Walls Construction: Arrive safe, work safe and leave safe

by | Nov 9, 2022

Safety Week 2022 Gold Sponsor

Walls Construction Operations Director Gerry Keane on the need for continually evolving safety management systems

Walls Construction has been a sponsor of Construction Safety Week since its inception in 2016 and we are delighted to be a gold level sponsor again this year for what is a revamped and extended campaign with an increased focus on mental health.

Our approach has included engaging with several mental health awareness partners to deliver face to face talks at various locations during the week, including Dublin GAA star Philly McMahon who delivered his ‘Look After Yourself’ talk on our Santa Sabina residential project in Sutton, Dublin 13, and the Lighthouse Club, whose representatives were very well received by the site team on our Clay Farm East Village Residential project in Dublin 18.

Construction Safety Week

We were delighted to assist the Construction Industry Federation in launching Construction Safety Week 2022 on our major College Square project in Dublin city centre, with the event being very well received by the large site-based team.

This year Construction Safety Week takes place over two weeks which allows for an increased focus on health and safety in construction and, at a practical level, to run more events.

In addition to Walls personnel, Construction Safety Week also gives our sub-contractors and supply chain partners an opportunity to get actively involved in the promotion of health and safety for their personnel, including involvement and interaction with the various events taking place on our projects.

Members for Dublin Fire Brigade on site with Walls at College Square Dublin as part of a rope rescue training exercise

Cultural change

We are aware that safety management systems in organisations must be continually evolving. To this end and recognising the importance of maintaining a strong safety culture, Walls engaged with Annette Tierney and her Theatre at Work initiative to develop a bespoke cultural improvement programme, based on their excellent interactive play ‘Overloaded’.

The involvement of our staff in the delivery of ‘Overloaded’ enabled them to feel first-hand the impact of the actions and inactions of the two actors and the powerful messages being delivered, with two further interactive workshops forming the complete programme.

Leadership and engagement

It is heartening to see ‘Safety by Example’ as the daily topic. Leading the diverse Health, Safety and Sustainability team of a Large Tier 1 contractor makes us acutely aware of the challenges facing our industry, particularly relating to the current labour shortages.

Effective leadership and engagement are hallmarks of a successful safety culture in any organisation and have a key role to play in employee attraction and retention. Therefore, initiatives such as our obligatory HSEQ walks for senior management and the monthly project Health and Safety Leadership Team meetings that complement our high level monthly HSELT meetings, have proven successful in demonstrating how we deliver ‘Safety by Example’.

Finally, the single consistent priority of our health, safety, and sustainability journey remains unchanged; to ensure all personnel working on our projects Arrive Safe, Work Safe and Leave Safe.

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