Future Industrial Services Case Study
Scaling Business with an Effective EHS Solution
A digital EHS solution has allowed Future Industrial Services to standardise procedures and processes across all seven sites, gain greater visibility into safety metrics, and mitigate risks faster. This has allowed them to create a more proactive approach to safety which helps to effectively protect their employees and clients.
Future Industrial Services delivers optimal hazardous waste management and industrial cleaning services to a variety of industries from seven sites in the UK. From the oil and gas sector to utilities, this organisation offers multiple services to help companies maintain a safe and sustainable work environment.
Matthew Blake, Technical and Compliance Director at Future Industrial Services, explained how an EHS solution has allowed the organisation to standardise procedures and processes across all seven sites, gain greater visibility into safety metrics, and mitigate risks faster. This has allowed them to create a more proactive approach to safety which helps to effectively protect their employees and clients.
“You can’t manage what you can’t see,” said Matthew. “The biggest benefit of using this system is having the ability to see what people are reporting in real time, which gives us the ability to intervene when necessary, allowing us to decrease the frequency of adverse events.”
Augean Ltd., the UK’s leading specialist waste management business, recently completed the acquisition of Future Industrial Services Limited which is now part of the Augean Group. The Augean Group, headquartered in Wetherby, will now operate from over 21 sites across the UK. This enhanced footprint will allow the company to work more closely with customers to achieve the best environmental outcomes for their waste, through an increased spectrum of capabilities.
Following the acquisition of Future Industrial Services, the combined business will offer a more diverse range of recycling, recovery, treatment, and disposal services for hard to handle wastes underpinned by a network of strategically located sites.
Augean uses robust HSEQ systems; however, it recognizes the value of a harmonised system across the Group. Part of the integration of the business will involve the sharing of the EHS software across the wider Group, which will present a new set of challenges; however, the experience that Future Industrial Services has in using this digital software will smooth that journey to allow for a consistent way of reporting.
Lost Time Injuries in the last fifteen months
Reduction in All Accident Frequency Rate (AAFr)
Increase in reporting due to greater employee engagement
One of the main challenges the team at Future Industrial Services faced was a lack of standardisation in relation to the approach to managing EH&S risks. Across the organisation many documents and procedures were in place at a local level, but these were not standardised across the group for management of things such as COSHH, PPE, Incident investigation, RAMS and similar.
In addition, visibility of these systems was only at a local level making it more challenging to make informed decisions and to help scale the business. Before implementing a digital solution, managers at different sites were doing everything in their own unique way. The same processes and procedures needed to be applied at every site to establish a singular source of truth and method of working. This would help to provide consistency, where everyone is utilising the same steps to complete job tasks to effectively grow the business.
Relying on singular people, Excel spreadsheets, and Word Documents also made it difficult to gain visibility at all levels. This made it hard to track safety activities, employee engagement, trends, safety data, and much more. “It was much more manual before and we couldn't see the full picture” explained Matthew. “We used to spend about 40-50 hours a week to just maintain the system.” Having to bear this administrative burden made it very challenging for the team to stay proactive.
Tracking trends and safety metrics to effectively reduce incidents was also a challenge using this method. Reacting to information in real-time was impossible as each local team was doing things differently. This made it more challenging to mitigate risks or reduce the chance of an incident or injury, as the information was not easily accessible to senior management.
“Standardisation was the key driver for this change. The risk of fragmentation when people are working on different systems is down to the fact that you can’t see them. We work within an industry where higher risks exist that need to be managed by robust control measures and a lot of things tracked.”
Matthew Blake, Technical and Compliance Director, Future Industrial Services
Working within such a high-risk industry, Matthew knew this method of working was unsustainable. After looking at various types of software, he knew that he needed a system that was much more than just a repository for documents which many EHS solutions offer.
He needed one that could help keep, assign, and track actions, grant full visibility, and allow for automation to make health and safety and environmental compliance truly embedded within the organization. With the EcoOnline solution, Matthew was able to tick every box.
Why Future Industrial Services Chose EcoOnline's EHS Solution
Granular data at every level could now be captured with the help of the digital solution. Every manager can now see if their teams have any outstanding or overdue actions, with a report generated every month for overdue safety engagements. They can even drill down to each geographical business and get insights into how they are managing safety.
With the help of automation, Matthew and his team can also stay proactive as everything is maintained for them within the system. After an audit is conducted, for example, the system automatically reschedules another one to a future time set by the organisation. This allows them to understand their priorities and where they should be focused to create a safer work environment.
“It’s an effective system with action tracking and good KPI data that you can drill down into,” said Matthew. “We really needed something that was live and allowed us to escalate things to who needs to see it. You have to be able to see it quickly to act on it. The reporting ability within the system is also key so we can understand exactly what’s going on. Now, I can drop into any site digitally and understand if it’s being managed properly. That’s quite a big advantage.”
62% Reduction in All-Accident Frequency Rate (AAFr)
In the 4 years following implementation, Future Industrial Services can proudly say that they had gone over a full year without any lost time injuries. They had also reduced their All-Accident Frequency Rate (AAFr) by 62% and boosted engagement rates with a 61% increase in employee reporting. This is a testament to the strength of the team’s safety culture, with 270 users across seven sites working within one digital system.
“The biggest benefit for senior management is having the ability to see what people are reporting in real-time, which gives us the ability to intervene, when necessary,” said Matthew. “We’ve also been able to track rolling 12 months safety stats such as leading indicators into our KPIs, that allow us to analyse data to see if we can manage things in better ways.”
61% Increase in Employee Reporting
To keep this momentum going, Future Industrial Services consistently motivates their teams with several rewards. For instance, there are four monthly “Near Miss of the Month” prizes including two random raffle prizes and two which are awarded to an employee who has spotted the near misses adding the most value. They also hold regular meetings where feedback is provided on each near miss and its corresponding corrective actions. This drives further participation among teams, boosting morale and engagement in safety activities.
Explore How We Can Help You Strengthen Safety at Your Organisation
When asked what advice Matthew had for people continuing to use traditional manual processes, he said, “Invest in a good management system to allow your business to scale. Pick one way of doing things so you’re not duplicating efforts across multiple platforms and make sure that the system you choose does everything you need it to do.”
From spreadsheets in drawers to a comprehensive EHS software, Future Industrial Services has been on an incredible safety journey and will continue that journey as part of the integration into the Augean Group. We are honored to be alongside Matthew and his team to help create a safer work environment for all employees and clients.
Curious to learn how we can help you strengthen safety? Speak to an EcoOnline representative today!