Osborne’s “one team” approach to gas safety
Gas safety is a crucial benchmark for Osborne’s social landlord clients. Having a compliant and effective gas servicing programme generally indicates an organisation takes a similarly robust approach to all its services. Therefore, for landlords to achieve and maintain 100% gas safety compliance suggests outstanding success across the board.
This week (17 to 23 September) is national Gas Safety Week, and organisations around the UK are working together to share best practice and raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.
At Osborne, we want to pass on what we’ve learned though our “one team” approach, which involves us working together with our local authority and housing association clients to ensure gas safety compliance. In Berkshire, it has led to our client Slough Borough Council achieving 100% gas safety compliance across more than 6,200 homes with gas boilers. Keeping every single property’s annual gas safety certificate up-to-date and compliant is a huge task, but by working closely together, we’ve maintained a flawless performance month after month.
Every week, we review our gas compliance position with our client, and agree how we are going to go about servicing gas appliances in homes that currently have “no access” status. This is particularly pressing at “jeopardy stage” – when the property’s gas safety certificate is due to expire. This joined-up and transparent process, involving myself and Slough Borough Council’s compliancy manager and its housing officers, means we’re able to collectively identify the best way to support customers who have, for various reasons, not wanted to open their doors to our engineers.
On average, Osborne is referring properties that we haven’t been able to access back to our client 48 days before their gas safety certificates’ expiry dates. This gives the housing team time to focus on achieving access, without needing to obtain a court order. Together, Osborne and Slough Borough Council are taking a robust approach to communicating with customers. For example, after an initial failed appointment, customers are only able to move their second appointment forward or back by a maximum of five working days.
Slough Borough Council instructs third party audits in order to continually monitor the quality of Osborne’s service delivery, and we consistently achieve 100% customer service performance.
Osborne’s “one team” approach also applies to our 11 gas engineers and our gas servicing and gas repairs scheduling colleagues, who look after Slough’s 6,000+ properties.
The dedication of our engineers – who each conduct around seven services per day – was put to the test this year, with snowy weather putting a strain on the performance of the gas appliances in Slough residents’ homes. They did not let us down, working evenings and weekends to ensure customers’ safety.
Achieving gas safety compliance takes all members of the team pulling together and making sure everything has been done as it should. The need for thoroughness and consistency is why it is rightly regarded as an indicator of an organisation’s approach to all other areas of its business.
Simon Holmes, Compliance Director, Osborne Property Services