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Safety is not about reaching minimum industry standards; it is raising the bar and setting new ones, Operations Director of Crane Hire Ltd, Jarlath O’Leary, tells Joanna Kiernan.
“The development and sustainability of a health, safety and environmental culture is a top goal for CHL and is everyone’s responsibility,” Jarlath O’Leary explains. “CHL has a proactive approach, led by the Board of Directors and it demands everyone to demonstrate total commitment to safety without compromise.”
The CHL Safety Director liaises regularly with all board members to ensure they are fully briefed and the management systems for H&S, Environment and Quality in the company are documented, structured and certified to recognised standards with an electronically accessed Integrated Management System.
“Standard Operating and Emergency Operating Procedures have been developed to ensure absolute clarity in relation to every individual’s responsibilities towards Health, Safety, Quality and Environment. These are supported by a comprehensive Staff Handbook,” Jarlath O’Leary says. “Working for some of the world’s leading companies, Crane Hire Limited have a proven track record for delivering a high quality product to meet the needs and expectations of our clients. Regardless of the project or the task at hand Crane Hire Limited relentlessly link the delivery of our capabilities to the achievement of exemplary, Health, Safety, Environment and Quality standards.”
In recent years, Crane Hire Limited has been steadfastly expanding its expertise and experience, operating in high-hazard sectors including the nuclear industry.
“Everybody has a safety statement and everybody has safety policies and risk assessments and method statements, but that was kind of stupid for us and it was actually the guys in the nuclear industry who pointed that out to us,” Jarlath O’Leary explains. “The people we dealt with were former captains, commanding fleet maintenance for her majesty’s nuclear submarines and they explained that when you are working in that kind of environment, you don’t have time to sit down and write a method statement and get someone to sign off on it.”
“If you are repeating the same task every day, it does not make sense to talk about risk assessments and method statements,” Jarlath adds. “Some of these method statements are so long that I don’t believe that people read them. So we developed from scratch Standard Operating Procedure handbooks- so you have the standard staff handbook, then you have your standard operating procedures specific for each individual involved, such as crane drivers or Slinger-Signallers.”
According to Jarlath, CHL’s Standard Operating Procedure handbooks are the way forward for the safety in the industry. The company is also in the process of setting up a Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) training centre for Appointed Persons (AP’s) at its depot in Ballyfermot, Co. Dublin.
“A crane might be on site and it might do 100 lifts a day, but you won’t do 100 method statements. The idea behind the Standard Operating Procedure is that it dictates how everybody, who works for us should behave in every lift, every single time and that is an innovation,” Jarlath explains.