The 27th National Irish Safety Organisation/Northern Ireland Safety Group (NISO/NISG) Annual Safety Awards took place on October 12, 2018, at a special ceremony in Killarney

The 27th National Irish Safety Organisation/Northern Ireland Safety Group (NISO/NISG) Annual Safety Awards took place on October 12, 2018, at a special ceremony in Killarney at which the Supreme Safety Award winner for 2018, sponsored by Irving Oil Whitegate Refinery, was announced as Tipperary Fire and Rescue Service.

The Supreme Safety Award is presented to the organisation that has shown consistently good or continuously improving health and safety performance over a number of years and an outstanding contribution to occupational safety, health and welfare during the previous year. The awards are highly valued and regarded among health and safety professionals throughout the island of Ireland.


Other awards presented on the night include the Safety Representative of the Year Award 2018 in association with The CPL Institute. The winner of the Safety Representative of the Year Award for 2018 was Lisa Bourke from Baxter and the runner-up prize was awarded to Hazel Guinan from Ecolab Limited.

The Superior Performance Award, sponsored by Anderco, was won by Nutricia Infant Nutrition Limited. The Anderco Superior Performance Award is awarded to the organisation that best demonstrates evidence that they have introduced proactive measures over and above the legal requirement to provide a superior safety working environment for all.

The Driving for Work Award, sponsored by ALD Merrion, was won by John Sisk and Son (Holdings) Ltd. The Driving for Work Award is an award requiring entrants to demonstrate evidence of the following in relation to driving for work: policy, planning, practice, measuring performance and reviewing performance.

The Occupational Health Award, supported by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), was won by John Graham Construction Ltd.

The awards, which demonstrate the positive and proactive culture of safety management in organisations, were supported by Anderco, Health and Safety Authority, Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland, Irving Oil Whitegate Refinery and ALD Merrion. The 55th annual NISO health and safety conference, which preceded the safety awards ceremony, was sponsored by Anderco, Intel Ireland (Gold Plus sponsors); Ayrton Group (Silver Plus sponsor) and DB Schenker (Bronze sponsor).

Pat Breen TD, Minister of State for Trade, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection along with Harry Galvin, NISO president and John Thompson, NISG chair, presented awards to more than 100 organisations from all around Ireland. The Gold Award was won by Cold Chon (Galway) Ltd (Chemoran), the Silver Award by John Sisk and Son (Holdings) Ltd. and the Bronze Award by Actavo (Ireland) Ltd.

A number of Exceptional High Achiever awards were presented to organisations that consistently achieved a high standard safety award for more than 10 years, representing their continuous commitment to health and safety in their organisation. Recipients of this award include Actavo (Ireland) Limited, Cold Chon Galway Ltd. (CHEMORAN), Designer Group, PM Group, Jones Engineering Group and Roadbridge Ltd.

Consistent High Achiever awards were presented to organisations that consistently achieved a high standard safety award for more than five years, representing their continuous commitment to health and safety in their organisation. Recipients of this awards includes AbbVie Ireland NL B.V., Acacia Facilities Management Ltd., Aura Sport and Leisure Management Ltd., BAM Ireland, Bon Secours Hospital Dublin, Cork City Council, Fingal County Council, Glan Agua Ltd., GMC Utilities Group Ltd., Hertel (Ireland) Ltd., Honeywell Aerospace Ireland Limited, John Paul Construction, John Sisk and Son (Holdings) Ltd., Kirby Group Engineering, Leo Lynch Group, Mainline Group Ltd., MEIC Ltd., Merit Medical Ireland Ltd., Musgrave Wholesale Partners, O’Connor Sutton Cronin, Obelisk, P & D Lydon, Road Maintenance Services Ltd., Sky Handling Partner Ltd., Tipperary Fire & Rescue Service, TLI Group, W & H Alexander Limited, Walls Construction Limited, Wexford County Fire Service, Winthrop Engineering Ltd.

Safety – it’s personal at PM Group

PM Group was honoured to receive the NISO Award – presidential category for a large sized organisation. The award recognises the continued dedication of all PM Group employees, contractors and suppliers in supporting our proactive and continuous improvement culture with respect to health and safety.

“Receiving the NISO Award is recognition from the industry in which we operate. It is a testament to the commitment of our people to consistent health and safety every day. To us safety is personal,” said Barry Reilly, group head of health and safety, PM Group.

As a multinational organisation, one of PM Group’s biggest challenges is to ensure a consistent approach to health and safety across all aspects and regions of operations. As a 100 per cent employee owned company there is a shared sense of responsibility for all aspects of the business including safety.

“We are dedicated to delivering a service that incorporates the highest standards of safety, quality and reliability that exceeds our client’s expectations,” said Reilly.

In PM Group, safety is a value and everyone is concerned with making sure our people and everyone we work with, goes home safe every day. To have a successful safety programme, requires consistency, training and keeping safety at the top of the daily agenda.

PM Group takes a leadership approach to safety and has strong, visible leadership from our board of directors right through to our teams on site. This is a fundamental in our twin objectives of exemplary health and safety performance and zero incidents.

PM Group is currently working on major projects for multinational companies across Ireland including MSD, Janssen, Takeda and Glanbia.

PM Group works on projects in more than 30 countries worldwide with a team of 2,500 people. The company is NISO and OHSAS accredited to 18001, 14001 and 9001.


‘Showing commitment from the very top’ at Roadbridge

Michael Ryan, Health and Safety Manager Roadbridge

Michael Ryan, health and safety manager, Roadbridge

Roadbridge is a unique company in terms of the Irish construction industry as we employ almost all of our workforce directly. We currently have 700 people employed directly ranging from directors, site managers, HSEQ advisers, plant operators and general operatives, that is, the full gambit of expertise which is required to be successful.

We have an average retention rate of 15 years which is testament to the way we treat our workforce. This is also true of our safety culture. Formally, Pat Mulcair Civil Engineering, the company was initially a family run business which took great care of its employees and their welfare.

This ethos has continued through more formal programmes like our BBS Programme ‘Our Safe Path Agreements’ and our ‘Workplace Options Employee Assistance Programme’.

Something which has been in place since the beginning is the provision of meals on site in our canteens. We provide all our employees with breakfast and lunch on site every day in custom designed kitchen and seating areas. We have always believed that the canteen is the hub of the site where employees can meet and chat.

All members of the construction team congregate in our canteen and Client representatives are also invited to use the facility. This allows people to get to know each other and it helps to allay any preconceived idea that it’s a ‘them and us’ scenario on site.

Our directors are heavily involved in promoting a good safety culture by showing leadership and being available to all the workforce on site. They have signed up to a safety charter initiative and have added their photo and signature to that charter so it’s a very visible process.

They believed that by showing commitment from the very top and by asking people to join in at all levels to the initiative it would generate a seed change in the behaviour of our direct employees and in turn our subcontractor employees.

We believe that we have a good knowledge of our workforce and this leads to mutual trust. This direct employee model brings added responsibility but so too it brings about a loyal workforce who have the best interest of the company at heart.

We believe that our workforce takes ownership of safety on our sites and takes pride in the company’s success. Our philosophy is that open communication is key to having a successful safety culture on our sites. We are well positioned to achieving this as we know our workforce and most of all we respect them.

We have participated in the National Irish Safety Organisation Awards since 2003 in which we won a modest Merit Award. This all changed by 2005 when we became the first construction firm to win the coveted ‘Supreme Award’, this put us to the fore for all industries in the whole of the island.

We have won awards at a high level since then and we are among only six companies in Ireland to achieve the ‘Exceptional High Achiever’ Award at this year’s ceremony. We owe a lot to NISO and we wish them continued success in the promotion of Health and Safety in the workplace. Michael Ryan, health and safety manager, Roadbridge

Vision Contracting are All-Ireland champions

Gilead Distribution Centre

Gilead Distribution Centre

From innovators and early adopters of cutting-edge health and safety technology to first-time winners in the All-Ireland Occupational Safety Awards – Vision Contracting has now seen its commitment to setting the highest standards recognised by its peers.

The burgeoning construction services company was honoured as the ‘Best New Entry – Small Sized Organisation’ at the recent NISO/NISG All-Ireland Occupational Safety Awards in Killarney.

Vision Contracting has built an impressive safety record over the past three years, with no Lost Time Incidents (LTIs) in 2018 and having recently clocked up more than one million hours worked LTI free.

But it was the overall company philosophy and the systems put in place to achieve these sector-leading results which particularly impressed the judges.

And the recent award, in its first year as contenders at the bench-mark NISO/NISG All-Ireland Occupational Safety Awards, was a very welcome accolade for the Vision Contracting team.

“It’s wonderful recognition for us and our commitment to health and safety,” said environmental health and safety manager Glen Cowley, who was presented with the prestigious award by Minister of State for Trade, Employment and Business, Pat Breen TD.

“We are delighted and really proud to receive this award, which recognises all the fantastic work delivered by the Vision team and the support of our key customers across the business every working day. The recognition is also very important to our ongoing business development efforts as we continue to grow the company activities across all sectors – but particularly in the multinational industrial and pharma areas,” said Cowley.

Carrigaline Youth Centre

Carrigaline Youth Centre

“We made our submission to NISO (National Irish Safety Organisation) in April based on our performance delivery, projects and initiatives in 2017. The information had to be concise, relevant and verifiable.

“We were notified coming up to the awards ceremony that our submission had been successful, but we didn’t find out until the night itself what category we had won in. There were a lot of new entrants and we were thrilled with the outcome.”

Vision Contracting has grown rapidly since being set up – in a deeply challenging environment – in 2011. The construction services company (with offices in Cork and Dublin) has a turnover of approximately €40 milion in 2018 and has quickly established itself as a leading builder in several niche markets.

The senior management team: managing director Niall O’Meara, Mick Allen, construction director, Aidan Drummond, pharma and industrial director, and Colm Fehily, commercial director, have worked together for almost two decades, gaining an impressively wide range of technical, commercial and business-related construction experience.

As a close-knit team, they have been directly involved in the delivery of a diverse range of construction projects throughout Ireland and the UK, ranging in values from €500,000 to €100 million.

Vision Contracting has grown steadily to employ over 60 staff at its offices in Cork and Dublin and earned a reputation for delivering on complex projects through innovation, flexibility and the early-adoption of new methods and technology.

The core approach – for every team-member and department – is hands-on and customer focused. Vision Contracting takes communicating with clients very seriously and offers them the accessibility and support of a local company with national experience.

It is owner-driven. And as a relatively young company in a highly competitive sector where track records and reputation really count, committed to building enduring customer relationships.

With a strong record of working in the pharmaceutical, commercial and retail sectors, Vision Contracting has delivered numerous projects successfully and sets itself apart from its peers by prioritising customer focus, a commitment to solutions-based working and by its collaborative and partnering approach.

As well as this absolute dedication to customer service, value-for-money and operational excellence – Vision Contracting is particularly proud of its employees and staff, whose dedication and unrelenting commitment has been instrumental in the growth and success of the business.

Northside Shopping Centre

Northside Shopping Centre

Vision Contracting also operates a comprehensive set of best practice management systems for consistent excellence and continuous improvement. Its accreditations include: OHSAS 18001, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. It is a member of CIRI and places a strong emphasis on Lean Design and Construction.

The company has a proven background in pre-construction, value engineering, project and construction management, and provides complete delivery solutions. It has built an enduring reputation for a collaborative business approach and for working hand in hand with clients and their design teams to deliver the best solutions.

Offering main contracting, management contracting, construction partnering, CSA (Civil, Structural and Architectural) work package contracting and design and build contracting, Vision Contracting believes in doing business in a way that is fair and transparent.

Its core business values and principles are founded on trust, honesty, integrity, a cooperative and ‘can-do’ attitude as well as dedication to construction excellence. These are fundamentals of its business practice.

As Vision Contracting grows and looks to the future with its ever-increasing standards of safety, quality, efficiency and sustainability of construction practices, it is committed to working in partnership with its customers and their professional teams to achieve optimal construction solutions and to deliver best value.

This is a commitment shared by its employees, one that differentiates Vision and will see it continue to develop and enhance strong long-term relationships with its customers. Repeat business represents the cornerstone of its business priorities.

Another win for Jones Engineering at NISO Safety Awards

Jones Engineering, one of Ireland’s longest established companies and one of the country’s most successful international engineering services contractors has been recognised for its environmental health and safety practices at the esteemed NISO Safety Awards 2018.

The company, which employs nearly 2,800 people, was awarded with the prestigious President’s Award Construction along with the Exceptional High Achiever Award at the ceremony in October 2018.  Jones Engineering was presented with the Exceptional High Achiever Award for achieving a Distinction or Higher Award in each of the last 10 years.

Jones Engineering was the first mechanical and electrical engineering company to win the All Ireland supreme award for safety and it is a major endorsement of the company’s continual commitment to the highest EHS standards, both within its own company and within its many client companies.

Jones Engineering was delighted to continue the winning streak this year. It has long held that its ethos does not derive from a goal of merely reducing accidents or from a table of facts and figures. It comes from a very human place. As a company which began in the 1890s it has a long history of putting safety first.

As Chris Jones once said ‘As a large employer, you still have to recognise the humanity in everyone’. It takes precedence over all other aspects of any work project.

When it comes to safety, the team at Jones Engineering believes in co-operation not competition and its commitment extends beyond its own doors. It has brought selected subcontractors under its wing, assigning them mentors and providing them with support and resources until they were fully aligned with the industry EHS standards.

On projects it engages with its clients and direct competitors to ensure that there is only one EHS standard on site thus eliminating double standards and misconceptions.

This commitment extends across the 14 countries in which Jones Engineering operates throughout Ireland, United Kingdom, Central Europe, Northern Europe and the Middle East.

Upon receiving the awards on behalf of Jones Engineering, Declan Grady, EHS manager said: “Safety remains the number one value for Jones Engineering which makes a fundamental difference. Priorities change whereas core values do not.

“Safety is embedded in our culture and in our values and this commitment extends from the boardroom to every level within our company. The NISO awards is a recognition of the efforts and commitment of all our employees and subcontractors in striving to creating a work environment free of injury and I am proud to accept on their behalf.”

Jim Curley, group chief executive said: The most valuable resources we have as a group are our staff and specialist subcontractors. Their support and commitment to our ethos of ‘Nobody Gets Hurt’ is crucial in achieving success within our management systems. We have a reputation for operating to the highest safety standards which has helped us obtain prestigious global contracts.

“Almost 50 per cent of our turnover now comes from overseas locations and we apply the same best practices across all our operations whether in Ireland, Europe or the Middle East.  We are exceptionally proud and honoured that our continued commitment to improvement in health and safety best practice has been recognised by the NISO year after year.

O’Connor Sutton Cronin wins Consistent High Achiever Award

Patrick Raggett

Patrick Raggett

O’Connor Sutton Cronin & Associates Consulting Engineers is the largest, Irish-owned engineering consultancy offering multidisciplinary services in areas including civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, sustainability, environmental and health and safety.

With more than 30 years’ experience in the industry across thousands of projects of varying nature and scale in both public and private sector, OCSC’s experience and understanding of our role within the wider industry has led to the development of a core safety culture which is reflected in our ongoing success in the NISO Awards.

Our success and expertise in relation to health and safety has led to an expansion of our scope of services to include roles such as PSDP on all manner of projects across different industries.

OCSC’s strategy with regard to health & safety is based around two fundamental principles, ensuring the safety of our staff at their place of work (Safety, Health & welfare at work Act 2005) and ensuring all designs are safe and co-ordinated (Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Regulations (Construction) 2013).

However, compliance with legislation should only be considered a minimum target and so OCSC have successfully developed a health and safety management system, refined through decades of experience, which has held OHSAS 18001 Certification for over 10 years.

Our system covers the traditional office workplace aspects of health and safety such as our office safety statements, emergency evacuation plans, maintenance and storage procedures etc. We have also put in place a risk assessment procedure for all staff leaving the office to ensure they have the appropriate information, equipment and training necessary.

However, it also places considerable emphasis on health and safety in our role as engineers. As a result, we have developed a number of mandatory Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure the highest standard of health & safety is achieved in relation to all design matters.

Primary among these is the completion of Design Risk Assessments (DRAs), our way of identifying any construction risks associated with our design at any early stage and seeking to eliminate/reduce these to an appropriate level, thereby making the inherently high risk construction process that bit safer before that work even begins.

Our systems have been successfully applied to a wide variety of projects including the National Convention Centre, the Central Bank of Ireland, the M2-M3 Tyrrelstown to Cherryhound Motorway Link Road, Connolly Memorial Hospital and the National Botanic Gardens.

Training is another key component to our strategy to ensure all staff have the required skills to complete all work related activity in a safe manner. Examples of training carried out include:

  • General office, administration and maintenance – manual handling training, first aid training, fire warden training, defibrillator training;
  • Designers – legislative designer duty training, design risk assessment training, specific engineering training, continual professional development through courses, seminars and lectures, managing safely in construction;
  • Site based staff – Safepass, bespoke training relative to work activity such as confined space training;
  • Health and Safety – PSDP training, health and safety in construction postgraduate.

In terms of the NISO awards, we have found them an excellent resource, not only as recognition for our ongoing efforts to ensure the highest level of health and safety is maintained within our company, but also as an educational tool to highlight areas in which we can further improve our systems. HarringtonSponsoredawards,John Sisk & Son,occupational safety
The 27th National Irish Safety Organisation/Northern Ireland Safety Group (NISO/NISG) Annual Safety Awards took place on October 12, 2018, at a special ceremony in Killarney at which the Supreme Safety Award winner for 2018, sponsored by Irving Oil Whitegate Refinery, was announced as Tipperary Fire and Rescue Service. The Supreme...