Pioneering Safety at STEPS Rehabilitation  

In recognition of APIL Injury Awareness Week, STEPS Rehabilitation is proud to highlight the proactive measures we take to prevent workplace injuries, ensuring the safety and well-being of our staff and clients. This year's theme, focusing on the impact of avoidable workplace injuries, resonates deeply with our ongoing commitment to adopting a secure and supportive environment. 

Cutting-Edge Safety Investments 

Lee enhances safety and efficiency by using Expanding Foam Cleaner on AC Condenser Unit, wearing proper PPE Including mask and safety glasses.

At STEPS, our investment in state-of-the-art safety measures underscores our dedication to preventing workplace injuries. Our hydrotherapy pool, now fitted with a UV filtration system and subjected to rigorous microbiological testing, displays a testament to our commitment. This investment not only enhances the safety of our clients but also provides a secure working environment for our staff. Contractors regard our pool as one of the best in Northern England. 

Mark Cutts, NEBOSH, MISPE, the owner of Leisuresafe Solutions and our main pool contractor since 2022, praises the exceptional quality of our hydrotherapy pool. He states: "The hydrotherapy pool on site is exceptional in all ways. The maintenance team (along with my support when needed) maintain the highest standards possible, and the hydrotherapy pool water quality reflects that hard work and dedication. I would go as far as saying the water quality at the site is amongst the very best I have seen in over 25 years of working within the pool industry." 

We have also implemented Chlorine Gas monitoring systems in our plant room. This advanced technology acts as a critical safeguard, providing early detection and potentially life-saving alerts, ensuring the well-being of our team. 

Comprehensive Health and Safety Framework  

Scott demonstrates Health and Safety by using Tagout Lock Procedure to secure electrical breaker, preventing accidental energization.

Our partnership with iSafe Safety, a local health and safety consultancy, has been instrumental in strengthening our safety protocols. Together, we have developed thorough risk assessments and safe systems of work. These efforts are complemented by comprehensive policies covering health and safety, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH), and display screen equipment, reflecting our holistic approach to workplace safety. 

While advanced safety systems and technologies are crucial, traditional frameworks remain indispensable. We continue to implement practical solutions to ensure clarity and ease of access in our busy environment. For instance, we have clear, laminated guides specifying the required personal protective equipment (PPE) for various tasks, prominently displayed next to the COSHH cupboard. These practical solutions are essential in ensuring that staff can quickly and easily reference safety protocols, reinforcing our commitment to maintaining a safe workplace. 

At STEPS, we ensure all staff, in addition to their Continuing Professional Development (CPD), are enrolled in annual training refresher days for Fire Safety Training, Moving and Handling, and other essential safety protocols. This comprehensive approach includes both in-person and online training to keep our team up-to-date and refreshed on the latest safety standards and practices. 

Leveraging Technology for Safety 

Chlorine Gas monitor system in pool plant room.

The integration of MaintainX, a Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS), has revolutionised our facilities management. This innovative platform allows us to efficiently track and address maintenance requests, significantly improving our operational efficiency and reducing potential safety hazards. Each work order comes with designated procedures and reminders for personal protective equipment (PPE) required for specific tasks, ensuring that staff are always aware of and adhere to safety protocols. 

Additionally, within the last financial year, we have invested in a sophisticated Building Management System (BMS) linked to all critical equipment within our facility. This system provides real-time monitoring and control over essential services such as HVAC systems, lighting, and water flow. The BMS significantly enhances our ability to maintain a safe environment by offering immediate alerts for any potential issues, allowing us to address them swiftly and prevent disruptions. 

For example, the BMS recently alerted us to a potential failure in our return pump system, allowing us to replace it before it caused any disruption to our hot water supply. This proactive approach ensures the safety and comfort of our clients and staff by maintaining essential services without interruption. 

A Supportive Work Environment 

Beyond physical safety measures, we place great importance on mental well-being. Many of our staff members have completed Mental Health First Aider training, equipping them with the skills to support and signpost colleagues facing mental health challenges. This initiative nurtures a healthier and more inclusive work environment, aligning with our overarching commitment to the safety and well-being of everyone at STEPS. 

STEPS Rehabilitation is dedicated to preventing workplace injuries through strategic investments, rigorous training programs, and a culture of safety. Our ongoing efforts ensure a secure and supportive environment for our team and clients, underscoring our commitment to excellence in workplace safety. 

Written by Scott Parkin, Head of Facilities at STEPS Rehabilitation.