Ethical Power

Client Story

Why SHEQ and BI matter for major utility projects

Few things in business are as important as people’s safety – whether indoors, outdoors, wherever our work takes us. As a longstanding and vital sector, utilities has a good record in health and safety – but that doesn’t mean the way things are done should always remain the same.

The sector must also adapt to the need for a greener infrastructure, with both quality and environmental considerations today being more important than ever. In this context, SHEQ will always be a priority, but the way it’s managed is evolving, and today’s technology makes it easier than ever to fulfil these safety, health, environmental and quality obligations.

We want to retain the clients we’ve worked hard to build relationships with by delivering the level of service they expect, and maintaining our reputation within the industry.”

Chris Clark, Compliance Manager
Ethical Power Connections

 

For Chris Clark, Compliance Manager at Ethical Power Connections, the importance of SHEQ management is clear. As a company that designs, installs and constructs high voltage substations up to 132,000v – primarily for renewable generators, such as solar farms and large-scale battery storage – health and safety is an overriding concern. He says:

“Nobody goes to work to be harmed. That’s our primary driver – to make sure everybody’s safe.”

SHEQ is about more than just health and safety, however, and it also delivers wider benefits for Ethical Power Connections. Chris explains:

“We work predominantly in the renewables sector. We deliver major projects for companies working to reduce the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels, and we have the word ‘ethical’ in our name. We have to live up to that by
protecting the environment
from what we do.
We also want to deliver a high-quality product. We want to retain the clients we’ve worked hard to build relationships with by delivering the level of service they expect, and maintaining our reputation within the industry.”

So how does Ethical Power Connections’ SHEQ system help them work more safely and comply with their obligations? Chris says:

“Our SHEQ system drives our processes and ensures that we plan and manage our works from initial mobilisation to final handover. It helps us manage our legal duty to have construction planning documents in place, and helps ensure that tasks are risk assessed, and that plant and equipment has been inspected and calibrated prior to use.” 

“From a quality point of view, it stops us putting anything out there that
doesn’t meet the standards of the Distribution Network Operators or our private
customers. It also helps us manage plant inspections, and makes sure our equipment is in good condition and isn’t going to affect anyone’s health and safety.”

Paper-based SHEQ management is one way to handle it, but Ethical Power Connections uses the triopsis SHEQ system with BI reporting, and Chris appreciates the difference. Now there’s no waiting for information to be emailed or for paper forms to be delivered. All the data is at Chris’s fingertips.

The information we get now is immediate. We can track trends and work out where we can make improvements. It gives a good high-level overview that tells us where we are, any issues we might have, and where we’re doing really well.

The industry is currently very busy, and we want to be as efficient as possible so chasing and checking paperwork is time consuming. Triopsis gives us immediate reassurance that we know what’s going on.”

Not that Ethical Power Connections’ SHEQ performance is solely their own concern. As Chris explains, their clients are increasingly invested in making sure the job is completed in a responsible, ethical way, and the SHEQ system makes it easy to deliver the information they need.

We provide regular reporting to our clients, and increasingly it’s based on our SHEQ performance with greater focus on our obligation to deliver the projects ‘as green as possible’. We can easily draw information out and report on it accurately.”

The information we get now is immediate. We can track trends and work out where we can make improvements.”

Chris Clark, Compliance Manager
Ethical Power Connections

There are even advantages when it comes to winning new business and achieving industry accreditation.

“This information is required for pre-qualification tenders, and I can instantly get the figures I need to prove our SHEQ performance. It’s much easier than trying to track through spreadsheets to work it all out.

“The system can also be used as part of the evidence gathering process for our ISO 9001, 14001 and 45001 accreditation along with the Achilles Utility Vendor Database (UVDB) and National Electricity Registration Scheme (NERS), especially when it comes to getting information back from construction sites located throughout the UK.”

Ethical Power Connections initially used the triopsis SHEQ system primarily to manage its plant and equipment, but having experienced its power and potential, they now use it to drive a host of other processes and improvements – from fully digitising the entire SHEQ process to more efficient reporting and investigation.

For utility companies, safety and compliance are obligations, not choices.
But as Ethical Power Connections demonstrates, the right SHEQ system can be a significant business opportunity too.

I can instantly get the figures I need to prove our SHEQ performance. It’s much easier than trying to track through spreadsheets.”

Chris Clark, Compliance Manager
Ethical Power Connections

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