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Risk Protection

Furniture Village team up with Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Prime Systems in new approach to fire safety

Furniture Village opened its first store in 1989 in Abingdon, Oxfordshire and since then it has grown into the UK’s largest independent furniture retailer with 54 stores nationwide. Furniture Village also sells online.

Prime Systems have been working with Furniture Village since 2015 providing their Accident and Incident Reporting system as well as their Compliance Monitoring and Contractor Management systems. This year they decided to add the Fire Risk Assessments application.

As a business with multiple locations across England Furniture Village knew that as part of their due diligence they needed to review their fire risk assessments but were also very aware that, with the current pandemic and because there had been no material changes to any of their premises, it was going to prove to be a difficult challenge.

Undeterred, they approached their Primary Authority partners Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service to see if they could support them in a new approach to compliance in fire safety. Furniture Village developed a fire safety workbook which was signed off by HFRS as providing sufficient training to ensure competent persons. With this knowledge the teams had the armoury they needed to undertake a fire risk assessment review on their own premises. 

Once this training had been completed Furniture Village then developed a series of controls which were reviewed by HFRS as suitable and sufficient for a fire risk assessment to be completed with any next steps being electronically monitored to ensure compliance.

Once HFRS had approved the controls for the Fire Risk Assessment, Prime were able to add these into the application for the stores to complete. Testing was done by Furniture Village users, and HFRS were given access to review the online process. The system was then launched across the estate.

Sue Browne, Head of Compliance at Furniture Village, said, “For us as a business to undertake fire risk assessments on 54 premises would have taken over 6 months to complete but using this system with the support of Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service the risk assessments for all of our locations were conducted over a period of just one week.”

Liam Jackson, Fire Safety Inspector at Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said, “It was a pleasure to work with Furniture Village and Prime Systems to support them with their fire risk assessments and processes. We are glad to hear that the new system is running smoothly and effectively and hope that other companies adopt a similar collaborative approach to fire safety.”

Paul Ramsell, MD of Prime said, “We were delighted to be involved in the collaboration between Furniture Village and HFRS and their innovative new approach to fire safety compliance. We were really impressed with how smooth and speedy the process was and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a similar collective effort to our other customers.”

If you would like to have a no obligation chat with Paul about how Prime could help your business then feel free to give him a call on 01494 778877 or drop him an email.

Prime Systems push the boat out for Aquavista

Aquavista are the largest group of inland marinas in the UK. Their locations range from busy city centres to peaceful rural locations. The marinas came together in 2020 as Aquavista to deliver their shared ambition; to provide a memorable waterside experience with outstanding service and great facilities in well-connected locations.

This diverse business can present a range of hazards that need to be well managed at all times. Although Prime Systems have not had a customer in the marinas sector before, Aquavista chose Prime due to their experience of working in the holiday and leisure sector and their proven level of Health and Safety expertise in the business.

Aquavista are implementing a completely new safety management system, with the help of Jackie Gawen at Chiltern Consulting, and are using the following Prime applications to help them manage this:

Document Library – Aquavista are using the Document Library application for storing all their new policies and procedures which the sites will be able to easily access.

Compliance Monitoring – this application will help the sites understand what checks and inspections they need to do and will give the company central visibility of the status of control around the sites.

Accident and Incident Reporting – to manage incidents as and when they occur.

Contractor Management – Aquavista also plan to use this application to ensure contractors working on site are competent and approved.

Paul Ramsell, MD of Prime said, “We’re proud to be working with Aquavista, our first customer in the marinas sector. They have many similarities with our other customers in that they have multiple sites around the country offering facilities to their customers with some high risk activities and need a good level of control and visibility of risk management. After some positive regional training courses held recently on Zoom, we’re now looking forward to our applications going live with Aquavista next month and watching their business go from strength to strength.”

This project was very much a co-ordinated service between Prime Systems and Jackie Gawen of Chiltern Consulting who has helped Aquavista implement a completely new safety management system which the Prime applications will now help manage.

If you would like to have a no obligation chat with Paul or Jackie about how Prime and Chiltern could help your business then feel free to give them a call on 01494 778877 or drop them an email.

David Lloyd Leisure extend their use of Prime to support operational standards

David Lloyd Leisure is an international sports, health and leisure business that runs health clubs and gyms across Europe, 100 in the UK and a further 15 across mainland Europe.

Prime Systems have been working with David Lloyd Leisure since 2006 and over time developed their own Prime Accident and Incident Reporting application. In 2012 they extended their use of Prime by adding in the Prime Health and Safety Monitoring application to record and manage the regular safety checks carried out by each club.

At the end of 2018, David Lloyd Leisure identified Prime Systems as having the best system to help them launch a new set of operational checks, focusing on the “Brilliant Basics” of making sure each club was ready to open and operate in accordance with the company’s standards. Subsequently, Prime configured their newly launched Compliance Monitoring application for David Lloyd Leisure to use, working closely with them to ensure it met the needs of the business. Prime adapted the system to incorporate hourly controls, to ensure clubs completed their club checks at the right time each day, and they also improved the layout of the checks so that they worked better on the tablet devices used by each club. Prime are now developing automated daily extracts to feed into David Lloyd Leisure’s internal management data system in order to allow them to integrate the data from Prime into the club’s KPI and management reporting.

David Lloyd Leisure trialled the system in a number of UK clubs to test the concept and once satisfied rolled it out across all of their clubs, including those in Holland, Belgium, Italy, France, Germany, Ireland and Spain. Feedback to date from the clubs has been positive and they have embraced the system and processes.

In the first four weeks, they saw the number of club operational checks increase up to an average of 94% compliant. That’s three times per day, seven days per week i.e. 21 times per week per club x 116 Clubs. Their aim is to reach 100% checks as they continue to support the team to bed in the new system, processes and ways of working.

Paul Ramsell, MD of Prime Systems says, “We were delighted with how smoothly the Compliance Monitoring application launch went and it’s been really interesting to see how Prime is now being used on an operational level as well as on a Health and Safety level by David Lloyd Leisure.”

Sukhs Chawla, Project & Technical Support Manager at David Lloyd Leisure says, “2019 has been an incredible journey for me with the Prime Systems team, we have worked amazingly as a team to deliver a system which meets the needs of our business and we are certain this is a game changer for our operations teams in ensuring the highest standards are maintained for our members and worthy of our premium brand. The system has helped us identify common issues across our estate and also provided a tool which we can use in preparation to ensure we are ready operationally for future promotions. Thanks Paul and the Prime team!”

Prime Systems are looking forward to continuing their long-standing relationship with David Lloyd Leisure for many more years to come.

Prime Systems successfully extend WHSmith application in Australia

WHSmith PLC is a global retailer, headquartered in Wiltshire, England, which operates over 1,600 high street, railway station, airport, port, hospital and motorway service station shops worldwide selling books, stationery, magazines, newspapers, entertainment products and confectionery.

Prime Systems have been working with WHSmith since 2014 when they were selected to provide a new online Accident & Incident Reporting application. One of the main benefits of the Prime application was that WHSmith were able to launch it across all their stores with no training or disruption to the reporting process due to its ease of use and flexibility. For that reason it was seen as more of an upgrade of the old in-house system rather than a new system. The Prime application uses the “Universal” user approach, whereby stores can submit accident and incident reports quickly and easily, the reports are then received by the central safety team for review and investigation.

In 2010 WHSmith opened their first Australian store in Melbourne Airport. Since then, they’ve expanded rapidly, opening stores in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and across other parts of Queensland and New South Wales. As well as WHSmith branded stores based in Australian airports, stations and universities, they also operate under other brands – Zoodle, Gadget Shop, Fresh+ and franchises Supanews, Wild Card & Gift and Kenny’s Cardiology.

Last year Prime were asked by WHSmith if they could extend the system to their sites in Australia. Rather than simply adding new sites, the Australia business had different requirements (as detailed above), so Prime had to work out how to add a different reporting structure into the existing system, whilst still giving the UK based risk management team easy access to data and management reporting. Prime were able to bolt on a separate system that linked to the existing one, which then gave them the freedom to incorporate all the different factors and requirements WHSmith Australia wanted. This included flagging certain accidents in a different way to the UK so that they were escalated to management if they were deemed serious, different terminology for Near Misses and Enforcement Visits and a different investigation process.

The system was tried and tested by a few selected users before being successfully rolled out across 60 sites in Australia.

Paul Ramsell, MD of Prime says, “We were delighted with how well the Accident and Incident Reporting application has evolved for WHSmith and how seamless the Australia extension process was. The ability to be flexible with our products to fit the needs and variations of our customer’s business is vital to allow us to build the relationships we have with companies like WHSmith. It’s been great to see how they have embraced our system and extended its use across more parts of their diverse range of businesses.”

Paul Atherden, Group Health and Safety Manager at WHSmith says, “Whilst we were using Prime for both our UK and International based stores, we were keen to apply some further tailoring of the system for our Australian operations which had grown in size over the last few years. Prime worked with WHSmith to understand and spec out these further requirements. Creating a separate tailored system which enabled us to refer to local terminology (benefitting the end user), improved reporting capabilities for both the Australian and UK offices, and enabled us to incorporate additional features to cover different legislative requirements such as Workers Compensation insurance. Prime delivered the system on time and to the agreed budget enabling a smooth roll out across our Australia business, that has strengthened the reporting of accidents and incidents, providing improved visibility and assurance.”

Prime are looking forward to continuing their long-standing relationship with WHSmith for many more years to come.

If you would like to have a no obligation chat with Paul about how Prime could help your business then feel free to give him a call on 01494 778877 or drop him an email.