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Helping TRiM mental stress in water utility industry 13/11/2019

Drainage and wastewater specialist, Lanes Group, is supporting its staff by using trauma risk management.

The process, known as TRiM, originated in the Royal Marines and was used to assess battlefield trauma. Outside the military, it is most commonly used to support staff in the emergency services.

Now Lanes has funded the training of a TRiM practitioner to work within its teams delivering a comprehensive range of wastewater network maintenance services for Thames Water.

TRiM is a structured method for assessing the impact of a traumatic event on individuals or teams, with their consent, so colleagues can be offered the right support, appropriate for their needs, and for as long as it is required.

Lanes Technical Director Andy Brierley says: “Broadening the use of TRiM outside the military and blue-light services makes huge sense because we’re now much more aware that people respond differently to a wide range of potentially traumatic events.

“For us, it’s a natural extension of the mental health support we provide for our teams. We’re doing this because we care about their wellbeing and because it creates a safer and more effective workforce.”

The Lanes TRiM practitioner is Kelly Hansford. She is a qualified mental health practitioner already involved in the delivery of a ground-breaking internal counselling service for Lanes staff.

She says: “People are unique, so we needed to identify a way to quickly and concisely identify areas of concern and allow us to tailor a solution and package of support for those in need. TRiM allows us to do that.”

The technique has already been used to support a wastewater engineer who was called to control wastewater at a house fire and saw the body of a deceased person being removed from the building.

In another case, TRiM was used to assess and support two colleagues who had provided emergency traffic management after a pedestrian was killed in a hit and run incident.

Kelly said: “Intervention may be as light-touch as having one conversation and monitoring an individual’s behaviour. Or it could be more involved, with a package of intensive support which can including referring an individual for trauma counselling.

“We’ve also used TRiM to support colleagues who’ve experienced traumatic events outside work or even before their career in Lanes began because their previous trauma was triggered by a present-day event.”

TRiM is part of wider suite of services to promote wellbeing and mental health at Lanes.

The company has an award-winning wellbeing app and practitioner programme that assesses the happiness of the workforce and delivers counselling and advice to people who ask for it. Lanes also has a team of qualified mental health first aiders.


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Top marks achieved for RISQS rail accreditation audit 28/05/2019

Drainage specialist Lanes Group has passed with flying colours an audit to review RISQS accreditation for working on UK rail infrastructure.

The company has achieved five stars for its latest RISQS audit, something it has done for four consecutive years.

RISQS accreditation is needed for all suppliers who want to deliver services to the rail industry, including Network Rail and the London Underground.

The accreditation covers the Lanes Rail Division, which carries out work for Transport for London (TfL) and Network Rail, and for the depot network which provides services for Network Rail across the UK.

Poornima Ekanayake, rail systems manager for the Lanes Group Network Rail Division, says: “Lanes demonstrated full compliance against all criteria in the RISQS audit.

“This included providing comprehensive documentation to show rail-related systems, policies and procedures, detailed evidence of recent projects, financial information and business continuity plans.

“Lanes has held RISQS accreditation, previously known as Link Up, for 14 years. We now have 303 operatives, registered under the Sentinel Scheme, ready to work on rail infrastructure projects across the UK.”

Lanes carried out a wide range of maintenance and installation work on behalf of Network Rail, including CCTV track drainage surveys, track drainage cleaning through water jetting, and new drainage installation.

The company’s Sewer Rehabilitation and Lining Division carries out projects that include lining track drainage systems and rail culverts, using advanced techniques such as ultraviolet cured in place pipeline (CIPP) installation.

The Lanes Rail Division holds major contracts with TfL to provide a much broader range of maintenance services on London Underground, including structure maintenance and refurbishment, vegetation control and tunnel grouting.

Lanes rail maintenance teams also work in partnership with the rail division of sister company UKDN Waterflow (LG), which holds a Network Rail Principal Contractor Licence.

In a nine-month programme completed in February 2019, Lanes deployed jet vac tanker and CCTV survey teams to support UKDN Waterflow (LG) colleagues in cleaning and surveying 70 culverts along the Great Western Railway between Truro and Reading.

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Decade of drainage safety rewarded 16/05/2019

Drainage and asset maintenance specialist, Lanes Group has achieved the RoSPA President’s Medal for health and safety after winning 10 Gold Awards in a row.

The accolade marks a 10-year milestone for Lanes in consistently achieving the highest standard in the RoSPA Awards, the longest-running industry awards scheme in the UK.

Lanes managing director, Wayne Earnshaw, says: “This is a special moment for everyone at Lanes as the President’s Medal is awarded for achieving RoSPA Gold Awards every year for a decade.

“All our people can be proud of their contribution to our effort to continuously improve our health, safety and wellbeing standards, on behalf of our teams, our customers and the wider public.”

The RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) annual award scheme is one of the most prestigious tests of occupational health and safety excellence in the world. Almost 2000 organisations from the UK and abroad enter the awards every year.

Lanes submitted detailed evidence and data about every aspect of occupational health, safety and wellbeing, including leadership, training, staff engagement, risk assessment, incident monitoring, and investigation.

Specific health and safety initiatives it cited included a wellbeing app and practitioner scheme that support more than 1000 Lanes staff working for Thames Water, which won a Utilities Week health and safety award in 2018.

Lanes has also developed virtual reality technology for use in a 360° training theatre and invested in e-learning resources to support health and safety training across its network of 22 depots.

In 2018, the company’s utility division became one of the first organisations in the UK to achieve the health and safety standard ISO 45001:2018, while the depot network achieved ISO standards 9001, 14001 and OHAS 18001.

Group Health Safety Quality and Environment Manager Paul McParland said: “Excellence in health and safety is central to the quality of the service we aim to deliver 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

“No organisation is perfect. We’re learning all the time. Entering the RoSPA Awards each year is an important opportunity to review our progress and work on embedding a positive health, safety and wellbeing culture, right across the company.”

Lanes' services include sewer cleaning, sewer lining, tankering, and asset maintenance services to industrial, commercial and domestic customers, and across all business sectors, including utilities, rail, highways and energy generation.

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Transport fleet accreditation success 11/03/2019

Lanes Group has passed five rigorous audits to retain national accreditation for transport fleet management and safe driving standards.

The drainage specialist has achieved the Bronze accreditation for its UK transport fleet under the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) which is used by companies operating across the UK to benchmark standards in fleet management and safety.

Paul McParland, health, safety quality and environment manager for Lanes Group, says: “Our FORS Bronze accreditation covers the management of hundreds of vehicles, many of them HGVs, and more than 600 drivers.

“Road transport is one of our biggest health and safety risks, so we’re delighted to confirm, through this FORS auditing process, that we are maintaining nationally-recognised standards, though there is no room for complacency.”

During February 2019, five different independent assessors audited five Lanes depots – selected at random as part of the annual accreditation renewal process. All five achieved the required standard.

All Lanes drivers covered by the scheme have also completed three online e-learning courses over the last 12 months – a new requirement, in line with moves to make FORS more rigorous year-on-year.

Robin Carrington, Lanes southern transport manager, says: “Lanes has held FORS Bronze accreditation since 2013. I have no doubt it has contributed to our determined efforts to continuously improve driving standards and transport compliance across the group.”

During 2018, the Lanes HSQE team has worked with transport managers to use vehicle tracking data to encourage safe driving by teams based at 22 depots and its Severn Trent Water and Anglian Water utility hubs.

This resulted in a 70% reduction in occasions where the tracking system recorded speeds exceeding road speed limits by 10% or more.

Bronze accreditation confirms that an operator employs good transport practices and complies with the requirements laid out by the FORS Standard.

This includes demonstrating dedication to driver and vehicle safety, combined with improving operating practices through effective monitoring of fuel and tyre usage.

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Highway drain lining drives up safety 08/02/2019

Drain lining technology from Lanes Group is being used to rehabilitate highway drains while helping hard-pressed maintenance budgets stretch further.

Highway chiefs are switching from excavating and replacing defective drains to lining them because the no-dig approach is proving safer and less costly.

Effective maintenance of roadside drainage is a key priority for highway authorities to reduce the risk of flash flooding which can contribute to accidents and traffic disruption.

Working with one highway authority in South West England, Lanes Group’s sewer rehabilitation and lining division has completed schemes to line defective drains at four different locations.

Partnership working, with Lanes teams scoping high-risk sections of roads, allowing the highway authority to make informed choices on maintenance approaches, has been key.

Lanes combined lining with the use of advanced remote access cutting technology to remove tree roots which had infested the drains, preventing the free-flow of water.

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ISO 45001:2018 achievement 30/10/2018

Lanes Utilities, part of drainage specialist Lanes Group plc, has joined the first cohort of organisations to achieve ISO 45001:2018 accreditation.

ISO 45001:2018 is designed to be a significant upgrade of the current OHSAS 18001 standard, setting a global benchmark for continuous improvement in health and safety.

New elements in the standard include a clear link between health and safety and business strategy, a stronger focus on the role of business leadership and management teams, and greater emphasis on worker engagement and participation.

Lanes Utilities is the sole wastewater network services maintenance partner for Thames Water. Its 1,400 people are responsible for unblocking, cleaning and repairing drains and sewers for 15 million wastewater customers.

Lanes Group director Andy Brierley, who leads the operation, said: "As soon as the new standard came out, we knew we wanted to challenge ourselves by seeking to achieve it as early as possible. We want to be the best WNS maintenance provider, and to do that we need to be the safest."

To achieve ISO 45001:2018 accreditation, Lanes Utilities underwent a stringent independent audit of its occupational health and safety management systems and processes, carried out by the British Standards Institution (BSI).

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Drainage jobs website 26/10/2018

A new careers website launched by Lanes Group plc aims to encourage the best people to apply for jobs at the national drainage and utility specialist – and promote the drainage industry as a place to work.

The new website gives details of jobs available at more than 30 locations across the UK, from Aberdeen in Scotland to Plymouth in Devon, and that joining Lanes can lead to a great career.

Through stories about people who already work at Lanes Group, the UK’s largest drainage and utilities specialist, visitors will also get a very good idea of what it is like to work in the drainage and utility maintenance sectors.

Debi Bell, head of HR Services at Lanes Group, said: “Our primary aim is to encourage the very best people to apply for the exciting jobs we have to offer up and down the UK, and for them to see the opportunities to develop very fulfilling career at Lanes.

“We’re also mindful, that some people have preconceived notions of what it’s like to work in the drainage and utilities industries, which can add to the challenge of attracting the kind of people we want to work with us.

“By including profiles of our people on our new careers site, they can, in they own words, explain what it’s like to work at Lanes, what each type of job entails, and why a career at Lanes is an excellent choice.”

Lanes Group employs more than 2,000 people and delivers services to every commercial and industrial sector in the UK, including water utilities, energy, highways, rail, Government, retail, and manufacturing.

Find out more about jobs and careers at Lanes Group: https://careers.lanesgroup.com/

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Standards "hat-trick" 03/08/2018

Drainage specialist Lanes Group has achieved three business standards, demonstrating the robustness of its approach to quality, the environment, and health and safety.

The company now holds ISO 9001:2015 for quality management, ISO 14001:2015 for environmental management, and OHSAS 18001:2007 for occupational health and safety management.

It is the first time Lanes has held all three standards across its depot network and water utility services.

Sister company UKDN Waterflow (LG) has also independently achieved all three standards.

Lanes Group health, safety, quality, and environment manager Paul McParland said: “Lanes Group and UKDN Waterflow (LG) have achieved the standards following 18 days of auditing at seven sites across the UK.

“Holding ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001 demonstrates our commitment to driving improvement through proven systems, policies, and procedures.

“It gives us a strong platform to improve still further how we do business, which is positive for clients and our employees, who expect the best from the UK’s largest and most progressive independent drainage specialist.”

Lanes has won significant new contracts in recent months, from clients that include Severn Trent, Northumbrian Water, Durham University, and Cambridgeshire Police. The new standards both reflect, and will underpin, the systems put in place to support this business growth.

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Water jetting training boost 21/03/2018

Lanes Group has introduced a rolling programme of accredited water jetting training to boost the operational skills and safety of its drainage operatives.

It is delivering City & Guilds accredited courses developed by the Water Jetting Association (WJA) to train drainage operatives to a uniform and recognised standard.
The in-house programme has been adapted and is being delivered by Lanes Group Training Manager Darren Hamilton, who is an accredited WJA instructor.

It complements two other City & Guilds courses developed in-house by Lanes – one teaching blockage engineer skills, including customer service, the other about the installation of remote structural repair liners.

Darren Hamilton said: “Our aim is to provide clients with the safest and most effective services in the drainage and water utilities industries, and our growing portfolio of City & Guilds courses is helping us to do that.

“Water jetting is one of the biggest operational risks our operatives face, so it makes sense to deliver training in a co-ordinated way to a recognised standard.

“The courses we deliver are based on the WJA’s two blue and red codes of practice which are recognised in UK and internationally as setting a standard of excellence in the water jetting industry.”

More than 60 drainage engineers based at Lanes depots across the UK have attended the Water Jetting Safety Awareness training course since the programme was introduced in November 2017.

Where appropriate, Darren Hamilton is also delivering the WJA’s one-day Drain and Sewer Cleaning course.

He said: “The WJA City & Guilds courses set a benchmark for educating our drainage engineers about water jetting skills and safety, while giving them a skills ladder for their water jetting careers.

“The courses also allow us to include additional learning points specific to Lanes Group’s operational policies and procedures, health and safety processes, and customer requirements.

“There is no room for complacency. Even a modern household pressure washer can cause serious injury. Our water jetting systems are much more powerful, so we must strive continuously to set the highest standards of safety and practice. These WJA courses are helping us do that.”

Drainage engineers must pass a written assessment at the end of the course. If they do, they receive a photo ID card with a unique WJA registration number, allowing them to add specialisms through subsequent training.

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Drainage maintenance 12/12/2017

Facilities managers at one of the largest mental health hospitals in the North East of England says drainage maintenance carried out by Lanes Group plc is vital to support the delivery of the best care.

Lanes carries out planned and preventative maintenance (PPM) on the drainage system at the 210-bed St George’s Park Hospital in Morpeth, Northumberland, on behalf of Robertson FM.

Robertson contract manager Ian McKenzie said the work, delivered by drainage engineers from the Lanes Newcastle depot, was essential to the smooth running of the hospital.

He added: “Our data clearly shows the drainage PPM work has a measurable positive impact in reducing the amount of reactive work our in-house teams have to do to tackle problems like drain blockages.

“If drains and sewers become seriously blocked, wastewater could back up into the hospital, adversely affecting patient care. The work done by Lanes is a vital element of our strategy to prevent that happening.”

The Lanes drainage teams use a jet vac tanker to carry out gully and drain cleaning across the whole site twice a year.

As with other healthcare sites, St George’s Park Hospital, operated by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, has a high risk of drains being blocked by items wrongly or accidently being flushed down toilets.

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