Birmingham is globally renowned for its bustling business and industrial background and there, right in the middle of the city, sits Birmingham City University (BCU). The current prospectus bulges with both highly academic, as well as practically vocational courses, showcasing its well-respected specialisms within art, design and architecture.
The University hosts approximately 24,000 students from 80 countries around the globe, supported by over 400 staff, and thousands of additional visitors onsite every year.
BCU consists of three main campuses, with several additional buildings around the city. The historic School of Art and The School of Jewellery (the largest such School in the UK) is part of BCU and stands in the heart of Birmingham’s famous ‘Jewellery Quarter’. Being located within the city itself means that the University sites are a thoroughfare for not only students and the workforce but also for the general public, to whom BCU therefore also owe a duty of care.
The University buildings are a blend of Grade II listed and contemporary styles which, during refurbishment and recent new construction, have had to comply with modern Health and Safety regulatory requirements. This represents an additional challenge to the already busy safety, security and facilities teams.
BCU, therefore, represents a large and diverse place in which to study, visit and work with a complex range of potential hazards and risks. Within Jewellery making, for example, there are several noxious chemicals that have to be treated with care under the COSHH regulations, and the temperatures required to create the ornate pieces bring additional challenges.
With such a wide location span and a significant number of people for whom the University has Health and Safety responsibility, the Safety team contacted Notify to discuss implementing a modern, mobile Safety reporting system.
BCU’s Health and Safety team wanted to deliver an easy-to-use and intuitive solution into the organisation. They knew that by gathering more reports with better data they would be able to identify trends in parallel with creating a positive reporting culture.
Simon Dunn, BCU’s Head of Health and Safety knew that they needed something more than the tick-box exercise that other services and platforms offered. They required a bespoke solution configured to their needs that could be easily adopted.
After a number of workshops with Simon and his team, Notify were quickly able to configure the platform to provide the key requirements for BCU.
Amongst a number of benefits, Notify is now available to every student, staff member and visitor, allowing them to provide invaluable information into accidents and near-misses, whilst the Notify platform provides Simon and the team the ability to investigate, identify trends and, crucially, take action on issues as quickly as possible.
Having achieved the combination of simple reporting capability with Simon’s innovative approaches to engaging his core users, the organisation is seeing some fantastic results.
Reported near miss rates have increased tenfold since adopting Notify, with Simon and the team much busier, but in a good way!
In Simon’s words:
“We cannot be everywhere, so having the eyes and ears of tens of thousands of people day-to-day can only be positive.”
There are now approximately 30 new incident reports submitted each week, which is a marked improvement on the previous system; whilst still leaving plenty of room to increase reporting.
Looking to the future, Simon and the team are looking forward to more integration within Notify, enabling them to allocate and efficiently manage actions coming out of an incident investigation.
SIMON DUNN’S TESTIMONIAL:
“I have worked closely with the team at Notify, and thus far, implementation has been very successful.
“The app is so simple to use that students, colleagues, and third parties are happy to spend a minute to submit a report. Coupled with internal communications to encourage use, we’ve seen a fantastic rise in submitted reports, which helps myself and the team keep all at BCU safe.”
*All figures quoted can be found on BCU’s website*.