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East Midlands Chamber News

Do you know whether you are compliant?

Developed in consultation with the Derbyshire Chamber and Business Link Environmental Forum, and funded by the Derby and Derbyshire Economic Partnership, the service was set up in October 2004 by Groundwork Erewash Valley in partnership with Gerrard & Associates Ltd. Through a pilot programme the service has helped eight SME’s from Erewash and Amber Valley to become compliant with Environmental and H&S legislation.Recent studies demonstrate that the level of compliance of small businesses in the UK is significantly low. As a consequence, the number of prosecutions against them as well as the average fine has increased considerably over the last few years:

  • H&S prosecutions: from £6,251 in 2002/03 up to £9,858 in 2003/04;
  • Environmental prosecutions: from £6,410 in 2001 up to £8,412 in 2003.

Through the Pilot Programme, the CNC has helped businesses to achieve compliance, by offering the following free and confidential services:

  • an on-site assessment visit of the companies conducted by an approved and experienced assessor;
  • an assessment report which summarised the H&S and environmental compliance issues of the firms;
  • three half-day support meetings during which guidance was given to the businesses to move towards better compliance;
  • development of resource efficiency benchmark indicators, which includes energy consumption and waste production.

Robin Dawson, Managing Director of Derwent Waste Management, benefited from the programme and confirms how helpful it was for his company:“We found the scheme very useful in raising certain health and safety issues which, as a small business with limited knowledge in this area, we may otherwise have remained unaware of. Additionally, the opportunity to talk with experts in this field as well as other business people in a similar position to ours meant that we could discuss the issues and possible solutions and methods to improve our company’s performance in this very important aspect of running a business. Also we found the scheme invaluable for giving us an insight into the full scope of our responsibilities towards health and safety and the environment as both business owners and employers.”Groundwork is currently seeking funds to be able to extend the CNC to the whole of Derbyshire. Subject to funding, the CNC will offer the same services.So, if you are a manufacturing SME in Derbyshire and believe that you could benefit from this free service, register your interest by email CNC@groundwork.org.uk. For further information, please contact John Bowie at GEV on 0115 949 0235.