New standards setting a foundation for success


Lanes Utilities is using new international standards to integrate its management systems in a process that is already delivering significant benefits for its teams and clients.

The business, part of Lanes Group plc, the UK’s largest independent drainage specialist, is the wastewater network services maintenance partner for Thames Water.

Lanes Utilities has transitioned to new 2015 versions of both ISO 9001 for Quality Management Systems and ISO 14001 for Environmental Management Systems. It hopes to transition from OHAS 18001 to ISO 45001, the new health and safety standard, by the end of 2018.

Hannah Clark, Business Systems and Compliance Manager for Lanes Utilities, said: “Moving to the new ISO standards is already having some significant benefits for us.

Hannah Clark, Business Systems and Compliance Manager for Lanes Utilities

“They are designed specifically to support the sensible integration of management systems documentation required for compliance with individual standards.

“This is reducing our paperwork, streamlining process management, and giving greater clarity and credibility to the way we manage our work both inside and outside the organisation.”

Transitioning to the new standards has allowed Lanes to align its standards more closely with those set by Thames Water. Systems have already been tested operationally and have worked well.

New elements in each standard have been embraced by the management team at Lanes Utilities, which has 1,400 people, including contractors, and operates 390 specialist wastewater vehicles to maintain the UK’s largest and most complex sewer and drain network.

Michael Hall, Head of Operations at Lanes Utilities, said: “The standards underpin everything we do. They help us set a direction of travel then know where we are on the journey. If we stray off line, they help give us a route back as well.

“One of the key new elements is leadership, which has resulted in us reviewing and significantly enhancing management and people skills training, and staff engagement. ISO 9001:2015 has also directly informed development of a new pay and career pathway for all our people.”

Hannah Clark said Lanes Utilities is incredibly passionate about management systems compliance, considering them to be the firm foundations of future success.

She added: “They provide a fantastic framework for us to grow, mature and continually improve. I think it really is a true reflection of our ambition and our values as a business.”

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