How Durham Fuels modernised their H&S procedures with easy-to-use solution

Durham Fuels are a Canadian company, serving thousands of loyal customers in Durham Region, Northumberland County, Peterborough County and surrounding areas. For over 30 years, they have supplied Propane, Dyed Diesel, Clear Diesel, Heating Oil, Efficiency Additives and Lubricants to large farming operations, commercial companies, fleets as well as rural residences.

With a large number of drivers, installers and office staff, combined with the nature of their industry, they decided to update their health and safety procedures by onboarding a modern, digital solution.

The challenge of keeping track

Essentially, keeping track of incidents was being handled on an individual basis, and certificate renewals weren’t being properly recorded. Nor were inspections being carried out regularly. “Health and safety wasn’t just about the tools and the yards,” says Human Resources Coordinator Sarah Foote. “We needed to include the office too. So we went over floor plans, driver health and safety, and we started creating documentation so we could move forward proactively.”

Durham Fuels also created a series of company policies around health and safety, which were ready to be uploaded once a new system was in place.


Ease-of-use meant more employee buy-in

The Univerus Health & Safety solution is designed to help companies quickly on-board employees through easy access to training materials, policies, procedures and competency tests. It includes a full suite of web and mobile applications to support health and safety programs, ensuring everything is properly recorded and tracked.

Once the decision was made to implement the Univerus Health & Safety solution, Durham Fuels discovered that because of its simplicity, there wasn’t as much resistance to a new system as perhaps there might have been. “They were receptive, because it’s fairly easy to use,” Sarah explains. “There was a bit of a learning curve, but it’s a relatively straightforward one. It really didn’t take them long to become familiar with it.”

Since the system has gone live, Sarah says that awareness of legalities and company policies has been boosted. “For example, all the drivers can now read over all the policies,” she says. “I’ve actually had quite a few drivers come in and say, ‘I wasn’t aware of this until I read these policies.’ And because they have, they would do a corresponding policy test for each of the bulk sections. They appreciate that they got to learn these things.”

In terms of improving record keeping and tracking, Durham Fuels has been quick to benefit from a digital solution. “We did our forklift training all in one day, and we did bulk propane training on another day,” Sarah recalls. “So it kept all of the employees who were required to complete the training in the same expiry date, which really helps us going forward when we need to revisit the training.”

Inspections now conducted daily

One of the reasons Durham Fuels wanted to adopt a digital approach was to ensure that inspections were being conducted and tracked regularly. “We really didn’t have a system in place for inspections, which is why we brought Univerus in,” says Sarah. “We have a daily bulk plant inspection now – that’s the bulk of our yard and is kind of like a big warehouse. We have a weekly health and safety inspection that is done by one of our designated representatives in the office, and that’s more so the general office floor.”

Regular inspections have enhanced the overall safety of their buildings, and obstructions are cleared immediately and recorded.

Flexible, user-friendly, with swift and responsive support

Durham Fuels workforce have the flexibility of accessing the Health & Safety solution via mobile or desktop, which gives them a greater range of options. “Because we have both desktop and the app feature, it’s a little bit more user-friendly,” Sarah explains. “There were options for people that are quick learners, but those that prefer simplicity have the desktop.”

As with all new system implementations, there were some glitches along the way, but the Univerus team was quick to respond. “Any time we experienced an issue, the team was really quick to work on it,” Sarah recalls. “They were always really prompt about getting back to us and answering our questions. And there were a couple of times where I had some glitches with the app or the inspections, and within a couple of hours of messaging them, they had IT on it fixing it. So that’s been really helpful.”

Sarah goes on to note the high level of communication between Univerus and their team. “That’s been really, really great,” she says. “When we needed clarity on something, we got it.”

Keen to improve your recording, tracking, inspection and compliance processes? Let’s talk, and we’ll show you how Univerus Health & Safety can get you where you need to be.