Gallions high expectations in the management of health and safety and the delivery of good service. Sypol’s unparalleled knowledge in the field of housing has been gained from many years working with central government and non governmental organisations including local housing providers throughout the UK.
Building Best Practice
At Gallions health and safety is viewed as a natural cause for practical management and sensitive resolution. The effort that goes into community strategy also goes into its employees’ daily working environment when trying to mitigate, where practical, the known risks and putting in place reasonable controls.
The commitment to ensure health and safety is taken seriously at all levels is demonstrated by the fact that Gallions is one of the first housing providers to nominate a board member to the health and safety committee.
Over the years Sypol has assisted Gallions with all aspects of its health and safety requirements, including strategic reviews, implementing a robust management system with audit trail, ensuring compliance with the regulations for asbestos, fire safety, legionella, amongst others, and introducing tailored policies, practical operational procedures and training for all aspects of its
daily work. The procedures have naturally grown over that time, and have been altered to suit changing circumstances. But the main aim has never changed – the health and safety of Gallions employees and its clients has and will always be considered a priority.
A Continued Partnership
Procedures for health and safety systems are now very much in place at Gallions and are part of the normal management process and all employees are aware of their responsibilities. During this time the whole implementation process has helped to raise standards and Sypol continues to assist with reinforcing the culture and management of health and safety.
Be it at advising on asbestos, fire safety, legionella or any other health and safety issues faced by employees, Gallions and Sypol work to one set of clear objectives, that is to maintain good practical safety management and to continue to mitigate the known risks, not only to their own employees but to all who use and experience their excellent services.
A key benefit to date has been ensuring the protection of Gallions excellent reputation by raising the profile and understanding of what good health and safety management can deliver. The training and safety updates for staff as well as the knowledge of the management team have, and continue to be, an integral part of helping to change the culture of safety and its management. Securing and extending the genuine buy-in of senior management has built a solid foundation for achieving measurable business benefits in the future.