Lawton Tubes

Risk is a part of life. No one knows this better than a health and safety manager. Like every company that cares about the wellbeing of its employees, Lawton Tubes is dedicated to creating a work environment that encourages excellence and safety in equal measure.

With Chris Jones’ keen eye for detail and daring spirit, honed while serving in the military, he’s the perfect man for the job. When he’s not ensuring the safety of others, he can be found traipsing all over the peaks of the UK, raising money for charity and pushing himself to achieve the next personal milestone.

You joined Lawton Tubes just over a year ago; what was your previous experience in health & safety (H&S) management?

Before Lawton Tubes, I worked as a safety, health, environment and quality (SHEQ) management coach and business partner for six years in the Waste and Recycling Industry.  And before that I worked in SHEQ management for over 20 years in manufacturing, construction and distribution.

Why H&S management; what’s the appeal of the role for you?

I’m a family man, right down to the core of my being. Whenever I see a situation that may result in potential harm, I imagine what it would feel like if my loved ones were at the business end of that harm.

And I expect no less of any member of the team. I put them in the shoes of the person that it could affect and ask them, what if it was your family member – what would you do?

In short, it’s because I care.

What’s your area of expertise?

I don’t consider myself an expert, only in the sense that there is always something new to learn; health and safety is a process. I have decades’ worth of experience to draw on and a particular skillset of grounded, hands-on knowledge that I bring to the role.

What qualities do you bring to the role?

I make sure I’m open, honest, approachable and engaging. When working in H&S it’s vital to build trust with your colleagues, I believe these qualities build that all important trust within working relationships.

What’s involved in being H&S Manager for the Lawton Tubes Group?

If I had to define it in one word, it would be ‘protection’.

I aim to protect our people and protect the company. We have a company full of brilliant people that deserve to be served by an exemplary H&S strategy, anything less is unacceptable.

In my first few months, I’ve gained an understanding of the existing safety climate and developed a management system that achieves accreditation to ISO 45001 to suit us at Lawton.

H&S is a team effort, one that requires continual development and improvement. I relish getting stuck into a new project, exploring opportunities, solving problems and applying practical solutions to show that H&S benefits everyone in the workplace.

What kind of H&S assessments do you carry out and how do you go about this?

We’re working to introduce safe operating procedure risk assessments (SOPRA’s) which visually communicate vital safety information and help to confirm the individual’s understanding of health and safety procedure.

In a hazardous environment, controlling significant and relevant exposures is a primary focus. To that end we have brought in an overarching company risk assessment and also the general statutory requirements that are part and parcel of any effective H&S system.

The variety of H&S procedures and concerns must be vast across the group – what are the main H&S considerations and how do you go about managing, monitoring, and measuring these?

My attitude is, if it can be simplified, I’ll find a way of simplifying it. Not only does this make procedures easier to follow, it cuts down on the time necessary to carry them out.

I’ve brought in a ‘simple and standardised’ method to ensure a straightforward system adoption across the entire Lawton group.

Too often a new system is bogged down in over-complication, which makes it difficult to follow practically. I have endeavoured to make these processes easier to carry out, precisely because they are of extreme importance.

Can you talk us through some of the new H&S training you’ve implemented at Lawton Tubes since becoming H&S Manager?

We have updated the health and safety induction video to keep up to date with all applicable regulations intended to keep our workforce safe. We are in a continual process of reviewing and refreshing training where needed.

Where we have innovated is in creating our ‘6 for Safety’ Critical Behaviours: 6 points that are designed to cement foundational ideas around health and safety into everyday discourse.

The 6 points are:

  • Look out for others
  • Act with integrity
  • When in doubt, ask
  • Take pride
  • Operate as trained
  • Never ignore a hazard

The eagle-eyed will see that each one of these critical behaviours spells out LAWTON! These behaviours are designed to protect everyone at Lawton, they are simple to understand, and many people follow them naturally anyway.

What have been the benefits of the new training so far?

It’s early days but the training has benefitted both my colleagues and the company. It has given them the opportunity to increase their knowledge base and improve their already exceptional job skills, which has in turn had a positive effect on efficiency.

These H&S systems show all those at Lawton that they are valued and that their safety and morale is at the heart of everything we do.

What are you hoping to achieve for the group by implementing these new H&S procedures?

At the very least I aim to reduce the likelihood of work-related injuries. Lawton Tube already excels in so many areas, and I believe by working toward H&S accreditations, and even the British Safety Council’s Sword of Honour, we will achieve recognition for safety excellence.

How do Lawton Tubes customers benefit from improved H&S procedures within the group?

A safer workplace is a more efficient workplace. By ensuring there is less of a chance of an accident occurring, many unnecessary delays can be avoided. By taking health and safety seriously we communicate that we care about the wellbeing of our own and by extension, our customers.

What do you enjoy most about your role at Lawton Tubes?

A few things spring to mind: meeting and helping other people where I can, listening to their ideas, a problem that needs solving or a suggestion on how to improve processes.

Anything that helps to bring about a positive change or an improved outcome in work life. I’m fortunate to be in a position where I can help facilitate that change.

I would say the main thing is the variety, not one day has been the same since I started, which is fantastic!

Contact our team to find out more about Lawton Tubes H&S processes; our experienced staff are ready to answer your questions.