Winner - Joe McGinnis


Joe McGinnis

At the age of just 22 Joe has taken on one of Northern Irish housebuilder Braidwater's most difficult challenges - improving the company's health and safety policy and procedures. Joe's mature solution was to bring all site and head office managers together to formulate, agree and then implement the new policies. These included reviewing the company's training plan, its plant and machinery, and all its health and safety signage and documentation. He also oversaw the implementation of a soft landing system to address working and height legislation and the setting up of a health and safety committee that meets weekly to monitor progress. And already Joe has tasted success - the score sheets for each site have shown significant improvements. Just imagine what he could achieve by the time he's 30.

Joe McGinnnis involved all managers at Braidwater in its new safety policy

Joe McGinnnis involved all managers at Braidwater in its new safety policy


Harry Shaw

Harry has tinnitus. He worked for 10 years as a general labourer before the high-pitched ringing in his right ear was diagnosed. Then, at the age of 40, he decided to retrain so he could warn others of the dangers of working on site. But it wasn't easy, having gone back to college and obtained all the necessary qualifications he struggled to find paid work. He could have given up on the industry at this point, but luckily for its workers he didn't. He now works for Hurst-Setter & Associates on a £45m project in Doncaster as the resident health and safety manager. Already he has managed to persuade the contractor to replace the "Sthill" saw with a block cutter for cutting blocks, reducing noise, dust, vibration and flammable fuel. He has also developed a toolbox talk based on his own experiences, which has been received by over 400 contractors.

James Sharkey

James started work at the Clancy Group as a ganger over 20 years ago. He is now a site manager responsible for sites worth millions of pounds, having gained experience as a crane operator, forklift driver, and having worked on sewage contracts and receiving special training to work in confined spaces. He's what you might call an all-rounder, which means he is well placed to understand the importance of health and safety in all areas of a construction site. As site manager he maintains the high health and safety standards and is keen to find innovative ways to improve everyone's performance. An asset to his company and to the industry as a whole.

JJ Walshe

JJ has not always been a fan of modern health and safety practice. In 2002 when his Clancy Docwra introduced a new procedure, he was one of the old guard who felt it was too prescriptive and time consuming. But in the past 12 months he has undergone a complete transformation and embraced the new culture. So what has brought about this change of heart? Well, working as general foreman on two high-profile utility and highway contracts he came up against a range of health and safety challenges from traffic management to co-ordinating multiple subcontractors. The enthusiasm and effort he put into ensuring the highest standards on site were recognised with consistently high-scoring site inspections. The type of reformed character we need more of in construction.