“The lack of available labour force combined with the rising activity has resulted in a significant skills shortage within the industry.”

22 Nov 2018

Ian Lynch, Head of Health, Safety and Wellbeing at L&M Keating Ltd on the health and safety concerns facing the construction sector.

Article by Craig Tait Originally published by The Sunday Business Post Nov 21, 2018

What’s your name?

Ian Lynch

What position do you hold?

Head of Health, Safety, Wellbeing, Environmental, Quality and Sustainability (HSW EQS)

What are your day to day responsibilities?

I hold responsibility for the development, promotion and implementation of L&M Keating integrated management systems strategies, identifying and controlling commercial, operational and employee risks.

A key function is to ensure compliance with statutory regulations but more so to sets a benchmark for achieving excellence, identifying expectations and raising the standards in all we do.

Recognising the importance of our employees and that “our strength is in our people”, our corporate policy to achieve excellence can only be reached and delivered with a positive culture delivered through our people.

The development and implementation of our integrated management system strategy, which includes our employee wellbeing plan, is a key focus protecting the physical and mental health of our employees

What is your professional background?

I have a degree in Occupational Health & Safety from IT Sligo. I entered construction as a stone mason, progressing to charge hand prior to migration to health and safety where I have progressed within L&M Keating to a member of the senior leadership team heading the HSWEQS department

Tell me about yourself away from work?

I am married to my amazing wife Rene, we have 3 wonderful children, Lorelei, Fern and Reuben. I am a sitting Clare County Councillor, I am extremely active in my local community as a member of the RNLI, Town Team, Tidy Towns, a Community CFR instructor and an advocate for positive mental health.

Tell us something very few people know about you?

I love nothing more than to escape from reality by listening to music. I was a DJ for over 9 years gigging in Ireland and Boston.

You are speaking at the 2018 CIF Health & Safety Summit. What are you speaking about?

I will be joining a discussion panel on preventing mental ill-health in the construction sector. We will be examining mental health trends with in the construction sector compared to other sectors.

We will share views on how we can improve wellbeing for construction operatives discussing practical experiences and programmes that have been implemented, as well as examining if increased legislation could help tackle work place mental health.

What challenges do you see for health and safety in the construction sector?

The construction industry is currently experiencing rapid increase in activity; however, the downturn of recent years has resulted in a dramatic decrease in experienced labour force availability across all levels.

The lack of available labour force combined with the rising activity has resulted in a significant skills shortage within the industry. The urgent need to resource site may run the risk of undoing the work, increasing training and experience requirements for construction staff, of previous years in by sacrificing experience to meet labour demands.

While the industry has experienced advances in technology and increase focus on safety at design stage our sector still remains a high-risk work place this compounded by the lack of an experienced workforce presents an increased of physical and psychosocial demands on the work force.

Ian Lynch will be speaking at the Construction Industry Federation Health and Safety Summit on November 28th at Croke Park. For more information, visit www.cifsafety.ie


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