Irish Water: Leading on safety through collaboration

by | Nov 9, 2022

Irish Water has €5.35billion to invest between 2020 and 2024, to deliver improvements to public water and wastewater infrastructure throughout Ireland where they are most urgently needed.

In 2022, Irish Water and our delivery partners will work over three million hours to deliver over €1billion of capital works.

Putting safety at the heart of everything we do is a core value for Irish Water and creating a positive safety culture is key to ensuring that everyone that works on our projects is empowered to do the right thing when it comes to safety, knowing that no activity is so important that it cannot be done safely and that everyone working on this huge portfolio of work has a right to go home every day unharmed.

‘We want to lead the delivery of a best in- class safety culture and approach to infrastructure delivery’ says Brian Sheehan, Irish Water’s Infrastructure Delivery Director.

“Consultation, communication and collaboration with all our delivery partners is vital to fostering that positive safety culture. We believe that our new Infrastructure Delivery Collaborative Forum will identify ways of putting health, safety and wellbeing first and promoting a positive and proactive safety culture across our infrastructure delivery projects.”

Timmy Harnett EHS Design and Construction Manager, says: “This collaborative forum will run in addition to our ongoing review and improvement of safety processes, industry safety days, safety conversations and our biannual infrastructure delivery safety award and recognition programme, as Irish Water promote both a positive and proactive behaviour-based and a culture-based safety approach to the delivery of infrastructure – making a reality of our Work Safe, Home Safe belief that we all have a right to work and go home safely.”

Collaborative Safety Forum

Irish Water has brought together a leadership group made up of representatives of key safety leaders and influencers from our delivery partners.

These include contractor representatives Áine Healy HSQE & Sustainability Director, Glan Agua Ltd; Cathy Kelly SHESQ Director, Murphy Ireland; Paul Daly HSQE Area Manager, Coffey Group; Fiona O’Donnell Global HSE Strategy Lead, Jacobs for the Employers Representative; Seamus Lee (Senior Engineer) Jennings O’Donovan & Partners representing Resident Engineers; Fergus Collins and Timmy Harnett representing Irish Water Infrastructure Delivery and EHS respectively.

The Leadership Group will review common safety, health and environmental issues across the industry, identifying projects that effect a large number of stakeholders.

They will then lead members of the broader collaborative forum to actively and effectively ensure ongoing improvement on safety standards across Irish Water infrastructure delivery projects.

The leadership group has identified projects to focus on for 2022/2023 and work is now underway to establish collaborative teams, led by members of the leadership group, to deliver on positive change.

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