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Case study

120+ Years Experience Over 120 years' experience
Teamwork Teamwork
Bespoke courses available Bespoke courses available
Ambitious Ambitious

MRS Training & Rescue have been providing confined space training to Severn Trent Water for 5 years and train all the company’s clean water and wastewater personnel. To date we have trained over 7,500 personnel and continue to run courses most weeks.

The relationship began through a tender process, and we won a three-year contract in 2017. This contract was extended by one year during the Coronavirus pandemic and has been further extended since - going to a re-tender process in 2023.

During the coronavirus pandemic we continued to deliver confined space training to all employees in this safety critical industry. We found a safe way to do this both at our sites and at Severn Trent Water’s premises, ensuring Severn Trent Water’s employees maintained their competencies during this time.

The need

On winning the tender back in 2017, and to ensure we fully understood the company’s requirements, we initially held several information gathering / sharing meetings with key stakeholders. Severn Trent Water already had Low, Medium and High Risk Confined Space and Gas Detection courses developed by the previous supplier and asked us to review them and make recommendations. Through our experience in confined spaces and the work done for many years with several other water companies, we redesigned the courses in partnership with Severn Trent Water and incorporated their policies and procedures, terminology used, as well as training on the equipment and compressors used at each site.

Severn Trent also needed the majority of the confined space training to take place at their sites and so by using our accredited confined space mobile training units we were able to offer local delivery of these courses - a significant enhancement for Severn Trent and a service they had not managed to find with previous providers.

The approach

Approaching all new, bespoke courses the same way, the first step was to gather information and meet with experts from both MRS Training & Rescue and Severn Trent Water. We then developed a course and ran a pilot so that we could review and make any necessary changes. Once satisfied with the course’s deliverables, we then rolled it out to Severn Trent.

In all training we deliver we use Severn Trent Water’s company specific equipment including their gas monitors, escape sets, porta gantries, quatrosafe barriers and manhole covers. We take this equipment on site when training at a Severn Trent Water location or use it at our training centres if training there. This ensures all delegates are trained in the specific equipment they use on site.

Further developments

We work very closely with Severn Trent Water and have built a strong working relationship. We hold quarterly meetings to discuss performance and any future developments in terms of new courses or equipment. Severn Trent Water share with us their delegate feedback (we also conduct our own), and any new equipment they have procured so we can determine how it will fit into the training programmes.

Through these meetings we have developed several additional bespoke courses including a Confined Space Assessor Course that delivers a bespoke method of teaching Severn Trent Water’s supervisors and management on how to assess their own confined spaces using the company’s criteria for categorising risk.

We are also currently developing an LBAC (Local Breathing Apparatus Controller) course to train these employees who oversee breathing apparatus and supervising the equipment used by local teams. The course is a combination of breathing apparatus maintenance and the over inspection of the equipment. A pilot is being planned to roll out further training in due course.

In addition, during the Covid pandemic, Severn Trent Water wanted to help the younger generation get into work. They developed a Kick Starter programme, and we created a bespoke virtual gas detector training course to allow them to work safely at site.

Additional services and training

As well as confined space training, we have also recently begun to deliver all work at height training for Severn Trent Water employees. We have invested in new mobile training units that enable us to offer both types of training. This includes working around steps, ladders, and manhole openings (not all work at height is above ground).

We also provide specialist confined space rescue services to Severn Trent Water’s assets. For example, we have worked at the Ladybower Reservoir where Severn Trent Water were inspecting internal dam walls and we provided safety support for their inspectors and those doing the maintenance work.

Severn Trent Water have continued to show their support for MRS by extending the contract twice over the last 5 years and adding work at height training to the contract.

We look forward to continuing to offer confined space and work at height training and hope we can do this for many years to come.
John Mowbray, Operations Manager, MRS Training & Rescue
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