Chiltern Consulting’s Health and Safety Partnership with Park Resorts.
With 37 family friendly parks across England, Wales and Scotland, Park Resorts is one of the country’s largest holiday park companies. Up to 100,000 people can be on the company’s resorts at peak times, enjoying holidays and short breaks in static caravans, lodges and chalet holiday homes. This figure is certain to rise as increasing numbers choose to holiday in the UK. Ensuring the health and safety of the large numbers of holidaymakers and staff alike is a major undertaking for the company, something Craig Hulme knows only too well. Alongside his role as Regional Director Craig also has responsibility for the implementation of Health and Safety for the company’s 37 parks. To do this he works in partnership with Chiltern Consulting, a specialist Health and Safety consultancy which has been the company’s H&S advisor, mentor and trainer since the very earliest days.
“Chiltern Consulting has been a key partner for Park Resorts for as long as the company has been in operation,” says Craig. Jackie Gawen of Chiltern Consulting has overseen the company’s health and safety operations from the very beginning. The consultancy’s involvement has evolved from initially providing advice and support to providing a much more proactive service today.
Chiltern Consulting not only defines and writes the health and safety policy and procedures for Park Resorts, it provides a full range of services to help the company implement them. From carrying out risk assessments and audits to providing monitoring systems and training, as well as overseeing the key areas of food and pool safety, Chiltern Consulting fully supports the company’s operational needs. As Craig says, “For a ‘consultancy’ they have a far more operational and more practical role than you’d imagine. Their pragmatic approach means that they look at the needs of our business and balance this with Health and Safety issues and risk.” The level of practical support Chiltern Consulting delivers extends to analysis of the food and swimming pool diaries which they not only devised for Park Resorts, but actively monitor. Each holiday park sends these to Chiltern Consulting on a monthly basis for recording and analysis.
A key area where Chiltern Consulting has added significant value for Park Resorts lies in the company’s relationship with its insurer. Each month Craig and the insurer meet to look at incidents that may have occurred within the parks and any areas of risk or concern. He is able to go equipped with the right information from the Park Resorts Safety Management System. The level and scope of data provided has led the insurer to comment that this is the best information they see on a regular basis, something that Craig puts down to Chiltern Consulting’s constant question of, “How can we make this better?” It is this level of proactive support that Park Resorts values. “Whenever I ring Chiltern,” he says, “my call is always answered. They’re there to answer questions and if there’s an Enforcement Officer on park they will always provide the right support.”
The value of Chiltern Consulting’s pragmatic approach was a major factor in helping Park Resorts address a high risk part of the business. The moving and siting of caravans is an important part of the company’s business, and high risk if it is carried out incorrectly. Part of Chiltern Consulting’s involvement with Park Resorts is the tailored training courses it creates and delivers to the company’s staff. Recently Chiltern Consulting provided Park Resorts with on-site training of all maintenance teams on moving and re-siting caravans. Chiltern Consulting also carry out prompt and thorough investigation into incidents and provide material to the Health and Safety inspectors. Their diligence in providing records of the exact training, and of thoroughly and impartially investigating the events have helped us, on numerous occasions, prevent or defend any proceeding. As Craig Hulme says, “The operational knowledge and pragmatic approach of Chiltern helps us head off potentially damaging threats to our brand and reputation, and ensure that our staff’s safety and well-being is paramount. They really understand the issues we face and are able to balance the safety of the individuals who use our facilities and work for us, with the needs of the business. By interpreting and applying Health and Safety law in a way that is practical for the business, Chiltern Consulting are certainly a valuable asset to Park Resorts”
The partnership between Chiltern Consulting and Park Resorts is one which will continue to flourish, and will enable the holiday park company to sustain its operational effectiveness and reputation for securing the safety and comfort of its holiday makers as the market for UK-based holidays continues to grow.