As one of the leading global law firms, Linklaters undertakes the most important and challenging assignments for the world’s leading companies, financial institutions and governments.
It has 26 offices across 19 different countries employing around 5,000 people, 2,000 of which work in London. In addition to in-house staff, Linklaters works with a network of around 500 contractors including cleaners, security, caterers and maintenance workers.
With five different locations in the UK alone, including a warehouse, the challenge was to ensure health and safety procedures were standardised and remained consistent across all sites. Working with a large network of contractors, supporting various operations of the business presents a number of safety risks. Linklaters identified the need to consolidate health and safety practices and ensure the compliance of its contractors.
Recently the firm underwent a refurbishment of its London office. The re-fit took around 18 months to complete with 150 contractors working onsite on a typical day. For Linklaters, consistency in procedure was crucial to ensure the project was delivered on time and to budget.
Peter Kinselley, Linklaters Health and Safety Manager said: “Working from five locations across the UK requires us to use a number of smaller specialist contractors from various parts of the country. Our previous system could not manage this process effectively. Contractors would have to fill out a large amount of paperwork every time they tendered for work. It put a strain on internal resource and made the administration process very time consuming.”
“As a law firm we are acutely aware of the implications of breaching health and safety legislation and the impact this could have on our brand.”
Peter realised that the ideal system to manage health and safety competencies needed to include thorough and robust checks but also reduce the amount of paper work contractors had to complete. As a result he began to review various third party accreditation schemes on the market.
Alcumus SafeContractor was used as the solution to manage the supply chain and verify the safety credentials of contractors.
“I decided a third party accreditation scheme was the best way to manage health and safety centrally. I researched various schemes on the market but after looking at other companies using Safecontractor, I decided that it fitted in perfectly to the profile of our company and what we were looking to achieve".
“Alcumus SafeContractor was put in place before we undertook the refurbishment and I believe it made things run more smoothly. We anticipated that there would be risks involved in having so many contractors on site for an extended amount of time but I’m pleased to say our excellent safety record was maintained. The new system was also very well received by the contractors as it reduced unnecessary duplication and allows them to demonstrate that they have met the highest standard, making them a more attractive option to big-name clients".
“From our perspective, joining the scheme has strengthened and broadened our supply chain. We get regular updates regarding the status of contractors’ audits and the Alcumus SafeContractor website has also proven to be a useful tool for information, making our administration process more streamlined. Linklaters has worked hard to build a reputation as a respected global brand, so for us the key benefit of Alcumus SafeContractor is in reducing our risk by only working with companies who have displayed the same values and dedication to creating a safe work environment. This solution has also been a cost-effective one that has relieved pressure on internal resource, saving time and money.”
Martin Smith, CEO of Alcumus SafeContractor said: “Linklaters is a major organisation, known for legally advising financial institutions and global corporations. A company with such a global presence and strong reputation can no longer run the risk of employing contractors who have not been fully verified. Linklaters realised that they needed to apply the same high standards by which it operates to its supply chain. With the penalties for breaching legislation - such as the Health and Safety Offences Act - creeping up over the years, more companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management.”