05.11.2021 / Main Category

Safety-Driven Year Round

As a proud sponsor of Construction Safety Week 2021, JJ Rhatigan & Company is committed to the highest possible health and safety standards – every day,
writes Emmet Hynes, Group Health & Safety Manager

Originally published in Construction magazine, the official magazine of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF). 

While ensuring safety across our organisation and our sites is of the utmost importance every week, CIF Construction Safety Week 2021 is a welcome opportunity for the JJ Rhatigan team to promote this ongoing commitment across our sites and across the entire supply chain.

As a Tier 1 main contractor, JJ Rhatigan & Company is at the forefront of setting standards in health and safety. Over the past 70 years, we have nurtured a culture of collaboration, making health and safety everyone’s responsibility to ensure that each team member leaves site as they arrive i.e. in a safe and healthy manner. Experience has taught us that this can only be achieved through active participation and buy-in from each individual, from client and management representatives, right through to our subcontractor and supply chains.

This culture of working together ensures that all works are coordinated, providing a platform for safeguarding our people and guaranteeing continual improvement, not only within JJ Rhatigan but for the industry as a whole.

Continuous improvement is an organisational mantra and technology has been a key enabler of this. By investing in the right tools, technology and training, JJ Rhatigan has developed various systems to ensure health and safety practice and compliance. The ease of use and retrieval of information is paramount; these systems allow the team to undertake real time analysis of information and track where improvements can be sought and implement lessons learned to prevent re-occurrence. For example, the introduction of online inductions in the past year for all operatives, prior to arrival on site, has facilitated the implementation of pandemic-responsive health and safety protocols. As a direct result of introducing this online induction, our Health & Safety personnel were where they needed to be – on the ground monitoring and enforcing good safety practices of all works.

The ongoing use of Autodesk BIM 360 documentation management software has allowed for greater involvement from site teams and our supply chain. This platform provides timely identification and closing out of safety observations on site and ensures a collective responsibility for all in terms of Health & Safety. Also, the introduction of digital safety checklists ensures dynamic, real-time completion of safety forms by management at the work face, with simpler and more effective reviews and close outs as a result. These checklists include, but are not limited to: near misses reporting, completion of statutory forms, and all other organisation-specific safety forms required to ensure compliance with legislative and CIF Safe-T-Cert accreditation.

For CIF Construction Safety Week 2021, as in previous years, all JJ Rhatigan & Company projects will be participating in a programme of activities to continue to reinforce this robust health and safety message, which will be maintained beyond the week in line with the daily topics and will positively impact daily work practices on site. This critical health and safety message will be delivered in many forms over the week by both internal and external parties promoting and sharing their knowledge on given topics.

Internally our Health & Safety Advisors as well as our site management teams will be delivering Tool Box Talks using the resources available on cif.ie/safety-week/.

We plan to have external experts on several of our sites, including:

  • O’Reilly Training will offer their Tower Crane simulator to our ‘non-crane operating persons’ (such as our slinger/signallers, Supervisors, safety advisors etc.). This will give them an understanding of what it is like to operate a crane from the perspective of the crane driver and provide a deeper knowledge of what a crane driver can or cannot do. It will give a glimpse of the challenges that crane operators encounter, thus giving those on the ground a better awareness of the crane operations.
  • Speakers from Proactive Safety will promote Safe Lifting & Plant.
  • Numerous organisations will be undertaking virtual and live events across the sites with regard to health for both mind and body with representatives from Need to Talk, Mental Health Ireland and the Irish Heart Foundation.
  • Furthermore, specialist contractors on site such as Jones Engineering will provide information on managing hazardous energies.

While Construction Safety Week 2021 will bring about a heightened awareness of safety across the entire industry, which is welcome, at JJ Rhatigan & Company, we believe in the importance of promoting safety across the organisation all year round. By having safety-driven site management teams, we maintain a daily focus on the physical and mental health of our people, striving for continuous improvement of all health and safety practices and culture on site.

Continue reading: CIF Construction Magazine October 2021 by iQuest Ltd – Flipsnack