Rooms and Views logo

R&V Group Case Study

Rooms and Views

Here at SMAS Worksafe, we’re always looking to reach out to our members to make sure they’re getting the support they need and the service they expect. We recently caught up with one of our members to ask about our service and if there was anything we could do to make their life easier. 

Rooms and Views are an award-winning manufacturer of beautiful, high-quality PVC-U windows, doors and conservatories. They have a strong reputation for providing secure, energy-efficient products for new build, commercial, trade and private clients.

A business of just under 100 employees, R&V have two manufacturing facilities in North and South Wales that design, produce and install competitively priced, premium quality windows, doors and conservatories that satisfy strict safety and security standards, environmental requirements, and the exact needs of our clients.

Rooms and Views logo

        Visit their website:                                              https://www.roomsandviews.co.uk/

"We have SMAS, CHAS and Constructionline Memberships to meet the demands of our clients but out of them all, SMAS Worksafe is far superior in every way, from application to completion."
Simon Dickinson
H&S Manager at R&V

Their wide-ranging experience and commitment to quality, service delivery and reliability has enabled them to enjoy long-term mutually beneficial relationships with many of the UK’s leading house builders and they keep their health & safety standards as high as possible through an SSIP certificate with SMAS Worksafe.

The business uses two types of SMAS Worksafe assessment, one for each of their facilities, Steve Dickinson, Health & Safety Manager at R&V explains why:

We have the standard SMAS for South Wales, but as Buckley is our Head Office and has the group accounts department, I thought it best to take the SMAS Worksafe PQQ Package which includes Health & Safety, Environmental, Quality Management and Finance and Business Standing.”

Our Worksafe PQQ package’s help businesses to go beyond just health & safety. Worksafe PQQ gives you the ability to submit documentation you have in areas such as environmental, quality management, finance and modern slavery. Our team of in-house assessors will also give you environmental and quality management reviews and recommendations so that you can continue to remain compliant and improve your policies. 

Like many businesses, R&V use multiple SSIP providers to meet their client’s requests but have found using SMAS Worksafe easier than other providers;

“We have SMAS, CHAS and Constructionline Membership to meet the demands of our clients but out of them, SMAS Worksafe is far superior in every way, from application to completion. Saving documentation for renewal is a really nice touch and saves us time when our certificate is due to expire.

We’ve been with SMAS Worksafe since 2017 and I’ve been extremely satisfied with the service and help we receive. The portal is really easy to use and if we do ever get stuck we can use the in-house assessors to sort it out, which makes the application extremely time effective and allows us to keep working for our clients.”

See if SMAS Worksafe can help you with your existing clients or to gain more opportunities with other clients with an SSIP assessment.

If you currently require SSIP but are not tied to one provider, you can begin a SMAS Worksafe accreditation here and see for yourself why we’re the UK’s SSIP Scheme of choice. 


    Free Consultation

    Get in touch to organise a free audit of your business.

    How did you hear about us?

    SMAS Worksafe / Tradepoint annoucement

    SMAS Worksafe launch new partnership with TradePoint

    Leading SSIP member scheme, SMAS Worksafe have recently announced a new addition to their member benefits in nationwide trade suppliers, TradePoint.

    The partnership between will provide SMAS Worksafe members with everyday low prices as well as an additional 10%* off almost everything in TradePoint and B&Q both instore and online giving you access to discounts on over 60,000 products across the entire range.

    As part of Kingfisher plc, TradePoint and B&Q supply products and services for every project, all under one roof at convenient locations nationwide. Our range covers building, decorating, electrical, plumbing, tools, hardware, landscaping, timber, joinery, safety, workwear and much more…

    Regular TradePoint monthly digital flyers and special offers together with other industry-related articles from SMAS Worksafe will be published to keep members abreast of the latest news.

    Commenting on the new partnership, Lee Taylor, National Customer Account Partner, TradePoint stated “We are delighted to partner with SMAS Worksafe and look forward to the members fully benefitting from the discount instore and online”

    Partnership Manager at SMAS Worksafe, Sammy Jolly said of the partnership, “This is a really fantastic opportunity for SMAS Worksafe members to benefit from a 10% discount on their purchases, especially during these tough times.”

    Tradepoint LogoSMAS Worksafe - coloured logo

    SMAS Worksafe Exclusive – No Minimum Spend

    As a TradePoint member through SMAS Worksafe you can use the 10% discount at any time with no minimum spend. Simply scan your TradePoint card at any till point including self-scan to trigger your discount or online by activating your TradePoint account.

    Can be used in conjunction with offers

    You can use your SMAS Worksafe TradePoint card on top of all existing offers in-store to get even bigger discounts.

    Discount for all your employees

    Only available to TradePoint members through SMAS Worksafe. To join TradePoint or order a replacement card complete the order form at the top of this page. To complete, members need to log in to their dashboard and complete the form.

    Priority Service with One Hour Click and Collect

    Choose and pay for products* online then they’ll be ready to collect from your local store an hour later. Selected products/locations. Restrictions apply.

    Free Bulk Delivery

    Pick a delivery date to suit you including Saturdays. Wide delivery coverage around the UK. Minimum spend £100. Selected products/locations. Restrictions apply.

    Trade Credit

    Up to 60 days to pay interest-free. Ask in store for details.

    Special Orders

    Even if they don’t stock a product it doesn’t mean TradePoint can’t get it for you. This includes staircases, roof trusses, aggregates, and made to measure windows and doors.

    Timber Cutting in Selected Stores

    TradePoint’s trained timber cutters are on hand to cut your materials to size. From skirting to worktops, there’s no need to book, and they can cut up to 2440 x 1220mm. The first 15 cuts are free.

    Brick Matching

    Help finding the closest brick match possible – it doesn’t matter how many bricks you need or how unusual they are.

    Paint Mixing

    Any colour, any finish available in Valspar trade point – formulated with the professional in mind. Ask in store for details.

    To get your TradePoint card login to your SMAS Worksafe account and head to the Worksafe Benefits tab within the portal or contact SMAS Worksafe on 01752 697370 or email info@smasltd.com.

    SMAS Worksafe TradePoint portal

    SMAS Worksafe SSIP Accreditation

    SSIP accreditation: Everything you need to know

    SSIP or Safety Scheme in Procurement is a standard for health & safety that is recognised throughout the United Kingdom. It was created to ensure a reduction in health and safety assessment costs and bureaucracy in the supply chain, by making cross-recognition between member schemes as effective as possible.

    SSIP is now accepted and recognised by thousands of clients across the UK, making the process for vetting contractors a simple process and there is no need to compare different standards of accreditation.

    “Do I need SSIP?”

    SSIP is something that any business across any industry can obtain but it is generally required for contractors in the construction industry.

    The most common reason for businesses obtaining SSIP accreditation is that they work for a client requesting it as a requirement to enter and work on their site. Therefore, contractors who work with these clients are required to become accredited to work.

    Although other industries might not require SSIP, businesses often take out accreditation as a good practice. It reassures business owners that their health & safety policies are of a high standard and any risks are being dealt with or reduced as much as possible. 

    “How do I get SSIP accredited?”

    If you’re required or want to become SSIP accredited, then you will need to find an SSIP Member Scheme that can give you a certificate once you have passed the question set.

    There are 30 registered member schemes and SMAS Worksafe is one of these schemes. We help businesses obtain their SSIP certificates and help support them not just through the process but also with guidance on how they can improve their health & safety going forward.

    Once all the questions have been answered and you’ve uploaded all the required information, one of our assessors will check over all the details and let you know if there are any issues with your submission. Once you have passed all the questions you will then hold an SSIP certificate which is valid for 12-months.

    “What is the SSIP core criteria?”

    To gain SSIP accreditation your business must be able to show that you meet the core criteria. All SSIP member schemes will require this information from you and below you can see a breakdown of what areas you will need to meet.

    1. Health & Safety policy and organisation for Health & Safety
    2. Arrangements
    3. Competent advice – corporate and construction-related
    4. Training and information
    5. Individual qualifications and experience
    6. Monitoring, audit and review
    7. Workforce involvement
    8. Accident reporting and enforcement action; follow up investigation
    9. Sub-contracting /consulting procedures (if applicable)
    10. Risk assessment leading to a safe system of work
    11. Co-operating with others and coordinating your work with that of other contractors
    12. Welfare provision

    Additional Construction Sector Criteria: 

    1. Hazard elimination and risk control (Designers & Principal Designers only)
    2. Principal Designer duties (Principal Designers only)
    3. Supplementary Construction Industry Criteria (alignment with Common Assessment Standard)

    “I already have an SSIP certificate, but I’m being asked for a SMAS?”

    Although SSIP is recognised throughout the UK, some clients may have a preference on what scheme you hold your SSIP certificate with, for example, you might have an SSIP assessment with CHAS or Constructionline but a particular client is asking for one from SMAS Worksafe.

    In this case, your best option is to take out a ‘deem to satisfy’ (DTS) with SMAS Worksafe – this is where instead of going through the full SMAS Worksafe assessment we will view your existing SSIP certificate and grant you a SMAS Worksafe accreditation without the need for a full assessment and for a reduced fee.

    It’s also worth noting that if you are a contractor working for several clients asking for varied SSIP assessments, do some research into full and DTS pricing. For example, if you hold a full assessment with CHAS but require SMAS Worksafe for a client it might be cheaper to take a full assessment with SMAS Worksafe and then DTS with CHAS.

    Benefits of having your SSIP accreditation with SMAS Worksafe

    SMAS Worksafe are always trying to give their members the most from their SSIP assessments. We don’t want your yearly assessment to be the only time we touch bases with you and instead offer you year-round support and benefits.

    SMAS Worksafe leads the way for customer service, all our expert assessors are based in-house and on the phones all day to help support you through your assessments should you need it. Lots of member schemes often outsource their assessors which can lead to the phone not being answered when you need it and inconsistent standards when going through your application.

    We also lead the way in turnaround times, we can turn around your SSIP assessment in as little as 1 day. This allows you to get back on-site as soon as possible. Depending on your membership with SMAS Worksafe you may also have access to all these member benefits.

    • 10% off Tradepoint
    • 15% off all iHASCO courses
    • A Work Wallet subscription
    • Mid-year review
    • Year-round access to our expert in-house assessors

    To learn more about SMAS Worksafe’s member options, please view our pricing and packaging page.

    top view hand shake of engineer and building contractor on table / SMAS Worksafe

    How do contractors win clients?

    Being a contractor can be tough, you rely on others to bring you work and without clients to supply you with a more consistent flow of work. Life can be tough but with clients, you have the platform for limitless opportunities.

    But how do you get the clients?

    In this article we will be going over some of the thing’s businesses successful with clients do and how you can go about winning clients and tender for your business.

    Networking:

    Client and contractor shaking hands following tender agreement / SMAS Worksafe

    One of the best ways for businesses to meet contractors and swap details is by going to networking events, such as Construction Connects which is hosted by SMAS Worksafe. Events such as this will allow you to turn up and meet contractors who have current or upcoming projects in your area.

    You can also identify your own potential clients. You can search for upcoming projects in your area and reach out directly to them to arrange a meeting. Make sure you consider the size of the project and whether it is appropriate for your business.

    Once you have identified the client, reach out to them outlining your services and work capacity, the project you’re looking for might not be right for either party but now the relationship has been formed there is potential for them to contact you regarding other projects. Your willingness to reach out to them shows them you’re keen and the fact you have reached out to them may save them the hassle of trying to source a contractor later.

    If your business employs subcontractors, you can also use them to find out about potential work or clients that may require contractors by asking them. Use them to get you in touch with clients and to keep you posted about opportunities that might be coming up.

    Referrals:

    Another way in which your business can win contracts from clients is via referral. You may be invited to contract bidding processes from clients you already have a network with. Those clients may also have partners or members that require contractors on other jobs and can extend tender invitations to you.

    Building lots of strong relationships in your industry is the best way for your business to go to the next level and continue to win client deals. Working with a client and meeting or exceeding their expectations is the first step, you need to make sure that you’re building up credibility with the people you’re working with so that they feel confident in recommending you to others.

    Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals either, requesting a referral might be the best way to earn one. It might be something that a client hadn’t considered, or they might simply have not gotten around to asking businesses and putting yourself forward will put your business in pole position.

    The more extensive your list of clients and contacts is and the better your reputation the more likely you are to obtain referrals. However, the most important aspect of gaining referrals is making sure that your business reflects high standards of safety and quality within the industry.

    Of course, there is little value in building a referral network for your contractor business if your actual work does not reflect the high standards of quality and safety that clients expect within the industry. Clients are unlikely to recommend a business that is doing a poor job and risk damaging their own reputation. A commitment to standards of excellence is essential for developing a robust referral network that can help you get more contracts. Having a relevant and up-to-date health and safety accreditation like SSIP is a major asset, not only does it demonstrate your dedication to high standards, but it may also be a prequalification to work for the client.

    Make yourself visible

    The next way to win contracts with big clients is by letting them come to you. Most major clients will

    have project management teams that are looking out for the best contractors in their area to come and work on their projects, this means that on occasions they will be going out of their way to look for contractors.

    Digital marketing growth to win clients / SMAS Worksafe

    Your business can make the most of this by doing two things well:

    1. Making sure that your business shows up in the right areas – create a good digital profile that explains exactly what your business can do.
    2. Build up a reputable name with your existing clients and use review platforms such as Feefo and Trustpilot to boost your digital profile.

    Stretch your businesses digital platform across as many channels as possible, use a mixture of website, web ads and social media to help cover as much area as possible. This not only helps clients to find you but will help smaller businesses to look bigger and more professional.

    The messaging across these platforms should be consistent and display your businesses work, values, qualities, certificates and accreditations along with any awards you have won or been nominated for.

    Creating case studies is also a great way to show off work you’ve done to clients, creating profiles about jobs you’ve done with feedback or quotes from the customers. These could be in video or written form.

    You can also explore digital marketing strategies; this could involve hiring someone to oversee the businesses digital presence or outsourcing it to an agency. This will allow someone to manage and develop social media, display advertising and search engine optimisation. Doing this will direct a flow of client traffic to your website and show off your business – it’s great to have a good website but if you’re not bringing traffic to your site then it is ultimately a wasted effort.

    Sourcing through SMAS Worksafe

    Networking is a great way to win clients, but you may be able to obtain clients through the SMAS Worksafe portal.

    Our clients can search for contractors using the SMAS Worksafe portal and reach out to them. All our members are visible to clients on the portal but those with further areas of compliance may gain an advantage over those with just health & safety as clients can see that the contractor is not just SSIP accredited but environmental management and quality management systems are in place.

    All our members can upload documents relating to further areas of compliance for free however they will not be checked against IEMA or IRCA standards unless you have an Essential or Complete membership.

    Further areas of compliance supported by SMAS Worksafe:SMAS PS_Service_Wheel

    • Environmental management
    • Quality management
    • Anti-bribery and corruption
    • Modern slavery
    • Finance and business
    Hazardous signs - Red beach flag

    Safety signs in the workplace

    Safety signs will be present in every working environment to give anyone who enters the best information about the risks and to help keep the working environment as safe as possible. 

    There are 4 distinct types of signs you should look out for and in this article we will go through them so you know what to look out for and what action’s you will need to take. 

    Prohibitory signs are put in pace to stop behaviours that might increase or cause danger in the workplace, such as smoking.

    Features:
    1. Circular shape
    2. Black pictogram with White background. Located inside red circle with diagonal strike through the centre. (Red part of the sign must take up at least 35% of total area).Prohibitory sign examples

    Warning signs are used to highlight risks or dangers in the workplace, such as flammable material.  

    Features:
    1. Triangular shape
    2. Black pictogram on a yellow background with black edging. (Yellow part of the sign must take up at least 50% of total area).

    Warning signs / workplace signing

    Mandatory signs are put in place to highlight acts that must be abided by, such as wearing eye protection.

    Features:
    1. Circular shape
    2. White pictogram on blue background. (Blue part of the sign must take up at least 50% of total area).

    Mandatory sign examples

    Emergency escape or first aid signs are there to help you navigate a workplace to find safety via an exit or to locate a first aid box.

    Features:
    1. Rectangular or square shape
    2. White pictogram on a green background (the green part of the sign must take up at least 50% of total area).

    Emergency exit and first aid signs.

    The Regulations implement European Council Directive 92/58/EEC on minimum requirements for the provision of safety signs at work state that employers are to provide safety signs where other methods, properly considered, cannot deal satisfactorily with certain risks and where the use of a sign can further reduce that risk. Safety signs are not to be used as a substitute for other methods of control and should be used on top of controlling methods.

    The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (the Management Regulations) states that employers must consider the results of the risk assessment that has been created – the assessment will need to identify the hazards and risks, then state the control measures that have been put in place. Safety signs can then be used to highlight risks further and give employers more information. If the risk is not significant there may be no need to provide a sign.

    An example for when risks might be small but a sign is still necessary would be if there was the use of flammable chemicals, you can make sure that safety equipment is worn and flammable materials are reduced but the risks may still be present to workers and therefore the use of a sign helps to highlight the dangers.

    Although these regulations do not require safety signs to be used where there is no significant risk to health and safety, certain fire safety signs may have to be displayed under separate legal provisions. If you have any doubts check this with your enforcing authority for fire safety.

    An accident waiting to happen. An industrial worker using a cell phone in a warehouse.

    Understanding behavioural safety hazards

    Your businesses health and safety procedures are the driving force behind reducing risks within your business’s day to day tasks, but behavioural safety hazards are something that you should be aware of and reinforcing with your workforce.

    Behavioural safety hazards can be caused by new rules or precautions that workers feel are unnecessary and therefore do not feel the need to carry out, or because a workforce or organisation become careless with their safety procedures and culture.

    Causes of behavioural safety risks 

    Woman on a ladder reaching for a box out of reach

    Normally behavioural risks are caused by habits or the unwillingness to adapt to an updated system or procedure, for example, someone who has worked with certain machinery for 10 or more years without accident may not see the benefit of using the latest technology to protect themselves and are in a habit built up over those 10 years to carry out the task in a certain manner.

    This doesn’t usually mean the worker is purposely being disobedient but more likely there is stubbornness or ignorance to change.

    “I’ve never had issues doing it this way so why do I need to change?”

    Something along the lines of the above statement is often true when you’re looking to change a policy or introduce new steps in your health and safety procedure. These habitual procedures are even more difficult to introduce when the task one is carrying out becomes either more difficult or longer to complete due to the changes. For example, someone who has previously not been required to wear gloves is now asked to wear protective gloves, but they impede his ability to complete the task due to the bigger size and lack of movement.

    When implementing a change in equipment or procedures you should make sure you sell it to your workforce. Most of the updated equipment’s marketing will be around the benefits of it, how it works and what risks it will reduce and/or stop. This should be relayed to those who will be required to use it going forward so they can see why you’re making the changes.

    An accident waiting to happen. An industrial worker using a cell phone in a warehouse.

    Changing the behavioural habits

    Managing behavioural risks are a challenge that all businesses face and changing existing procedures can be extremely difficult.

    Often these behaviours become habits and they can be extremely difficult to change, but here are a few steps your business can take to reduce bad habits creeping into the workplace.

    Take a no-tolerance stand

    The easiest and arguably the most effective way to stop behavioural risks from entering your workplace is to make sure you have a no-tolerance stance on your health & safety procedures. This simply means that all of your workforce are aware that if they’re found to be breaking rules or taking shortcuts they will be removed from the environment. This not only will help you to weed out anyone who might be starting to set a more relaxed culture, but it also reinforces to other employees that the matter is serious.

    Sell the change to your staff

    As mentioned previously, make sure your staff are aware of the reasons behind the changes in procedure or equipment. Make sure they’re aware of why you’re implementing the changes and are aware of the risks that come with not following the rules. This can often be done by using examples of instances where accidents have happened or showing them some worst-case scenarios of what has happened within other businesses. Also highlighted that the changes are being made for not just the safety of them individually but also their colleagues.

    Often people are more willing to change if they know that it’s more than just themselves being put at risk, the thought of causing injury to a colleague is often more powerful than injuring themselves.

    Create a safety-first culture

    Creating a culture within your workplace will take time but once the culture is in place you will find it’s much easier to manage changes in the long term. Often people will push the boundaries with what they can get away with and if they know the repercussions of their actions is nothing more than a stern word, then they’re far more likely to push those boundaries.

    Taking a no tolerance stamp on health & safety will help to reduce people pushing those boundaries and if you can get employees to buy into the changes with your sales pitch then what you can create is a self-regulating workforce who will report or at least have words with those that are dropping their safety standards. Once this culture has been created your task becomes much easier, the safety standards are now being pushed from within teams and not from a head at the top of the business.

    A step-by-step guide to improving behavioural safety:

    Group training on behavioural safety

    • Review your current processes and/or equipment and decide on the areas you want to improve. Consider using previous accident, incident and near-miss reports to help you identify areas of improvement.
    • Once you’ve reviewed your procedures, select 1 or 2 key areas that can be improved. A complete overhaul of all procedures will be tougher for employees to follow and digest.
    • Begin developing your communication strategy. How are you going to present the changes to your employees? Can you use examples from your business?
    • Implement your changes with a few initiatives such as:
    1. Colleague observation studies
    2. Regular inspects from senior management
    3. Regular bite-sized training or refresher classes
    4. Reward those who excel with positive feedback and reinforcement
    5. Include behavioural risks within your risk assessments
    • Monitor the changes and make improvements and changes where necessary. Be open with your employees and ask for their feedback.