for the judges, BAA’s Terminal 5 site was the clear winner of this category


BAA: Heathrow Terminal 5

On the largest single construction project in the UK, it was always going to be essential to provide good site facilities for the thousands of workers on the scheme. But BAA took this duty to a whole new level, as it says, “based on the belief that a valued workforce deserve real care and that provision of this would improve co-operation”. The catering, for one thing, is top-notch, with clean and tidy canteens offering a cyclical menu with more than 100 options, including many healthy meals. Washing facilities are excellent too, and the judges were also impressed with the on-site CSCS testing centre. Best of the lot is the purpose-built occupational health centre with site ambulance (see Occupational Health, page 33), where 7000 medicals have been taken and a host of health initiatives introduced. Which is why a senior UCATT steward says: “BAA has set the standard for occupational health, which needs to be spread across the entire country.”

‘The catering is top-notch, the washing facilities are excellent, and best of the lot was the purpose-built occupational health centre with site ambulance’


Bovis Lend Lease: Unilever House, London

Bovis knows that improving occupational health through site facilities is not just about medical units and safety noticeboards, crucial though those things may be. It’s also about creating a pleasant place to work, where operatives feel happy and positive about their jobs, reducing stress and fatigue. That’s what Bovis has done at its Unilever House project in Blackfriars, central London. The contractor has installed some great facilities, such as its leisure centre-style cloakroom-locker system, and it has an office-standard staff restaurant that serves chef-cooked meals including healthy options and healthily cooked breakfasts, complete with poached free-range eggs and grilled farm bacon (wish our office was up to that standard …). And of course, because it’s not all about the food, Bovis has also set up an occupational health centre.

‘It has a staff restaurant that serves chef-cooked meals’

Carillion Building: John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford

The contractor creating Oxford’s £135m flagship PFI hospital – which is set to provide a children’s hospital, a neuroscience hospital and the services currently provided by the Radcliffe Infirmary – could hardly skimp on providing site facilities to ensure the health and safety of its own workers now, could it? Well, Carillion didn’t. A range of systems and facilities have been put into place to ensure the workers are safe and healthy, including: a great staff canteen with separate smoking area, serving good, varied meals; spotless washing and drying rooms that are cleaned every two hours and are graffiti-free because of the respect the workers have for the facilities; communications points with regularly updated noticeboards; strictly controlled access points onto the site with turnstiles to stop the wrong people going into restricted areas; and light open-plan site offices that encourage integration and discussion, making the project a pleasant place for all staff.

‘It has spotless washing and drying rooms that are graffiti-free because of the respect the workers have for the facilities’

George Wimpey: The Lodge, Nuneaton

George Wimpey used large scheme The Lodge in Nuneaton as an example of its site facilities, but as it points out, it has created a standard system that it uses on all its sites across the country. This contractor wanted to put an end to the days, only a decade or so ago, when contractors worked out of a wooden hut, used a Portaloo and had to bring their own sandwiches. Well it has certainly succeeded, for its own operatives at least. George Wimpey employees now use high-spec washing facilities with cleansers, hand protection cream and suntan lotion laid on; they sit down to hearty and healthy home-cooked meals in their canteen; and they enjoy the luxury of clean, tidy, modern site offices – more than some people actually working in offices get …

‘It wanted to put an end to the days of working from a wooden hut, using a Portaloo and bringing your sandwiches’

ISG InteriorExterior: Canada Square, London

In fitting out five floors of an office building, for client BP International, ISG InteriorExterior has taken the smart option and used a spare floor for itself to set up extremely flash project offices and staff facilities. The workers on this project in Canary Wharf, in London Docklands, get served food at a restaurant that looks easily better than most office canteens, with a Chinese chef cooking up Cantonese delights as well as traditional English fare, Sky Sports on three widescreen TVs and break-out areas with sofas for reading the paper and generally chilling before getting back to the fit-out. Oh, and there’s an internet cafe, too, of course. Not to be outdone, all the plush open-plan project office areas have their own break-out spaces too. Getting a bit more serious downstairs on the welfare level, ISG has set up a tool hire shop that has all the safety equipment you could wish for – not that we imagine anybody could get any actual work done with all that chilling out going on …

‘The site has Sky Sports on three TVs and break-out areas’

Skanska: Palestra, London

Skanska reckons that its purpose-built site welfare and office facilities are “the backbone of the project’s success” – and it’s not hard to see why. Spacious, open-plan offices make this Alsop-designed office development in central London a great place to work; the Palestra Cafe serves quality food and has digital TV for the workers; a medical room is on hand; clean, heated locker, drying and washing rooms keep the operatives comfortable; workers are supplied with suntan lotion , goggle-cleaning stations, safety noticeboards, fresh water dispensers … The initiatives in place are too numerous to mention them all – suffice to say that Skanska deserved its place on this shortlist.

‘Spacious, open-plan offices make this a great place to work’