Strenuous Safety Compliance for Shell

AE Smith in Melbourne has recently completed an arduous but ultimately very rewarding process of achieving a level of Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) compliance which will enable it to work with Shell Australia – something few other Australian mechanical services or air conditioning service contractors have reached

5 Jan 2012

The compliance, which is regulated in Australia by Safety Services Company, ISNetworld, is recognised as a benchmark for WHS safety in the industry and has the potential to open up major opportunities for 
AE Smith teams right around the country.

And according to Melbourne Service’s WHS Supervisor, Paul Strong, who spearheaded the project, the accreditation process has also contributed added benefit to AE Smith’s own WHS practices.

“I suppose the key point about this accreditation is that it demonstrates 
AE Smith is very much at the forefront of safety procedures and policies, which we’re very proud of,” Paul says.

“It shows that the AE Smith Workplace Health and Safety Management System, when put under scrutiny by an independent third party, stands up very well.”

“But that being said, going through this process of compliance meant that we identified certain areas of improvement in our existing systems also.”

“It’s a reflection of our philosophy of continuous improvement, that there’s always an opportunity to make systems better no matter how good we think our WHS currently is,” he adds.

Paul says the process of gaining the accreditation was not dissimilar to a tender process in the level of detail required when responding to the criteria.

“It was very time consuming. I alone spent upwards of 60 hours working on it over a three month period, and that’s in addition to other members of our team and the time spent by our National Safety Manager, Danny O’Reilly, who rewrote a number of our procedures as we went through the process to refine and improve them further.”

ISNetworld scrutinises the WHS processes of applicants, granting them a percentage mark for compliance with the stringent standards required by Shell Worldwide. That percentage then corresponds to a grading, and Shell will only work with companies which have been granted a B grade (70%) or above.

AE Smith currently holds a percentage of 90.5%, placing it within striking distance of being upgraded to an ‘A’.

Paul Strong points to the numerous flow-on benefits from the time spent on this compliance – for both Sydney and Melbourne Service as well as other AE Smith branches around Australia.

“Because we use the same processes and procedures throughout Australia, the compliance creates opportunities for every AE Smith office in Australia,” he says.

“They’d need to be accredited themselves, but the ground work has now been done.”

Equally important though, is this stringent accreditation process with Shell means AE Smith has the credentials to impress other companies of that calibre with similar requirements and expectations, even if they’re less formalised.

“It really puts us in the front row when working with any petro-chemical company, and more broadly it simply says to us that we are doing things right with our WHS processes, and that’s really important,” Paul adds.

“Ultimately, it’s just been really personally satisfying and rewarding to have gone through this process, driven the various steps and achieved our safety goals.”