How NEBOSH is helping The FA to ‘win win’ at Wembley

Case Study: The FA

With its retractable roof and distinctive 315 metre long arch, Wembley Stadium is the largest all seater covered stadium in the world.

Built at a cost of £757 million and opened in 2007, the world renowned sport and entertainment venue is owned by the English Football Association (The FA). The infrastructure at Wembley is huge. As well as its 90,000 seats, 161 corporate boxes and famous Royal Box, inside there are four of the largest restaurants in London, ninety eight kitchens (one of which is one-third of the size of the football pitch), thirty five retail units, and a world recordbreaking 2,618 toilets!

FA Group Occupational Health & Safety Manager, Graham Losh is a member of the team who are responsible for health and safety at the venue. Like the teams that grace the Wembley pitch they have an impressive record. But for Graham and the team, their wins lead to Certification rather than trophies. To the best of the health and safety team’s knowledge Wembley Stadium, managed by Wembley National Stadium Limited (part of the FA Group), recently became the first stadium in the world to gain certification to four key management standards.

“To support an existing certification achieved for ISO 14001 (environmental management), we have now successfully achieved certification to ISO 18001 (occupational health and safety), ISO 20121 (event sustainability) and ISO 9001 (quality) management standards. This success is a source of great pride, to the business and for me personally.” Graham explained.

Graham, who holds a NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety, believes strongly in encouraging enthusiasm amongst employees for health and safety through training that is well-structured, highly relevant and most importantly is “engaging”.

“Several years ago, when I had a different career it was a lively and well-delivered induction session that sparked my huge passion for health and safety,” said Graham. “That’s exactly what we are developing here within the FA. We want to bring training alive and for people to really buy into health and safety. That way they themselves can identify and take ownership of hazards, as well as understand how to control them and when to seek specialist advice and support.”

To achieve this the FA Group is developing a ‘Safety Champions’ initiative and has made the NEBOSH Health and Safety at Work qualification an integral part of the training for this function. In just 11 months 30 employees plus 26 business partner colleagues have successfully gained their NEBOSH Health and Safety at Work Qualification. These include managers, front line staff, and those who work in the field providing football skills training, for example.

“The feedback for the course and qualification has been terrific,” added Graham. “The NEBOSH Health and Safety at Work Qualification is incredibly flexible, so we can make it relevant to people’s roles, from catering to ground-staff. We are delighted to see the positive impact it is having on the health and safety culture within the FA, and of course our people also gain a widely recognised qualification which carries the kudos and status associated with the NEBOSH name. It’s a real win-win. A win for the FA and a win for our staff as individuals.”

As well as helping to improve safety culture within organisations, The NEBOSH Health and Safety at Work Qualification is an ideal first step towards other higher level NEBOSH qualifications. For more information visit the NEBOSH Qualifications page.

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