Health and safety champions in running for top awards
The finalists in the annual Site Safe Construction Health and Safety Awards are a broad cross section of excellent safety personnel, innovative ideas and clever inventions designed to look after workers.
These annual awards were created to promote health, safety and wellbeing in construction by giving national recognition to those making a real difference.
The annual awards acknowledge people, businesses, collaborations and sites that demonstrate excellence in the areas of leadership, innovation and contribution to New Zealand’s construction sector.
This year the judges were particularly pleased to see so many entries from small businesses showing that there is a wide range of initiatives at the grass roots of the industry. And while there was plenty of robust discussion about the entries, the judges managed to reach a consensus on the finalists.
A new category was introduced this year for initiatives related to mental health and wellbeing. This category attracted a lot of entries from a wide range of individuals and organisations, some of whom may never have considered entering the awards previously.
The judges said they appreciated the heartfelt expressions of personal experience made by many of the entrants. "The openness and vulnerability entrants were prepared to express gives us hope that the industry is headed in the right direction."
The winners will be announced, and awards presented, at the awards ceremony at Alexandra Park in Auckland on November 6.
More information on the awards and ticket sales are available here.
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The finalists are:
The Dominion Constructors Safety Innovation Award (Small to medium organisation up to 50 employees)
Biggins Interior Solutions
The company developed a trolley lifter to move and lift heavy, freshly cast, fibrous plaster sheets. This saved workers’ backs by eliminating almost all the manual handling hazards which in turn increased morale, reduced damage and boosted productivity.
BR Concrete Pumping and Placing
Having staff remember their hi-vis work gear isn’t a problem any more after BR Concrete designed gear with bold Maori motifs for day and night use. With men’s and women’s ranges available the gear has proven so popular it now has its own website hivistrends.nz
The Checkmate audit system uses near-field-communication system tags attached to plant and equipment that can be read by cell phones. It provides an instant check that the equipment is fit for purpose and produces daily, weekly or monthly reports confirming whether it is in good working order or has issues for follow-up.
The Bettabuilt Safety Innovation Award Large Business (Large organisations over 50 employees)
The Fletcher Construction Company Ltd
Fletcher Construction created a site induction system that uses innovative visual and audio aids, including virtual reality, to help workers understand the company’s safety requirements. It’s proved to be so popular that staff have been asking to go through it.
Icon CO Pty
A stillage system for lifting rebar safely from the backs of trucks for high rise construction projects was developed to reduce the risk of dogmen falling from truck decks or being hit by falling cargo. It has also boosted load turnaround times.
Schneider Electric NZ Ltd
A number of entertaining in-house safety videos using the acting abilities of New Zealand Schneider employees has proven a popular training tool and led to more engagement on health and safety.
Spiral Drillers Civil
Six custom-built innovations make up this entry. They are a pile carrier, a splicing robot, concrete pile shaver, weather-tight welding container, sheet pile cleaner and a forklift-mounted pile tester; all of which enhance worker safety and boost productivity.
The Mitre 10 Trade Safety Leadership Award (Small, medium or large business)
A series of carefully crafted safety videos starring workers and local celebrities were produced to engage Acrow’s staff in health, safety and wellbeing. The management team rolled out the videos during a series of nation-wide interactive workshops. The videos also won a major award at the 2018 US International Film and Video Festival.
The Central Lakes Safety Charter
A group of main contractors got together in 2017 to improve construction health and safety in the region. The Charter’s goals have widened to now include health, safety and wellbeing for the individuals and the environment in the region, and for all the organisations in it.
HDL the painting professionals
To drive health and safety right through the organisation, the managing director got active at a grass roots level, visiting sites three times a week, holding toolbox talks and making sure employees, and now sub-contractors, know health and safety is to be taken seriously. The results have been fewer injuries, better morale and greater productivity.
The Vero Liability Safety Contribution Award (Individual or small team)
Simon Tredgett has been working for the Resource Consent unit at the council for 11 years. After the unit experienced an unsatisfactory health and safety audit result, Simon began working at lifting the culture in the workplace with a range of initiatives to successfully drive health and safety throughout the unit.
The team working on the St James Theatre Seismic Strengthening Project made health and safety the key priority on the site. It also made sure the Filipino workers on site were fully welcomed and integrated both socially and professionally into the team.
Bradley Project Management
BPM values health and wellness within its team and is now working to spread this throughout the construction industry. The team have rolled out wellbeing initiatives on all their construction sites including incorporating a mandatory wellness policy into their contractor tenders.
The Kalmar Mental Health and Wellbeing Award (Company, organisation, team or individual)
FloorRight Installations Ltd
Paul Lynch lost his brother Brett to suicide in 2013 and since then he has been active in talking about suicide and helping people, particularly tradesmen, to feel able to talk about how they are dealing with life’s issues. He has published a book on suicide and he and his wife have helped with events to say it is ok to talk when times get tough.
Switched On Group
The suicide of Switched On’s Jonny Hughes saw the family company start putting in place mental health and wellbeing practices for its staff and subcontractors. They make use of embedded mental health champions, toolbox talks and education to promote mental health in the industry and wider community.
Dave Burt went through depression and documented his recovery in his book Lengthening the Shadows. Since then he has worked to get people to talk about issues they are going through to create a culture shift in construction and encourage people to look after their mates. His motto is "What’s happening in your world?"