O’Brien Contractors strikes Gold with RoSPA award


O’Brien has struck gold in recognition of the way it protects its staff from accidents and injury.

O’Brien Contractors, based in Cubbington, has won the Gold Award in the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2014.

The company will be presented with the prize at a ceremony at the Hilton Metropole, at the NEC, on Thursday, May 15.

RoSPA, a national charity, aims to save lives and reduce injuries and in support of that mission, the awards – which date back 58 years – recognise the commitment to continuous improvement in accident and ill health prevention at work.

Through the scheme, which is open to businesses and organisations of all types and sizes from across the UK and overseas, judges consider entrants’ overarching occupational health and safety management systems including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

It is the latest in a string of awards for O’Brien Contractors including Contractor of the Year at the Building Awards 2014, a National Chamber Award and the SME Award at the Celebrating Construction Awards.

O’Brien Contractors managing director Peter O’Brien said the RoSPA award was particularly special.

He said: “Any recognition of the company’s qualities and practices is great news but health and safety is such a huge issue in construction and so to achieve gold in the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards is testament to just how seriously we take it.

“Credit has to go to our management team and all of our staff for ensuring that health and safety is a priority on each and every contract we carry out.

“Health and safety can, sometimes, be given a bad name because people see it as overly bureaucratic or unnecessarily restrictive on businesses but, in our view, it is vital that companies of all sizes and sectors – but especially in construction – do everything they can to protect staff and, indeed, the public.”

O’Brien Contractors was established by Peter’s father, Thomas O’Brien, 55 years ago. Peter and his brother, Michael, got involved around 35 years ago and, in 1995, took it from a partnership to a limited company.

The firm invested heavily during the recession and that has started to pay off with turnover rising and a range of awards.

David Rawlins, RoSPA’s awards manager, said: “The RoSPA Awards encourage the raising of occupational health and safety standards across the board.

“Organisations that gain recognition for their health and safety management systems, such as O’Brien Contractors, contribute to a collective raising of the bar for other organisations to aspire to, and we offer them our congratulations.”

O’Brien Contractors Wins Contractor of the Year in the 2014 Building Awards

Our commitment to the construction industry and the Midlands has seen us awarded the 2014 Building Awards Contractor of the Year (up to £300m) prize.

In the latest of a long line of business award successes, O’Brien Contractors has won the 2014 Building Awards Contractor of the Year (up to £300m) prize. The award recognises the company for demonstrating improvements and excellence in all areas of the business.

The judges chose O’Brien as the winners as the firm has been involved in projects over the past year that have delivered outstanding features and innovative solutions. These include a £4m demolition and landscaping project for Aston University; and a £1.3m project for Nightowl Truckstop that saw 82 lorry parking bays installed, along with 10,000m2 of concrete hard standing, storm outfall drainage, CCTV cameras around the perimeter and a 2.4m fence with electrical topping. This project met “Secured by Design” standards and has been awarded a “Park Mark” safety certificate from the police.

Other criteria that the company was considered to have delivered outstanding results in include customer satisfaction, sound management of the difficult economic conditions, sustainability, supply chain management, health and safety improvements, impressive Corporate Social Responsibility approaches, R&D investments and staff satisfaction and development opportunities.

O’Brien has demonstrated excellence and improvements in all of these categories. The four-year, self-funded £1.7m diversification programme that it implemented in 2008 has seen it achieve a 203% increase in profits since 2012. The company has also expanded from just providing civil engineering and groundworks to offering a wider range of services, which include design, levelling, plant hire, sewerage, construction, internal finishing, road/car park installation, maintenance and facilities management.

Managing Director, Peter O’Brien said: “We are all absolutely delighted to have received this prestigious award in recognition of the hardwork and dedication that everyone in the business has put in to help us achieve our goals.”

Other achievements that have resulted in the shortlisting for this award include:

  • Productivity increased by 8% (calculated by turnover generated per head)
  • Client base increased from 50 to 54
  • Repeat business increased from 80% to 85%
  • Tender success increased from 19% to 24%
  • Turnover increased 2.3%, from £13.8m to £14.1m
  • Training hours increased by 21%

The company has also introduced an Apprenticeship programme and fast-track mentoring scheme, supported 15 ex-offenders on leaving prison to gain qualifications, and offers work experience placements to students. It has also partnered with software and machinery specialists Korec to develop the “Sensefly Singlet Cam” aerial camera, which allows photography and land surveys to be conducted from the sky, saving both time and money.

Peter O’Brien said: “We are looking forward to delivering more successful projects throughout 2014 and will continue to pursue our goal of continual improvement so that we can deliver the best possible service for our customers, and remain an employer of choice for the best construction professionals in the industry.”

Progress for O’Brien at Nestle’s £200 Million Coffee Manufacturing Centre

sisk nestle manufacturing plant

O’Brien Contractors has been at the heart of the construction for Nestle’s new £200 million coffee manufacturing centre, the project is progressing well in to 2014, below details the success that Sisk, Nestle and O’Brien have seen thorough out the contract.


Nestle UK is investing £200 million to enhance its soluble coffee manufacturing centre at Tutbury bringing together for the first time, all forms of coffee production on one site, including freeze dried, spray dried and pod technology – an investment that will create around 140 new jobs in the region. This is in addition to recent investments in DOLCE GUSTO manufacturing which has already created an additional 400 jobs over the last few years.

The new factory development will comprise of a series of interlinked blocks of varying height and scale. These include the reception building for coffee beans, roasting, extraction and drier buildings, as well as buildings for packing, storage, utilities and workshops.

Buildings will range in scale from single-storey engineering workshops to the extraction building, which is a concrete framed tower of over 30m in height.

The appearance of the new factory development will be defined by a carefully selected approach to the cladding finish of the buildings. The profile and colour of the cladding will be selected to add interest and break up the apparent mass of the individual building blocks.

The development will appear as a substantial group of new buildings in the local landscape. From many viewpoints, the new buildings will be seen against the backdrop of the existing factory.

However, they will have an edge to open countryside and there is a recognition that there needs to be landscape treatment around the development to act as a transition from the new factory to open agricultural land.


After one year of construction the buildings are substantially in place. Site clearing started in January 2013 and over the summer the building frames were constructed with cladding commencing in late 2013. Some of the large processing equipment was installed in late 2013 with the majority due for installation in 2014. New electricity, gas and water supplies are being brought to site to support the increased scale of the factory however the new installation is the most energy efficient factory of it’s type to have been built by Nestle.

As the factory is seen as a long term investment in a manufacturing centre, the size and durability of the factory have been designed accordingly. The concrete frames provide significant fire protection compared to steel frames and the cladding is designed to diminish noise emission as well as insulate the building.

Over 300 hundred people are active on the site each day and in 2013 there were no lost time accidents. The project team have strong safety management procedures in place and contractors are selected with a strong emphasis being given to their safety track record.

The new Nescafe building will be fully operational late 2014 and already the first new starters have joined, spending their first fortnight working through the factory induction process and then moving onto the general overview of coffee manufacture before specialising.