Cawleys welcomes new health and safety leader

Health and safety industry expert, William Furniss, will work with teams across the Cawleys business to further strengthen the company’s safety culture.

The waste management industry plays a vital role in our society, processing the 228 million tonnes of waste which is generated in the UK each year, and employing over 160,000 workers, or 0.5 per cent of all employees in Britain. Ensuring safe and healthy work places is vital for these people, and for the closed loop economy as a whole.

Cawleys is one of the largest, independent, family owned waste management businesses in the south east, employing 250 staff, and will soon be celebrating seventy years in business.

While innovation is central to the business, for example Cawleys has its own state of the art Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) in Luton, so too is health and safety.  William, now in charge of Health and Safety at Cawleys will continue the organisation’s ethos, which has worked continuously to lead health, safety and environmental best practice in the waste management sector.

OHSAS 18001 Accredited

Jon Cawley, managing director at Cawleys, comments on what William’s new role and the company’s recent OHSAS 18001 accreditation means for Cawleys’ staff and clients:

“I’m really pleased to welcome William to the Cawleys family. With over 25 years experience I know he will drive efforts to ensure that Cawleys remains a safe and healthy workplace for our staff.

“William’s appointment follows our recent Occupational Health and Safety Management (OHSAS) 18001 certification which means that our staff have the confidence to fulfill their roles in a safe manner while maintaining operational goals.

“For our customers our accreditation and William’s appointment offers further proof of our determination to continue offering the best waste management service; one where they can be assured that both our care for staff health and safety, and our commitment to environmental best practice, is the best it can possibly be.”

Having started his career in 1990 as a Safety Coordinator with a local authority looking after the highways, transport and engineering division, as well as waste disposal, William has had several roles in both the public and private sector.  For the last decade William has been working for an international waste management company.

Developing a strong safety culture

At Cawleys, William’s role involves ensuring the company has the latest systems and procedures in place to ensure staff are safe at work and that the company remains fully compliant with changes to environmental and health and safety legislation.

William comments:

“My role at Cawleys allows me to get back to the ‘shop floor’, engaging with staff about our health and safety practices – in fact, that’s the part I find most interesting.”

Working with the Cawleys team, William has kick started a company-wide focus on highlighting hazards and near misses, particularly slips, trips and fall hazards.  According to the annual report from the Health and Safety Executive, the latter made up almost a quarter of all reported injuries in the waste management sector as a whole in the five year period between 2009 to 2014.

Cawleys staff, at every level, are being encouraged to report all potential hazards across the workplace to their managers or supervisors and to engage in regular safety conversations with their peers to improve working practices.

William adds:

“One of the challenges our industry faces is how to apply health, safety and environmental laws in a practical way – that aids our staffs’ working day.  Having solid management with good employee engagement leads to the development of a strong safety culture.”

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