Our health and safety golden rule is ‘assess the risk’ to ensure our people can do their jobs safely

Case Study: Hitachi Construction Machinery (UK) Ltd

Based in Tyne and Wear, Hitachi Construction Machinery (UK) Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Construction Machinery Europe which is renowned for high quality, advanced technology, and unrivalled reliability. In this interview, Laurie Betty, the Assistant HR Manager at Hitachi Construction Machinery UK Ltd, explains why some of the team have recently completed the NEBOSH Award in Managing Risks and Risk Assessment qualification and the benefits the company has gained by rolling it out.

Can you tell us a little bit about your business and your approach to training?

Hitachi Construction Machinery (UK) Ltd is a market leading provider of excavators and wheeled loaders to customers working in industries including construction, quarrying, and mining. The company also provides aftersales parts and service support to customers throughout the UK. One of our core values centres around our people. We aim to support our employees by providing them with the necessary high-quality training needed so they can do their jobs safely, efficiently, and to the standards expected from our customers.

How do you work with Health & Safety colleagues to book the training needed?
A collaborative approach is used to identify and implement health and safety training programs, with all operational health and safety training being organised by the company QHSE department with support from HR. The company has a focus on collaboration throughout the business and all relevant stakeholders are consulted including the health and safety committee before large scale training programs are implemented.

I understand that several of your team completed the NEBOSH HSE Award in Managing Risks and Risk Assessment at Work qualification. What challenges were you hoping to address by rolling out the training?
Some of our employees work in challenging conditions and need to put one of our health and safety golden rules ‘assess the risk’ into action to ensure they can do their jobs in the safest possible way. By giving this group of employees the knowledge and skills to perform their own risk assessments it has not only addressed a potential skills gap but also gave these employees the confidence to assess their work area prior to commencing work.

Why is this particularly relevant to your business?
Our engineers are some of our most skilled employees who work in challenging and highly regulated areas. The expectations from both Hitachi Construction Machinery (UK) Ltd and our customers is that all work should be assessed in advance of it starting. This qualification has given our engineers the confidence to start doing this knowing they have completed a course that is recognised and regarded both in the UK and internationally.

Why did you choose the NEBOSH HSE qualification from the other options available?
We wanted a stand-alone qualification that focusses only on assessing risk, can be completed in a day, and done onsite at any of our locations. The employees who have completed this course will do further training as their experience and confidence grows but we wanted them to feel they have achieved a credible NEBOSH qualification in the first instance rather than a course from a different awarding body.

Which staff groups have been given the opportunity to take part and why?
To support the businesses risk assessment strategy all process owners from our production areas and all our field-based engineers were selected to participate in this training program. These employees were selected as they have responsibilities for, or work in both challenging and highly regulated locations including on projects such as HS2 where Point of Work Risk Assessments are expected.

Did the participants find the course, which was delivered by NEBOSH Gold learning partner RRC International, useful, and enjoyable?
The feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive and they appreciated that they have achieved a NEBOSH qualification. We have used RRC for other NEBOSH training and find the training materials and training delivery to be of a high standard.

How has offering this qualification benefited your organisation so far? 
The NEBOSH HSE Award in Managing Risks and Risk Assessment at Work qualification has provided a key group of employees with the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to participate in the completion of risk assessments. As our business continues to grow, providing high quality training remains a priority for us to support our people.