In keeping with its ethos of providing a quality service and forging long-lasting relationships, Collen Construction deploys a proactive and progressive approach to implementing the best possible Health & Safety initiatives.
Collen Construction’s exceptional safety management system has been acknowledged at many awards events as the long-established construction giant – which has delivered over two centuries of building excellence – delivers time and time again on their projects.
This year, they were winners at the Irish Construction Excellence awards in the Health, Safety and Wellbeing section.
Collen now has an agreed vision, through the Collen Safety Charter, which advocates continuous improvement of OHS across its projects, as the company strives to be an industry leader in safety. The Collen Safety Charter provides the foundation for a cultural shift in the way project delivery teams and supply-chain view OHS and injury prevention and allows the project leadership to showcase their commitment to this new set of behaviours and attitudes.
Collen recognises the importance of integrating the OHSMS into the company’s core business processes and their OHSMS is embedded within Collen’s business rather than existing as a sub-system. Tommy Drumm, Managing Director/Chairman of the SHEQ Committee supports a culture of safety leadership, which is inherent in every department within the organisation and allows everyone to feel accountable for safety. At Collen, workers are encouraged to identify unsafe conditions and behaviours and are comfortable intervening to correct them through clearly defined processes that promote disclosure. Tommy believes OHS is a key aspect of strategic planning within Collen and that accreditation to ISO 45001 will drive OHS to the next level in line with longer-term strategic goals. With Collen now active in various European countries, an internationally recognised OHS accreditation will help it deliver the highest OHS standards wherever it operates.
Health and Safety Manager Joe O’Dwyer revealed to Building Ireland that their views and implementations on health and safety are driven right from the very top of the company all they way through the different charters.
“The company is very focused on health and safety and has been for a number of years. We were one of the first construction companies to achieve ISO 450001 status. The NSAI contacted us to launch the new safety standards on one of our sites, while we have launched different initiatives to help improve our health and safety status.”
Collen Construction are a vision leader in this sector and they have used their expertise to help others in the industry over the years.
The company have been involved in many projects for data centre and pharmaceutical companies and Joe feels that they have learned a lot about health and safety through these.
“We are always learning from each project that we work on. Working with data centre and pharmaceutical companies has certainly helped raise the bar with regards to our safety standards, there is no question about that.”
Joe stressed that their latest award was the result of a team effort.
“Everyone plays their part in the role of health and safety. As I said, it is driven from the top down, while training is supplied to not only new employees, but existing ones as well.”
David Lee, Construction Director believes reaching the ISO 45001 allows Collen to demonstrate to its employees, customers, and the community its ongoing commitment to improving Occupational Health and Safety performance. This is achieved through leadership and participation from senior management in promoting and supporting the participation of all workers encompassed by its Health and Safety Management System (HSMS).
At Collen, safe working is a culture that is embodied in the Collen Safety Charter, which advocates continuous improvement of Health and Safety across its projects, as the Company strives to be an industry leader in safety. Donal Hennessey, Commercial Director said ‘’the Collen Safety Charter was formulated following the Safety Leadership Event at Croke Park and provides the foundation for a cultural shift in the way project delivery teams, and supply-chain, view Health and Safety and injury prevention. It allows the project leadership to showcase their commitment to this new set of behaviours and attitudes’’.
Collen Construction have obtained their Safe T cert for seven consecutive years and Joe stressed that they are forward thinking when it comes to this area.
“We have a robust Occupation Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) in place and since 2016 we have been certified to OHSAS 18001 and accredited with an A Rating from SAFE T Cert for the seventh consecutive year. An OHSMS translates the organisation’s intentions to prevent incidents in a systematic and ongoing set of processes that reinforces commitment to proactively improving OHS performance. The decision to gain OHSAS 18001 accreditation allowed Collen to demonstrate to its employees, customers, and the community its ongoing commitment to improving OHS performance says, Kara Stuart, Company Secretary.
The development of proactive safety measures is key at Collen says, Rebecca Reilly, Quality & Environmental Manager “we developed and promoted the use of ‘Personal Safety Plans’ for all Collen staff.
“These personal safety plans encourage the individual to take responsibility for progressing Health and Safety in the company and ask them to set goals and demonstrate how they are committed to being safety champions.
“We have also broken this up into 3, 6 & 9 month commitments and request the user to tick the appropriate box. This is to ensure that our actions are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time related) and that our plans are a live document. These plans are displayed at each desk, to remind us of our commitments.”
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, July, Vol 5 No 7