Established in 1865, Bath Rugby is one of the oldest and most prestigious rugby clubs in the world.
Throughout the 80's and 90's, Bath were a formidable force, with the likes of Gareth Chilcott, Stuart Barnes, David Trick and Graham Dawe ensuring that silverware, in the form of the John Player Cup (latterly the Pilkington Cup) and the Courage League (now known as the Premiership), was a familiar sight in the Recreation Ground trophy cabinet at the end of each season.
Professionalism changed the game, but Bath continued to succeed. International stars such as Jeremy Guscott, Jason Robinson, Phil de Glanville, Mike Catt and Mike Tindall all donned the legendary Blue, Black and White in the 90's, and in 1998, ex-Scotland captain, Andy Nicol, became the first British player to lift the Heineken Cup, as Bath triumphed over Europe. The next trophy came ten years later, as Bath defeated Worcester Warriors in the European Challenge Cup in 2008.
Bath Rugby were keen to have a full assessment of their operating sites and back office processes so they could incorporate best practice and current compliance legislation.
What No Safety Services were employed to conduct a Health and Safety audit on 4 sites – the stadium in Bath city centre, the shop and the ticket office, and followed this up with an audit of the training site at Farleigh Hungerford
The audit process was very thorough, with a ‘top to bottom’ approach looking at the situations of each site and the accompanying management arrangements.
Bath Rugby were keen to embrace best practice as well as ensure legislative compliance, so the Health and Safety audit result feedback took the format of both a written report and a spreadsheet of recommended activity. Due to the mix of sites and usage in each location, the logistics and safety recommendations for each place were bespoke to the circumstance.
Bath Rugby has both an operating business and a match day entertainment venue aspect, the combination of these diverse but interrelated characteristics needed to be considered in the health and safety audit in order to make robust recommendations.
Challenges and Solutions
Bath Rugby recognise that health and safety legislation is constantly evolving and therefore the business operation need to flex to absorb these changes. Following the recommendations in the initial audit, What No Safety Services have been working with the internal safety advisory team to further develop best practice and assist with risk assessments, reporting and facilitating knowledge transfer via train the trainer principles.
Bath Rugby see the value of ongoing investment in both their operational processes and their team, to enhance existing management systems and their practical application. What No Safety Services were able to provide advice on back office compliance as well as supporting the development of internal expertise.
The thorough audit conducted by What No Safety Services prioritises activity on a traffic light basis with red being the most urgent to implement. This gave focus to the future activity and allowed the orderly development of compliance processes in line with business objectives. Their recommendations were a robust mix of practical solutions and best practice, which can be actioned by the internal health and safety team.
As a client facing business with a seasonal aspect, much of the refurbishment activity is scheduled for the ‘off season’, so the evolution of policy and procedure needs to be ongoing to fit within the dynamic environment.
Clear prioritisation of the recommendations was a huge advantage by providing focus on the core activities that needed to be implemented with priority.
Bath Rugby were pleased with the practical yet robust suggestions on best practice that will ensure they evolve internal procedures in line with optimised health and safety policy implementation.
The ‘match day’ operation and the day to day business both have different health and safety considerations. What No Safety Services were able to provide advice on best practice across all areas of our business.
The health and safety audit enabled us to prioritise future best practice activity providing a practical framework for future activity.
Alex Cohen – Head of Operations - Bath Rugby