Collen sets the standard in Health & Safety

9 Sep , 2020  

There was double delight for Collen Construction when it scooped the Construction – Industrial / Commercial and Superior Performance Awards at the 28th annual NISO / NISG All-Ireland Occupational Safety Awards which took place in Galway’s Galmont Hotel on October 11 last.

The Awards were established nationally in 1992 with just 20 entries and have since grown to become Ireland’s premier safety awards. They became an All-Ireland affair when the Northern Ireland Safety Group (NISG) joined forces with the National Irish Safety Organisation (NISO) in 1995. There is huge prestige attached to winning a NISO / NISG Award which demonstrate the positive and proactive culture of safety management that exists within a business.

As one of the first companies globally to attain the world’s first occupational Health & Safety international standard, ISO 45001, Collen Construction has always made Health & Safety a priority and is proud of its impeccable safety record and the numerous accolades that have been bestowed on it for safety performance down through the years.

“We were very happy to come away with two awards,” Collen’s Health & Safety Manager Joe O’Dwyer says.

“Health & Safety is given the highest priority in Collen and is led from the top down. Anyone who knows our Managing Director Tommy Drumm (who captained Dublin to All-Ireland football glory in 1983) knows how passionate he is about Health & Safety. Collen invests heavily in Health & Safety and it’s great to see it paying off. I was delighted to attend the Awards ceremony as well as the NISO Safety Conference earlier in the day.

“It was a great occasion and really enjoyable. I’m amazed every year to see so many people sitting down for dinner. I believe there was over 600 people in attendance. One of the best things about the Awards is that they provide an opportunity for you to get to know your peers and to see what they’re doing in relation to Health & Safety.”

Commenting on the Construction – Industrial / Commercial Award, Joe says: “We were delighted to win it. These awards and achievements only come as a result of the leadership, commitment and mindset of the whole Collen team. Their efforts and hard work are really making a difference.”

Winning the Superior Performance Award, which is presented to the organisation that best demonstrates evidence that they have introduced proactive measures over and above the legal requirement to provide a superior safety working environment for all, came as a complete surprise to Joe, who joined Collen in 2012 and was appointed Health & Safety Manager three years later.

“To be honest, I couldn’t believe it when our name was called out for this award. I really thought I had misheard until it was confirmed on the TV monitor! It was a fantastic achievement, I was told there were 127 entrants in this category from all sectors, and for Collen to be recognised was just fantastic.”

The two NISO / NISG All-Ireland Occupational Safety Awards came on the back of other notable successes for Collen at this year’s Irish Construction Excellence Awards and RoSPA Health & Safety Awards.

Joe explains: “In March, we won the overall award for Health, Safety and Wellbeing at the 2019 Irish Construction Excellence Awards which were held in the Mansion House, Dublin. There were 16 entries, eight of which were shortlisted for a 30-minute interview. It was a great achievement to win such a prestigious award against our peers in the industry and to be recognised as per the Collen vision: ‘Leaders in Health & Safety’.

“As Collen is now operating more in Europe, we decided to enter the RoSPA Awards for the first time last July. They are an internationally recognised organisation, established over 100 years ago and their safety awards are the most sought-after accolade by organisations from every sector. Collen was very pleased to receive a RoSPA Bronze Award for Health & Safety performance during the period of January 1 2018 to December 31 2018.”

Collen currently has 23 Health & Safety officers on its books, and is in the process of recruiting additional officers to join its teams in Sweden and Germany where the company has experienced huge growth from working in the data centre sector.

The affable Health & Safety Manager expresses satisfaction with the company’s P4 Safety Leadership programme which was rolled out two years ago.

“It’s been going really well. At Collen, we are fortunate to have a great supply chain, some of whom have worked with us for over 40 years. They see what we are trying to achieve in terms of our vision as ‘Leaders in Health & Safety’ and they, like us, are continually trying to raise the bar. Last May, we held our inaugural SHEQ Awards at the Gibson Hotel, Dublin for our supply chain to recognise those who are excelling in health, safety, quality and wellbeing.”

Looking to 2020, Joe concludes by saying: “While it’s fantastic to be recognised at the various safety awards and we will never say ‘no’ to receiving any award, it really comes down to ensuring that we get everyone who works on our projects home safely at the end of each day. For me, that’s a true measure of our safety performance.”

Established in 1810, Collen Construction is one of Ireland’s leading construction firms with a strong reputation for building quality and excellence. The company – which had a turnover of over €270 million last year – has successfully tendered and negotiated projects for a range of clients, including multinational corporations, private companies, local authorities and state authorities. Completing projects within programme, meeting budget constraints and providing a quality service has seen Collen forge strong relationships with a wide range of clients.

Collen Construction provides commercial, residential, industrial, design and building services that cover most market sectors. It employs 250 people directly, the majority of whom work out of its Dublin Head Office which is based on the East Wall Road. It also has offices in Cork, Galway, Munich and Stockholm.

Collen Construction Ltd

River House,

East Wall Road,

Dublin 3.

Telephone: +353 (0)1 8745411

Fax: +353 (0)18365779

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.collen.com

This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, February/March 2020, Vol 6 No 1