Pictured are: Jan Paley, Rosemary Brown (Southern QSHE Manager, Intu), Gary Wood and Francis Kenny (Group QSHE Manager, Intu)
As part of the University of Huddersfield’s drive to be recognised as one of the top 500 universities globally, Professor Bob Cryan CBE DL – the university’s Vice-Chancellor – challenged the managers of its professional and administrative services to visit a FTSE-100 company during the current academic year.
The remit? Report back the main characteristics setting the chosen company apart from its competitors and learn, adapt and adopt to enable the university’s services to be at the leading edge of the sector.
The university’s Office of Health and Safety chose Intu, owner of eighteen shopping centres across Britain including the nine of the largest twenty in the UK. Reasons for choosing Intu included: dedicated to securing excellent employee, client and customer experiences; its drivers include global reputation, brand and association; and constantly working with a multitude of third parties to deliver its aims and objectives. All of these are with successful management of health and safety structured around locally and externally discharged responsibilities, with professionals centrally and regionally having roles as enablers and facilitators.
Jan Paley, the university’s Head of Health and Safety, and Gary Wood, the university’s Health and Safety Adviser, visited Intu’s head office in London at the beginning of January and met with the company’s group and southern Quality, Safety, Health and Environment managers.
“It was a really successful exercise for us” Gary reflects. “Not only did it offer useful insights into how Intu secure successful management of risks to health, safety, wellbeing and business continuity, it provided an opportunity to reflect on our own approaches and practices with like-minded professionals of a leading commercial organisation. We took away much from the day, including short and longer-term areas of work for the university to consider and, of equal importance, receiving very positive feedback on our own ways of working”.
The initiative was very well received within Intu. Francis Kenny - Group Quality, Safety, Health and Environment Manager – formally fed back to Jan and Gary that the university’s Vice-Chancellor be commended for his foresight.
On the initiative itself, Professor Cryan comments “I believe it is important that I take an active role in the HALM programme. An element I find particularly interesting is when our managers’ report back on their visits to FTSE 100 companies. Each presentation reveals lessons we can adopt in our institution. I'm proud to say that many also reveal that our own managers have been able to offer useful insights to their private sector colleagues.”