BWT Case Study : Broadway Engineering
The aerospace industry contributes approximately £8.7 billion to the UK economy. In 2016, the industry had a turnover of £31 billion and employed around 95,000 people (1). Growing steadily since 2008, the sector relies on companies like Broadway Engineering to manufacture and engineer parts for the industry.
Broadway Engineering was first founded in 1938, and primarily make parts for the aerospace industry as well as for the military, Network Rail and Western Power. Since 2014, Broadway Engineering have been keen to develop and build upon their success as one of the leading aerospace manufacturing companies in the U.K.
Success is not always guaranteed, but with dedication and determination, it can be achieved, and this is exactly what Broadway has been building upon in recent years. One of the primary reasons why Broadway is so successful comes down to the efforts of their staff. Which is why, ensuring staff’s safety and wellbeing, and making sure that they are well adjusted to the work environment is a top priority for Broadway.
One of the biggest issues Broadway faced when their site first opened was the warm environment their staff had to work in. Working in warm conditions on a regular basis can become hazardous if there is no access to regular drinking water, staff can quickly become dehydrated. Not only does dehydration affect their health, but also overall, work efforts start to decrease as staff become exhausted and lose energy more quickly.
The Law requires employers to ensure employees have adequate access to safe drinking water. The 1992 Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations state that employers should meet the following requirements: providing an adequate supply of clean drinking water and making sure that this is readily accessible at suitable places and conspicuously marked by an appropriate sign (2).
When asked about the working environment and the issues it raises, Ritchie commented that, “Because our staff work in such warm environments, hydration is incredibly important, especially in the summer. The shop floor, where we work with metal, is always hot and even though we use big ventilation fans, it is impossible for them to ‘air condition’ the whole factory. In the past, staff would occasionally leave the shop floor in order to get away from the heat and to get much needed drinking water, taking them away from their work, which would slow down overall production.”
Richie further explained that “Before we had the coolers, staff were getting water out of the washrooms because there were no other drinking water facilities and the water, whilst safe to drink, was not chilled. With a greater awareness of hydration in the workplace and the benefits to wellbeing we realised that these provisions were not enough and more needed to be done, as soon as, to ensure our staff were kept hydrated throughout the day.”
Recognising that we needed to adapt our environment in line with how our company was developing was an important part of our growth as a business.
On average, it is reported that warm work environments and strenuous jobs can drive up perspiration rates, increasing the need for water. For example, in protective clothing and very hot environments, sweat rates have been reported to reach as much as 2 litres per hour! (3) It is understandable then, why providing safe drinking water services for their staff, quickly became a top priority for Broadway Engineering.
BWT recently sat down with Ritchie Payne, Broadway Engineering’s Health and Safety Manager, to discuss and understand how significant it is to provide the right drinking water solutions as part of a safe and productive working environment.
Broadway Engineering required a drinking water service that not only kept their staff hydrated but also gave staff the flexibility to access the drinking water service where it was needed.
Speaking to Ritchie about Broadway’s association with BWT, “One of our main concerns was being able to provide a drinking water service for staff within the factory. In the past, staff in these areas had to travel quite a distance to access drinking water but we wanted to change that and install water coolers that could be readily available for them to access quickly and more often. BWT gave us that flexibility and provided not only bottled water coolers for staff working in the factory but also installed plumbed in water coolers for the offices, that had the option of having ambient, hot and chilled water, which gave staff the opportunity to not only drink water but be able to make tea and coffee too!”
As one of Rolls Royce’s suppliers, it is no surprise that Broadway have big plans for the future. Looking to invest in single point set ups, whilst really pushing towards automations, Broadway want to provide a more competitive service to their customers that will help drive the brand and business forward (4)
The hard work that goes into their engineering and manufacturing is a reflection of just how passionate and dedicated their staff is. Ensuring staff are provided with the best possible working conditions is just one of way ensuring that those future plans are met. Being a successful supplier in the aerospace industry means being able to provide and encourage a healthy work environment. Broadway Engineering has shown how being able to adapt by having the right working conditions can be beneficial to staff and the company as a whole.
“We’ve worked with BWT for almost 10 years now and we’ve been very lucky with the service they have provided. Having a single point of contact means any queries we have are dealt with quickly and efficiently. Since having the coolers installed, staff are regularly encouraged to hydrate and stay hydrated with posters being pinned up across the offices, to remind everyone how imperative it is for staff to drink water.”
-Ritchie Payne, Health and Safety Manager at Broadway Engineering