Sponsored by Barbour Index


State-of-the-art safety in action at an FK Lowry Piling job
State-of-the-art safety in action at an FK Lowry Piling job

fk lowry piling
It is an industry mantra that safety affects everybody in a company, from the workers on site to the suits in the boardroom. But whereas some companies merely pay lip-service to the issue, FK Lowry Piling, a Belfast-based company formed in April this year from FK Piling and Lowry Piling, takes it seriously. On top of conventional health and safety procedures, site visit forms are sent to the managing director every day and, should an event or issue cause immediate concern, the managing director sends a text message to every company mobile. This simple approach ensures that any required action is taken as soon as possible.

The second part of FK Lowry’s safety initiative emphasises the importance the firm places on feedback from the workers on site.

Employee-nominated operatives meet the boss for monthly safety reviews, ensuring that the board is kept abreast of all health and safety requirements.

Runners up

Banyard Solutions
Software company Banyard set out to provide a solution to one of the most common causes of site accidents – the chaos that ensues when projects have open permits to work. Banyard realised that, given the number of requests and the complexity of most sites, a paper-based management system was unlikely to be agile enough to spot dangerous activity clashes. So the firm’s E-permits software collates and presents the permit data in a manner that allows the team to identify and avoid clashes in advance.

Victor buyck-hollandia joint venture
As one of the first post 9/11 skyscrapers, the 33-storey Barclays Bank tower at Canary Wharf, was a test-bed for the latest developments in safe methods of construction. Rising to the challenge, commercial high-rise specialist Victor Buyck patented an “Extreme Event Beam Link Detail” to ensure that a building could survive the removal of any two columns. It also helped to make the workforce safer by developing hydraulic access platforms that eliminated the need to work on the steel frame, and a “shark cage” access system of working at higher levels to avoid the hazards associated with the erection and removal of safety nets.

Southern electrical contracting
SEC has adopted a top-down approach when it comes to health and safety. In 2003, all 500 managers, engineers and supervisors were taken through a full-day supervisors’ health and safety course, based on the company’s own Injury Prevention Process. They then passed this training on to the 2000 employees below them, with the support of in-house safety advisers. It has clearly been a successful approach: incidents requiring first aid dropped by almost half during 2003.

Speedy hire
Speedy was the first national hire organisation to be awarded the prestigious Safe-Hire Award by the Hire Association of Europe, and has continued to be a health and safety crusader. Its current cause is to reduce the risk of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, a form of nerve damage caused by using power tools. Speedy has devised a simple colour coding system for easy identification of vibration levels on power tools. It is presently lobbying the Construction Confederation and the Hire Association Europe to encourage manufacturers to adopt the system.