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HSE Conference and Annual Awards 2016

12th December 2016

Barhale hosted another superb annual 3 Pillar Awards day on Tuesday 6th December at Walsall Football Club’s Banks’s Stadium.

The day provided a fantastic opportunity to recognise the resolute efforts of our talented people, partners and supply chain throughout the year. It also allowed us to experience some outstanding interactive workshops and lectures; delivered through a combination of home grown talent, coupled with exemplary guest speakers.

front-page-of-barhale-news-edit1The day started with introductory talks from Barhale’s CEO Matthew Behan and Executive Director Andy Flowerday. After welcoming the 161 guests in attendance, both Matthew and Andy described why they feel these awards hold such an important place in our business, before introducing the overall theme of the day: Occupational Health, with particular focus on mental wellbeing and respiratory disease.

Dr. Lisa Curran; a Consultant of Occupational Medicine Physician and daughter of Barhale’s Chairman Dennis Curran, kicked off the days’ theme with a talk on health in the workplace.

Lisa’s presentation explored the health risks we face within the construction industry; highlighting what can be done to improve the health and wellbeing of our employees by focussing on; key industry statistics, industry legislation and real life experience, which had been gained following a recent tour of various sites across the business.

The guests were then split into groups and taken around the four health themed workshops

Graeme Monteith gave a presentation on the dangers of un-healthy living, looking at long term health risks including type 2 diabetes and obesity. Having previously been overweight himself and developing type 2 diabetes as a result, Graeme used this talk to warn others of the underlying dangers of an unhealthy lifestyle and provide assurance that through instigating a few key lifestyle changes both health and fitness is achievable for everyone.

Pete Bryceland assessed why we as a society are not happier. He argued that our fears and perceptions of different aspects of life often prevent us from being who we want to be, and highlighted how making a few conscientious changes would result in the ability to unlock our full potential.

Dr. Lisa Curran expanded on her introductory talk, by providing some real life photographic examples of site working and inviting attendees to discuss, as a group, the potential health risks, which can occur on construction sites.

Mihai Ichim, Tony Boyle and Peter Needell from Bosch provided an eye opening look at the dangers of silica dust. Their presentation included an interactive quiz, along with several demonstration videos detailing the outstanding level of dust prevention appliances Bosch can supply, which provide complete protection from harmful silica particles. Tony rounded off the talk by describing a real life account of how exposure to silica dust can have a devastating effect on a person’s health.

Award Winners

Safest Site Award “The Safest Site Award recognises the successful demonstration of best practices in health and safety and a proven track record of dealing with subcontractors and other key stakeholders”.

Winner: Didcot Foul Water Sewer Project

Innovation Award “The Innovation Award recognises the success of teams and individuals that have created and developed innovative solutions or processes that have improved the performance of the organisation or led to significant job creation”

Winner: Elan Valley Aqueduct Rehabilitation Project

Best Collaboration Award “The Collaboration Award recognises an individual who has successfully brought organisations together in the spirit of collaboration to deliver numerous projects”

Winner: IOS Hatch Up-stand Team

Subcontractor of the Year Award “The Subcontractor of the Year award recognises a Supplier who has demonstrated a common set of values and behaviours whilst developing a collaborative working relationship meeting our customer’s needs and expectations”

Winner: S&B Utilities Ltd

Plant Supplier of the Year Award “To acknowledge a Plant Supplier who collaboratively delivers the highest standards in safety, service and performance in line with Barhale’s Core Values”

Winner: P. Flannery Plant Hire Ltd

Material Supplier of the Year Award “This Award recognises a Material Supplier that has provided a consistent high quality and excellent service to ensure our self-delivery model stays seamlessly on target”

Winner: F.P. McCann Ltd

Best Team Award “Recognising the people and teams who have delivered an outstanding contribution for Profit, Safety or our Environment”

Winner: Scottish Regional Team

Living the Values Award “Recognising the people and teams who bring our Core Values to life and actively demonstrate that our Values are at the very heart of our business”

Winner: Allan McWhinnie, Site Manager, Scottish Region

Health Improvement Award “The Health Improvement Award recognises an individual who has been successful in improving their own health and wellbeing. We want to award these triumphs to continue to inspire many more who are on their journey”

Winner: Graeme Monteith, Engineering Manager, Head Office

Barhale Young Person Award “To formally recognise the vital input of a young individual for their outstanding contribution in meeting the needs of the business and its Clients”

Winner: Seb Burke, Bid Writer, Head Office

Guest Speaker: After lunch Matthew Behan welcomed our second guest speaker of the afternoon on to the stage; Dessie Fitzgerald.

Dessie, a talented hurler; former Cork minor and intermediate All-Ireland winner, suffered a spinal cord injury playing for Charleville in a county junior semi-final in October, 2011.

guest-speakerFollowing five weeks in the intensive spinal ward in the Mater Hospital in Dublin, Dessie was told that he may never recover any movement below his shoulders.

Two months prior to the injury Dessie had to cope with the tragic loss of his younger brother Mike. And as if Dessie had not suffered enough in such a short space of time, soon after his return from hospital he was informed that his youngest brother James had died suddenly while lifting weights in the gym. James was just 16 years old.

Dessie’s powerful and moving story encapsulated the incredible feats the human spirit can overcome. The entire room fell silent as Dessie described, in heart rendering detail, the amazing journey he has been through over the past 5 years. From battling with initial feelings of denial, depression, loss and emptiness, Dessie revealed that he was only able to begin re-building his life once he had accepted the magnitude of his loss. From then on he vowed to do all he could to challenge his prognosis, strengthen his body and be the best person he could.

He described how the challenges we face in life do not have to define us. If we deal with them in the right way we can use them to make us stronger, and maximise our performance in life.

From being at his lowest point ever following the catastrophic events of late 2011, Dessie told the audience that now, five years on, he feels truly blessed. In the time since his accident he has married his fiancée Sarah and the couple are looking forward to celebrating the second birthday of their first child, Michael James. Dessie has also re-trained as a Facilitator of Positive Change and Resilience having received his master’s degree in Personal and Management

Coaching from University College Cork in 2016. As Dessie thanked the audience for their attention and left the stage unaided, bar the assistance of a solitary crutch, he drew a much deserved standing ovation from all in attendance.

Dennis’ Closing Words

The day was brought to a close with a speech from Barhale’s Chairman Dennis Curran. After congratulating all winners and thanking everyone for attending, Dennis assured the audience that good health, both mentally and physically, is achievable by all persons within the construction industry. He urged guests to cascade the messages presented throughout the day to their teams across the regions so that all Barhale’s people, customers and supply chain may benefit from the shared knowledge which was gained from the event.