EPS has been playing its part in the Construction Industry Federation’s Construction Safety Week which runs from Oct 22nd to Oct 26th.
Currently undertaking the €5m upgrade of the Millstreet Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), and in partnership with Irish Water, the well-known company used the site as their targeted focus for the week, the theme of which is “Better Safety for Smaller Contractors”.
Employing almost 500 people between their offices, branches, sites and plants across Ireland, the UK and Middle East - maintaining the health and safety of the company’s expanding workforce is EPS’ top priority.
Construction Safety Week, organised by the Construction Industry Federation, is urging all large contractors and sub-contractors to evaluate their work practices and to ensure they work in a safe collaborative manner on site. With a strong economic recovery in the construction sector in recent years, there’s a concern that the increased activity is resulting in increased fatalities and efforts are underway to stop that trend.
During 2017, there was a total of 5 fatalities within the construction sector compared to 9 fatalities in 2016. All 2017 fatalities involved small contractors or self-employed construction workers.
“As we approach our 50th year in business, EPS is extremely proud of our health and safety record, but complacency can never be allowed to set in”, says Contracts Director John Lynch. “Our team is constantly revising and updating our health and safety practices, training our employees and reviewing how we get the message across to those working directly for us and sub-contractors”.
And the message was clear in Millstreet this week, with H&S briefings over breakfast, where the team was healthily fuelled ahead of their busy days on site and brought up to speed on 5 different Health & Safety topics over the week, covering working safely at height; positive mental health; working safely near utilities, with hazardous substances and with vehicles.
“We have worked on a series of animations to truly engage with our teams in our offices, branches and of course on-site”, says John. “Evidence shows that video and animation engages the audience and is an extremely effective and memorable way of communicating”.
The Millstreet WWTP is of immense importance to the local community, as it will see the existing plant, which serves a population equivalent of 1600, increase to 3220. The work is estimated to continue for at least 12 months.
The importance of safety on site will be further emphasised to the company’s UK team during Construction Safety Week. All team members from their offices in Alton, Hampshire; Thetford, Norfolk and Lichfield, Staffordshire will be addressed by James Gorry, who lost the use of his legs in a workplace accident in 2005. James gives a no-holds barred account of the impact the accident had not only on him personally, but his family.