Arena Housing Group, which manages 12,000 homes in the North of England, has significantly improved its risk management, auditing and reporting capabilities using an automated risk management system from Emex.
Arena created a new group structure in 2007, consisting of several subsidiaries, RSLs and associates, each with varying degrees of autonomy. However each scheme within Arena had its own methods for risk assessments, audits and inspections, resulting in disparate scores and results and making group-wide reporting difficult. It became apparent that Arena had outgrown its manual system of health and safety management, leading to the implementation of reactive control measures, preventing its management from maintaining satisfactory control over the safety and quality of its services. At the same time, Arena needed to retain the autonomous nature of each scheme while also building knowledge-sharing practices across the group and retaining ultimate visibility and control by central management.
Sue Toohey, head of health and safety, Arena Housing Group, said, “We recognised the benefits of an automated system which would improve the standardisation of data capture and the sharing of information across the group, two necessary factors in building and implementing best practice in order to conform with OHSAS 18001 standards.”
Having chosen Emex for the project, Arena opted to automate risk management, auditing, incident reporting and claims, and plant and maintenance for the first phase of the project using Emex’s modules.
Emex worked in tandem with Arena to migrate existing risk assessment data into the Emex system, standardising risk and control libraries. These document activities, related hazards and necessary control measures in a central repository, unifying Arena’s risk management under a common set of practices. Emex’s audit module provided a framework to standardise its auditing processes, reduce duplication between schemes and improve clarity. The result was a central database of pre-defined audit items for users to utilise when carrying out an audit.
Details of accidents and incidents across the entire organisation are now stored centrally in the Emex database; these events are tracked and corrective actions put in place where applicable. The incidents module is also used to generate accident frequency rate and accident incident rate reports by location, helping to identify high risk areas within schemes.
The second phase of the project, which took place during summer 2008, involved configuring equipment information into the system. This phase prompted a rationalisation of equipment use across the group, improving accountability and achieving control of physical resources from the head office.
Arena’s risk project was completed recently. The group now has a common platform to ensure consistency across key risk areas, while allowing flexibility to accommodate the local requirements of different schemes. Automated workflows and integrated corporate governance have improved efficiency and reduced the amount of manual processes required to manage Arena’s risk and compliance.