GMC Utilities Group unwavering dedication to Health and Safety was acknowledged at the 2018 NISO / NISG Occupational Safety Awards, where the multidisciplined contractor – a major player in the utility sector in Ireland – picked up two prestigious awards. Building Ireland touched base with Project Manager Walter Laffey to get an insight.
The annual Occupational Safety Awards – organised by the National Irish Safety Organisation (NISO) in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Safety Group (NISG) – pay tribute to the inordinate efforts that companies are making to implement the very best Health & Safety procedures as part of their overall management system.
The 27th awards ceremony was staged in Killarney’s Great Southern Killarney on Friday, October 12th and GMC Utilities Group was one of the biggest winners on the night as their HSQE Manager John Boland was presented with two major awards – a Distinction and a Consistent High Achiever accolade.
Project Manager Walter Laffey says the recognition meant a lot to Ireland’s premier multidisciplinary utility and civil engineering contractor: “We were pleased to be recognised and the awards reflect the work that goes into Health & Safety throughout the Group and the high regard that we have for it,” he confirms.
“Indeed, it’s one of our core values and we always place safety as our No.1 priority on all sites. I’ve been involved in the company since I graduated and I can assure you that GMC Utilities Group has always pursued the safest options on every project we’ve worked on. These awards are an acknowledgement of that commitment to invariably achieving the highest level of Health & Safety.”
The GMC Utilities Group – comprising GMC Civil and Mechanical Engineering Ltd., Gerry McCloskey (Irl) Ltd., Gas Management Resources Limited and Meter Technology Ireland Ltd. – provides a complete service and turnkey solution to the utility and civil engineering industries.
The Group has a strong presence across a broad spectrum of utilities, including Water, Sewers, Smart Metering, Telecommunications, Electricity, Transport Infrastructure, Gas, Urban Renewal and Renewable Energy.
GMC carries out projects throughout Ireland and across the UK, having completed major projects such as the non-domestic water metering project for the greater Dublin area, water leak detection and management services, road and infrastructural projects, railway station platform extensions, water supply and sewerage schemes, gas network and distribution projects, water network and distribution and rehabilitation projects, electricity network enhancements, renewable energy projects and solutions, telecoms and broadband network projects.
Operating from spacious, custom-built premises (comprising 13,500 sq ft of offices, a 7,500 sq ft workshop and 43,500 sq ft of storage) in the Millennium Business Park, Ballycoolin, Blanchardstown, Dublin 11, GMC has established itself as a major player in the utility sector in Ireland.
Walter is Project Manager overseeing all water works in the Dublin region and he stresses that Health & Safety compliance and enforcement is a huge consideration, present at the very heart of everything the Group does: “Your performance in Health & Safety is directly linked to any tenders or future procurements. You won’t deal with the customers we work for – the likes of Irish Water and Bord Gais – unless you excel in Health & Safety.
“Irish Water, for example, have five core values and Health & Safety is one of them. In order to remain on their framework, you have to have the same ethos. Because when you are on site, representing your client, you effectively are your client.
“Our HSQE Manager John Boland has pioneered a lot of invaluable processes such as introducing Effective Software – an online compliance software solution which streamlines the Group’s Health & Safety management.”
One of the first civil engineering companies in Ireland to achieve the OHSAS 18001:2007 standard for Health & Safety, GMC Utilities Group has introduced a Total Integrated Management System which incorporates ISO 9001:2008, OHSAS 18001:2007 and ISO 14001:2004 standards for Quality, Health & Safety and the Environment respectively, with the entire Group certified across all of these standards.
The policy of GMC is to ensure that all of its operations are carried out to the highest standards whilst maintaining a safe environment for all employees and any person who may be affected by its operations. The assurance of quality is fundamental to all of the work undertaken by GMC Utilities Group, who recognise that care for the environment is a primary responsibility. Thus, they are committed to achieving continuous improvement in their environmental performance.
In addition to Irish Water and Bord Gais, GMC can list among its clients almost all of Ireland’s local authorities as well as the Central Bank, Dublin Airport Authority, Dublin Port Company, eircom, Airtricity, ESB, ESBI, Northern Ireland Electricity, UPC, the Office of Public Works, the Railway Procurement Authority, Water Service NI and Waterways Ireland, to mention just a selection.
The client base, while continuing to grow, features a hard core of repeat customers, who continually return to GMC to receive the unrivalled solutions, teamwork approach and high-quality finish they have become accustomed to.
Total accountability is offered to all customers and GMC boasts extensive experience and expertise across a wide variety of disciplines and work to provide clients with innovative and imaginative solutions that meet their exact needs in a safe, sustainable and cost-effective manner.
At the time of writing, GMC were engaged on a gas project at the new Center Parcs holiday village in Ballymahon, County Longford, various one-off gas services, and sewer relining works in counties Galway, Limerick and Dublin as well as work for SGN on their gas distribution network in Tyrone and the installation of charging points for ecars on behalf of the ESB.
Another major project that Walter has been directly involved with is the major water main rehabilitation works in Swords, where the 30-inch concrete pipe is being replaced with a 710mm polyethylene pipe. “We’re also constantly carrying out a lot of water leak detection and repairs,” he notes.
Another major project delivered – which highlights the Group’s multidisciplinary capabilities – was Luas Cross City, where GMC carried out all the utility diversion works over two years. Works here consisted of the construction of 40 deep drainage manholes, 1,220m of sewer rehabilitation, 4,000m of gas services, 5,4230m of water services, 10,000m of telecom services, 44,000 square metres of carriageway reinstatement, 1,930m of ESB transmission services, 5,360m of ESB distribution services, the removal and protection of historic architecture and monuments, and extensive traffic and pedestrian management.
GMC Utilities Group was established as a telecommunications contractor by MD Gerry McCloskey in the late 1970s and has since grown organically year on year, integrating other utilities and investing heavily in both plant and labour. Today, direct employment is generated for more than 100 people.
Over the years, GMC Utilities Group has focused on maintaining a multidisciplinary workforce with the capability of providing services to meet the needs of all utility providers, a combination of experienced management, highly skilled teams and an extensive range of plant and equipment owned by the group enabling the development of a wide range of divisions that can offer high grade civil engineering solutions.
“GMC has a template of being a well-run company with everybody approachable and fully transparent,” Walter concludes. “All of the directors are visible and approachable and the personal development of staff is encouraged internally. For example, I started as a site agent and have progressed to Project Manager with the help of my peers around me. There is a strong emphasis placed on the development of people within the company and the directors know what’s going on at all times.
“We’re all part of a team and, if somebody makes a mistake, everybody learns from it and we move forward together.”
GMC Utilities Group Ltd
Millennium Business Park,
Cappagh Road, Dublin 11,
Tel: 01 8649800
Fax: 01 8649854
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, March/April, Vol 5 No 3