January saw a huge number of construction companies from across Northern Ireland taking part in the Construction Employers Federation’s Safety Reboot initiative, which was aimed at encouraging members to take fifteen minutes each week throughout the month to stop work and engage with their employees on key areas of health and safety.
Jonathan Caughey, Federation Manager, commented: “It was fantastic to see so many companies get involved in the Safety Reboot initiative. It was evident from the great response on social media that lots of members used the resources provided by the CEF health & safety committee to discuss topics including working at height, mental health and slips, trips and falls. This was a brilliant way for Northern Irish construction companies to showcase how seriously they take health and safety.
“By including sub-contractors when discussions took place on site, it significantly widened the reach of the initiative, so many companies and their employees have benefitted from a refresh on the critical areas that Safety Reboot covered. Construction companies have had to adapt so they can follow Standard Operating Procedures to keep sites open throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, so the start of the new year was a great time to refocus on the ‘bread and butter’ health and safety issues that companies have to manage daily.”
Declan McLogan, Director of SHEQ at McAleer and Rushe and Chair of the CEF Health & Safety committee said: “I think we achieved the committee’s aim of getting companies discussing important areas of health and safety. Providing the resource packs online made it easy for companies to get involved and they will continue to be a valuable resource for CEF members. McAleer & Rushe rolled out the initiative on all our sites across the UK and the feedback was excellent. It’s important to engage staff in these discussions to make our sites safer places to work.”
The resources provided for the Safety Reboot initiative included question packs on eight different topics and discussion aids that could be used to help facilitate conversation between staff. The following feedback shared by an employee of Henry Brothers highlights how employees benefitted from being involved. “I took part in a CEF Safety Reboot discussion about mental health. It was reassuring that Henry Brothers recognises the importance of mental health and mental health awareness at work. Things playing on your mind can affect work and manifest itself in potentially harmful ways. It was good to be involved and useful to talk. The fact that someone is there to listen to us is something I’m very grateful for.”
One important aspect of the initiative was that it ran throughout the month of January so gave companies a chance to get involved on multiple occasions. Aisling Sloan, IMS Advisor at Felix O’Hare, commented:
“We were able to reflect on key aspects of health, safety and wellbeing and promote the importance of these to our workforce/supply chain while undertaking daily site activities. For each of the topics we held presentations and discussion sessions across FOH sites, as well as in our Workshop at Head Office.
“Safety Reboot received very positive feedback from those taking part and provided an opportunity to refocus on health & safety topics as well as encouraging increased conversation and interaction.”
The CEF would like to thank all of those who participated in the Safety Reboot initiative and remind members that resources will remain available on the CEF website for use at any time throughout the year.
Safety Reboot resources developed by the CEF Health & Safety Committee consist of questions and discussions aids on the following eight separate topics related to construction and health and safety:
• Site Reinduction
• Working at Height
• Slip, Trips & Falls
• Mobile Plant & Equipment
• Mental Health
• Occupational Health (Vibration, Noise & Dust)
• Temporary Works
• Fire Safety They can be accessed at https://www.cefni.co.uk/news/safety-reboot-resources