On the sofa with Michael Rennie

Health and safety is never a choice for Pickr, our people or partners. It’s a priority! Having expertise in-house is the best way to implement health and safety best practice at all levels of our technology and our business.

Head of Assurance, Michael Rennie, has long history in the sector. His specialist insight has helped us flesh out our health and safety offering and will continue to support our contractors in implementing the highest quality fibre work, safely and at scale.

How can we get more people engaged with health and safety onsite?

We need to empower our engineers with the best training, coaching and mentoring that we possibly can. We need to listen to their valuable feedback and ensure their opinion is heard. Utilising the knowledge of the people working on the network day in day out will improve our performance. It’s a win, win for Pickr and our engineers.

Pickr’s latest release added a whole host of great content on the Health and Safety tab including the Watchman feature, the ability to report incidents and the Safe-tea Break short video series. These bite-sized chunks of best practice are just one of the ways we’re trying to make health and safety a bit more relatable and engaging.

We’ll also be incentivising good health and safety practice by financially rewarding contractors who implement high quality work. For example, contractors who complete working on our latest test, rod and rope projects can increase their earnings by 17% per when adhering to our assurance policies.

Is there an experience good or bad that stands out to you most in your assurance career?

Things can go drastically wrong in this industry and it usually comes down to lack of training and critically the competence of the workforce. As a previous engineer, I’ve worked on sites where I had to remove a poorly built fibre networks and completely replace it because of the poor standards it was built to.

If companies invest in their resource with training, accreditations, coaching and mentoring, that goes a long way to ensure engineers build a great network, first time, every time. This will reduce costs and increase productivity.

Do you believe the UK’s full fibre roll our targets are achievable?

We all know there’s a huge amount of work to be done to achieve the UK’s full fibre goals. I think it can be done but it will take greater collaboration between ISP’s, contractors, Local Authorities, the Government and ultimately OFCOM to reduce ‘Red Tape’, costs of the deployment and improve general efficiency before this can happen.

Extra skilled resource will also be required across the industry and I believe innovative companies like Pickr will be at the heart of that change. By empowering our contractors to self-form teams and work direct, we can remove the unnecessary bureaucracy associated with multiple links in the supply chain.

Thanks to Michael for joining us ‘On the sofa’. You can learn more about our safety features in the Pickr app and read about our ISO certifications here. Have you checked out Safe-Tea break series yet? We’d love to hear any suggestions of topics you’d like covering or videos you’d like to see. Drop any suggestions to hello@pickr.works.