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Health & Safety In Top Gear At Jaguar Land Rover

22 January 2015
Jaguar Land Rover bucked the economic trend by announcing further expansion and the creation of more jobs. We look at how the company continues to set the benchmark in health and safety management amidst this growth, and examines the role OHSAS 18001 plays in helping it meet its objectives.

Two of the greatest British car brands, the names Jaguar and Land Rover are synonymous with quality and prestige. Indian automotive giant, Tata Motors, bought the Warwickshire based business for £1.5bn in 2008 and since then Jaguar Land Rover has gone from strength to strength. The firm reported a 30 per cent increase in global sales last year, selling 357,773 vehicles to 177 different countries, with profits of £1.67bn.

Success story

On the back of this success, and at a time when unemployment figures were high on the news agenda in 2013, the company were able recent announce plans to create 1,700 new jobs will give the economy a much needed boost. The new jobs at the Solihull site brought the total number of UK manufacturing roles announced by the firm between 2010 and 2014 to almost 11,000.

This activity formed part of a £1.5bn investment in new product ranges and the government welcomed the news as a positive step out of recession. Business secretary, Vince Cable, said at the time of the announcement,

‘Jaguar Land Rover had been experiencing great success over the last couple of years but that particular ground-breaking project takes it on to the next level.’

Safety first

Jaguar Land Rover is committed to adhering to the latest health and safety practices in order to reduce the likelihood of injury amongst it employees. It has had strict measures in place for many years but in 2009 it decided to rubber stamp its activities by becoming certified to OHSAS 18001, the internationally recognised assessment specification for occupational health and safety management systems.

Explaining the structure of OHSAS 18001, NQA’s health and safety assessor, Samantha Johnson, says, ‘It is based upon the Plan, Do, Check, Act structure pioneered by the American quality expert, W Edwards Deming, in the 1950s. This simple but effective structure is used to ensure that the hazards and risks associated with an organisation’s activities, products and services are systematically identified, assessed, controlled, monitored and continuously improved.’

It includes the monitoring of health and safety management failures, auditing of performance and regular reviews of policies and objectives. Johnson adds,

‘Certification demonstrates a company's commitment to a safer working environment. By involving all levels of the organisation through setting objectives, targets and documented responsibilities, a better awareness of health and safety is made possible.’

Benefit check

One of the main reasons for Jaguar Land Rover deciding to become certified to OHSAS 18001 was NQA’s ability to help it incorporate its existing health and safety activities. By rationalising documentation and procedures, the management system operates in a streamlined and efficient way.

‘The company launched an initiative called Destination Zero – a unique behavioural safety campaign that is the latest instalment in Jaguar Land Rover’s journey towards a zero harm culture.’

Assessing its impact, Satnam Bhamber, safety manager for Jaguar Land Rover, comments,

‘Since becoming certified to OHSAS 18001 we have experienced a significant reduction in incident levels. What’s more, a regular audit provides an excellent level of focus and discipline, as it encourages a regular and comprehensive review – a process that usually reveals new areas for potential improvement.’

In order to further improve its record the company recently launched an initiative called Destination Zero – a unique behavioural safety campaign, incorporated within our 18001 system and the latest instalment in Jaguar Land Rover’s journey towards a zero harm culture. Comprising a set of initiatives that will take place over the next few years it includes events, workshops, literature and training, which are all designed to create a better awareness of health and safety.

While certification has clear benefits to Jaguar Land Rover’s internal operation, it also has a positive impact on the company’s entire supply chain, and it increasingly asks its suppliers to undergo a similar certification process. Bhamber states,

‘Every company should welcome the opportunity to prove its business credentials to its stakeholders. Compliance with recognised standards means that our customers can feel confident that we have best practice measures in place. Likewise, we also expect our suppliers to subscribe to this ethos and it saves us having to investigate what they do and how they do it too closely.’

Pushing the boundaries

Members of the safety team at Jaguar Land Rover have all undertaken NQA’s internal auditor training programme so that they are familiar with the required management processes.

NQA auditors bring their wide experience of different organisations to Jaguar Land Rover and Bhamber believes that this provides a different perspective about what it does. She comments,

‘We very much value the knowledge of the NQA auditors. To get to the stage where we reap the maximum benefit from our relationship has involved considerable investment on both sides to make sure we all understand how both organisations work and identify how knowledge can best be shared.’

See for yourself

Jaguar Land Rover’s experience with OHSAS 18001 is documented in the e-movie case study featured within this issue of InTouch. You can learn more about important future changes to the standard and its migration to an international standard ISO 45001, in the latest video.