Aim: Our Solution
To deliver outstanding health and safety services by engaging and listening to our Client and partners needs and expectations and recommending simple sensible proportionate risk management solutions. To develop and implement a “live” health and safety compliance tracker that can be viewed or updated in real time anywhere providing an instant update on health and safety compliance and performance.
Objective: The Clients Request
To enable compliance with health and safety law and protect persons at work including persons who may be affected by the activities.
Safety Support Consultants (SSC) were appointed by MY Construction (PC) to provide health and safety advice, guidance, and support and to undertake monthly site safety audits. This was to ensure that the project was run safely to the Clients pre-construction information requirements and ensure that they were fulfilling their legal obligations and compliance with health and safety laws and Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.
The purpose of the project was to enable the safe regeneration of an existing, derelict, 8 storey structure which comprised of a basement level and seven upper floors. The structure was to be turned in to a 261-bed hotel. The final structure is used for hotel accommodation including staff welfare and offices. MY Construction where appointed as Principal Contractor (PC) by the Client Qbic Hotels to carry out works which included:
When we arrived on site, we were faced with a considerable amount of hostility making it difficult to carry out our duties at times, particularly when gathering and checking health and safety information to ensure compliance. It was during this initial site safety audit inspection that we observed several safety failings, the Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan (CPP) was generic from another project, there was a lack of risk assessments and method statements (RAMs) and there were no work permits to manage high activities, there was also no evidence of due diligence checks to ensure work force competence. The site fire arrangements and the health and safety induction were not inadequate as they failed to provide adequate information and instruction of the site-specific risks, control measures and site rules. This, coupled with the lack health and safety awareness, would prove to make this project particularly challenging to manage, the site management team lacked perception and understanding of risk and didn’t seem to understand the severity and likelihood and the potential for harm to occur from the unsafe behaviour and unsafe conditions if immediate action was not taken to make safe.
Our aim was to immediately communicate our findings to the Project Manager and provide advice, guidance and support to enable the Site Management team to take action to make the site safe which was our priority. Once, the areas had been safe we carried a full review of the CPP and supporting documentation. This allowed us to create a compliance tracker, which we then used to outline which current documents that the Principle Contractor (PC had already developed could be used on site and which documents we had to amend or create. We started with the CPP and used the pre-construction information which we had received from the client to gain a view of exactly what their expectations where and ensured that the lines of communication between ourselves, the PC and Client remained open at all times to ensure the safest and most efficient result was possible. Once we had tailored the Construction Phase Plan to this specific project, we moved on to the RAMs, using the help and guidance of the PC to ensure that all assessments where task specific and not generic. We carried on developing our compliance tracker and a wide range of new documents where created and implemented including a new training matrix which highlighted several areas where we could develop employee competency on site. We also implemented a permit to work system for tasks such as hot works, work at height, excavations and confined space. We agreed that the site safety induction failed to provide adequate information and instructions to operatives on significant risks, control measures or site rules. We gathered information from both the PC and Contractors to establish the site risks together with industry guidance to revise and update the site safety induction which was delivered to all staff on site.
During our initial review of site competency, we found that there were multiple operatives who did not have the relevant qualifications to carrying out the works. We provided the PC with several different training options to consider, the new induction procedure highlighted multiple operatives working on site with out of date qualifications. The review of all relevant RAMs and new permit to work systems were verbally communicated to all operatives on site in the form of toolbox talks. This allowed our Consultants to be seen and allow us to start building positive working relationships with the employees on site. We know through previous experience that health and safety can be looked at in a different light if it is communicated and implemented properly. This also allows our consultants to listen to the operatives on site and gauge if there is a positive or negative health and safety culture. Our aim was to rebuild strong relationships between all duty holders using the 4Cs communication, coordination, consultation, and consultation which we at SSC believe are the fundamental in building and maintaining sustainable relationships with our partners.
Since, our inception the changes in health and safety performance onsite have been truly outstanding and this can only be the result of the hard work and commitment from both management and operatives. We have seen changes in attitudes and behaviour towards ourselves on site and observed operatives taking ownership of health and safety of themselves and others who may be impacted by their works. We have seen instances of operatives stopping works and seeking advise and guidance from the management team as changes had occurred in the methodology of the activity. Although, achieving these results has been challenging at times, the results have been hugely rewarding not only for our Client and ourselves, but the management and operatives can see the results of their hard work. Our Clients aim was to ensure compliance whilst ensuring the health safety and welfare of all persons at work and anybody who may be affected which has been achieved. Our aim was to conduct a full review of the working practices and ensure that systems and procedures were in place to manage the risk from the site activities. Also, to ensure all site operatives were competent and were provided with adequate information, instruction, training and supervision to carryout works safely which again has been achieved. The results achieved have seen changes in health and safety perception and attitudes from operatives and site management towards health and safety. All health and safety policies and procedures have now been implemented and adhered to in practice and as a direct result the site is now a safer place to work.