Making a Difference – Home of Hope Orphanage, Malawi

work-experience-programme-job-seekers-construction

apprenticeships-&-training

O’Brien were recently thanked for their generosity in supporting the Home of Hope Orphanage in Malawi.

The donation will be an incredible gift for their vision of setting up the Vocational Training Centre and will make a huge impact on the lives of young people. The funding will go directly to the HOH, towards the purchase of new equipment and its staffing of the centre. The donations received will be combined with several other companies to ensure the overall gift is significant and makes a big impact to the project and its progress.

The Vocational Training Centre is the next stage in Home of Hope’s vision for equipping orphans and other vulnerable children to lead independent lives to the full, by providing them with vocational skills to enable them to enter skilled employment, or set up businesses of their own.

The project is grand: constructing the prerequisite infrastructure, sourcing the tools and equipment essential to the courses and employing staff. It is a long-term venture and it will be good to be able to see the progress that has been made over the past few years and the difference further funding will make for the future.

http://malawiorphanfund.uk/home-of-hope/vocational-training-centre/

 

O’Brien Contractors win RoSPA Gold Award for fourth straight year

We won a Gold Award in the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Occupational Health and Safety Awards for the fourth year running.

We have won a Gold Award in the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Occupational Health and Safety Awards for the fourth year running.

We will be presented with the award during a ceremony at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. The award was achieved during a special year for family-safety charity RoSPA, as it celebrates its centenary.

Peter O’Brien, Managing Director of O’Brien Contractors, said: “Health and safety is sown into the fabric of our business and this is why we have made it one of our core values. We place great emphasis on minimising the risk of accident or injury to employees and sub-contractors, as well as members of the public. It is not just about staying compliant.”

O’Briens commitment to occupational health and safety has seen its industry-leading standards recognised with accreditations ranging from OHSAS 18001 to CHAS, Achilles Building Confidence (five star rating) and Achilles RISQS. 68% of its annual training budget was also dedicated to H&S training and 80% of their site operatives were also qualified to NVQ 2+ standard during 2016.

“It is always pleasing to receive recognition for outstanding achievement; especially rewarding when it is for maintaining an outstanding health and safety record over a sustained period of time.” said Peter.

Judges consider entrants’ overarching occupational health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

Julia Small, RoSPA’s head of awards and events, said: “The RoSPA Awards are the most prestigious in the world of occupational health and safety, and held in high regard around the world, as winning one demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to maintaining an excellent health and safety record. Achieving the standard required is no mean feat.

“This is a special year in the history of RoSPA, and we congratulate all of our winners in this, our centenary year”.

Helping with Kier Construction’s community project just made Sense

Groundworks and civil engineering specialist, O’Brien Contractors, has proudly supported Kier Construction and Sense with a garden makeover that Alan Titchmarsh would be proud of.

We have proudly supported Kier Construction and Sense with a garden makeover that Alan Titchmarsh would be proud of.

Our team helped carry out the transformation at Sense’s King’s Heath care accommodation, following the invitation by Kier Construction Central’s office to support them with one of their local community projects.

O’Brien’s work, included: level reduction, a base for slab area, new slabs (200 in total), scrub removal and the installation of ducting across the garden.

Kier Construction Central had previously completed individual, small-scale community support activities related to their construction projects, but realised by combining their efforts, they could have a greater impact if targeted in the right direction.

A garden refurbishment at a property owned by Sense in Kings Heath was identified as a suitable type and size. The property is the home of four adults who all have varying impairments, and require 24 hour care.

Adam Ewing, Project Manager, Kier Construction, said: “Our objective was to improve the whole outdoor experience of the garden, including: safety, access, aesthetic, sensory and maintenance aspects.”

The garden in its original state was very basic, run down, un-safe and not a suitable for the residents.

“The new garden will open the space up and provide residents and their visitors with a wonderful place to meet up, relax and enjoy being outdoors.”

Tony Mitchell, Operations Manager, O’Brien Contractors, said: “We didn’t hesitate to get involved when asked by Kier to support them. We are a family run business, built on a tradition of making a positive impact on the lives of people in and around our operations.

“Sense really does a fantastic job providing people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs, with a more independent lifestyle and everyone involved felt that their contribution, however big or small, will really change people’s quality of life for the better.”

Adam Ewing, added: “O’Brien’s assistance was pivotal to the success of the project and their support throughout was a key factor. I would like to thank the team for all their help on behalf of Kier Construction Central.”

O’Brien Contractors win Gallagher Retail Park contract

Civil engineering specialist, providing groundworks services at RG Group’s Gallagher Retail Park scheme in the West Midlands.

We have been appointed to work on the revamp of KKR and Quadrant Estates’ Gallagher Retail Park in Wednesbury.

Appointed by principal contractor, RG Group, we will deliver a host of ground works at the popular retail park near Junction 9 of the M6 – including: reconfiguration of existing retail units, construction of new retail and food units, together with the refurbishment of the car parking areas. The expansion is also anticipated to generate more than 200 new jobs for the local area.

Tony Mitchell, Operations Manager, O’Brien Contractors, said: “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to partner, once again with RG Group on such an important project for the local region.

Our experience of working on active developments will come to the fore with this project as two thirds of the retail park remains open for business. We will also be working to a tight programme of works, including working across multiple areas and multiple phases, as well as organised scheduled deliveries to ensure minimum disruption to shoppers on the busy weekends leading up to Christmas, and a safe passage to and from home for pupils from the adjacent school is provided.” added Tony.

Established in 1958, we are a second generation, family-run business that has gone from strength to strength and expanded into a range of new sectors.

From commercial units and Olympic-standard sports facilities, hospitals, universities, highways and commercial housing developments, our extensive experience consistently leads to the delivery of class-leading solutions.

Key projects and customers include: the regeneration of Longbridge town centre; groundworks and infrastructure works for Morgan Sindall and the Primark Retail Distribution Centre; foundations, drainage and underground services with Sir Robert McAlpine.

For more information, please contact Neil Nickolds, Marketing Manager on 01926 319 724 or email neilnickolds@obriencontractors.co.uk

Leamington Spa to Romford in 5 seconds

Civil engineering and groundworks specialist providing earthworks and laser levelling services at Broxhill Sports Centre.

If your boss gave you the choice of travelling a minimum 5 hour round trip in the car, or to make that journey in 5 seconds at the click of a button, what would you choose?

Well, for engineering surveyor, Gareth Price and his team at civil engineering and groundworks specialist, O’Brien Contractors, that choice has become a reality, thanks to director, Mick O’Brien, whose investment in 3D machine control and Trimble Connected Community software, has dramatically reshaped the business.

In order to understand how the solution works, Finning News took up the offer from SITECH UK and Ireland’s Zoë Adnitt, to visit Mick at a new sports pitch project in Romford and then travel to O’Brien’s head office in Leamington Spa, all in one very long day.

The project itself involved the creation of a brand new 3G sports pitch and a multi-use games area (MUGA), constructed next to an existing sports centre. With very tight tolerances required to meet the exacting standards for the pitch, before the job was secured, the surveying team carried out an in house survey, modeled the whole project in 3D and then monitored it throughout the earthworks programme, as Mick explained:

Having proven the benefits of machine control on previous sports pitch projects, we have now gone to the lengths of setting up a new specialist division for this type of work.

“So in practical terms, our first aim with any project is to try and ensure that no material leaves site, eliminating the need and cost of truck movements. This is achieved by recycling good quality soils and designing in features like earth bunds to use material that would normally be classified as inert waste.

“Our challenge throughout this process is that we have to stick as closely to our design as possible, but you never truly know what you will unearth or how materials will compact, until you actually start doing the job.

“This is why you have to be on top of a project from day one. Typically before GPS enabled 3D machine control, we would have had to send a member of our team down to site on a very regular basis, which is a costly exercise when a round trip is 5 hours. This was the reason that prior to our investment in this technology, we tendered for jobs much closer to our base in Leamington Spa.

“This was obviously quite restrictive to our growth, especially in the more specialist sports pitch market. So by using two-way communication through the Trimble technology using the GPS network, the machines are able to tell us what they have been doing and we can see the daily progress onsite at the touch of a button.

“Equally, we can see the all important levels being achieved and therefore continually update our calculations around material movements, settlement and compaction. This means that Gareth, our engineering surveyor, can make relevant adjustments to the 3D model from his desk, delivering changes to the individual machines onsite, at the touch of a button, via the Trimble Connected Community.

“So what would be a round trip of at least 5 hours to our latest Romford project to upload a file from a memory stick or complete a survey using older techniques, is a 5 second file click and drag process, which is then sent through the cloud.

“In commercial terms, this approach has totally changed our capabilities and more importantly for the customer, changed the way a project is delivered. Our customers get a 3D design matching high quality finish, reduced truck movements, which pleases the local residents and a faster job, at a fixed competitive price.

“It really is a win win for both parties and a transformational journey from regional to national contractor for our business, I honestly don’t know how we could run a profitable job without it.”

So if you’ve got an earthworks project you’re looking to start, click here to talk to us about how we can help you generate cost and efficiency savings.

O’Brien Sports make a splash with British Blind Sport

Birmingham based civil engineering and groundworks specialist, O’Brien Contractors, has sponsored Warwickshire based British Blind Sport

We have generously lent our support to British Blind Sport by sponsoring its 2017 youth swimming gala.

British Blind Sport is a charity based in Leamington that helps visually impaired, blind and partially sighted people participate in sport.

Fundraising Manager Ian Carr said, “The youth swimming gala is one of British Blind Sport’s flagship events that’s been in our calendar for a number of years. Last year’s event was one of the most successful we’ve staged as we welcomed over 50 visually impaired kids from all over the country to take part in 35 races throughout the afternoon. For a number of children – especially those attending mainstream schools – it is the first time they are able to swim competitively against other children with visual impairments. It’s not all about the competition though, the open and friendly nature of the day means that the children and parents make friends and have a thoroughly enjoyable and unforgettable day that often acts as a springboard to continue swimming competitively or as a hobby.”

Some of the feedback from last year, included:

  • “It’s fantastic to have an event that kids can compete in. To see all the children enjoying themselves is brilliant. I wish there were more events like this.” – Lucy, mother of a participant
  • “Best gala I’ve been to; it was full of atmosphere.” – Kian Saville, participant
  • “It’s the first time we’ve been, but we will definitely come again. It’s brilliant!” – Cornel, mother of a participant

Mick O’Brien, Director of O’Brien Sports added, “British Blind Sport is an important organisation, making a really big difference to blind and partially sighted people. “

“Sports participation can help children: build their confidence, develop new friendships, practise their social skills, but most importantly, provide them with an opportunity to have fun taking part in an activity they are good at.”

“We are very happy to continue our involvement with British Blind Sport and wish all the competitors a fun and enjoyable swimming gala.”

“We are incredibly grateful for the support O’Brien’s continue to show us here at BBS and the sponsorship of this event will allow us to provide a great sporting opportunity for numerous visually impaired children.” Ian added.

If you would like to make a donation to the British Blind Sport you can do so easily at www.britishblindsport.org.uk/fundraising/donate

O’Brien Contractors’ carbon footprint verified to BS EN ISO 14064-3:2006

Our standards are benchmarked against leading industry accreditations, including ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 18001 and Achilles BuildingConfidence

We have had our carbon footprint verified by TÜV UK Ltd to the ISO 14064-3:2006 standard across our operations.

Verification to ISO 14064, is one of the most effective ways to measure, quantify and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The audit showed that, when normalised against turnover (£17m in 2014 and £28m in 2015), we had significantly reduced our usage of resources year-on-year and continually exceeded target.

In order to achieve our emissions reduction goal, we developed a strategy based on:

  • Investing and upgrading and operating the most efficient plant and technology available.
  • Providing staff with training on how to improve their driving to reduce fuel consumption.
  • Investing an average of £140k per year on upgrading its fleet of vehicles to ensure that they are the most efficient and low-emission models available.
  • Offering shuttle buses to promote vehicle pooling for staff working on our construction sites.

Vicki O’Brien, O’Brien Contractors, said: “We are very much committed to minimising the impact of our activities on the environment and all stakeholders, in order to operate a business that is safe, sustainable and socially responsible. Verifying our footprint to an International standard will serve as a benchmark against to help us achieve our goal of continuously reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”

Our commitment to environmental improvement also saw us become the first to achieve ISO 14001 certification among our core rivals in the civil engineering sector.

Our processes and procedures have also been audited and validated to ISO 9001 for quality and OHSAS 18001, CHAS, Achilles BuildingConfidence (5-star rating) and Achilles RISQS for health and safety.

Vicki added: “By raising our standards, we have been able to operate more akin with our clients, and target major projects with greater contract values, or strategic divisions, placing greater focus on delivery and quality, not just price.”

Six benefits for children participating in team sport

Schools and communities need to create new kinds of sporting facilities and programmes to keep today’s young people engaged

The Department of Health recently published its ‘Childhood obesity: a plan for action’ designed to help reduce childhood obesity through healthier choices.

The report suggests a number of measures, including: introducing a levy on soft drinks, helping businesses make their products healthier through innovation and reducing sugar in products by 20%.

Another recommendation says that every primary school pupil should engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day – 30 minutes delivered in school, with parents and carers responsible for the remaining 30 minutes.

With many children spending their free time in front of a screen and far less on hands-on activity, it is understandable why almost a third of 2 to 15 year old children are classed as overweight or obese.

The new initiative will provide children with regular exercise and contribute to their overall physical health. They will also learn valuable social and teamwork skills.

Below are some of the great benefits participation in team sports can bring to young children:

  • #1 – Builds confidence
    Children have the opportunity to really enjoy an activity that they are good at. They can also practice and exercise their skills, learn their strengths, develop their weaknesses and gain greater self-awareness. It’s a real confidence booster.
  • #2 – Try their best
    When playing a team sport, children gain the experience of winning and losing and how to deal with both emotions. They also learn that things are not going to go their way all of the time, but all that’s important is that they tried their best.
  • #3 – Helps develop relationships
    For many children, making friends can be quite a challenge. By taking part in a team sport, children have many opportunities to practice and develop their social skills and build friendships with their peers and coaches.
  • #4 – Teaches respect
    Through team sport, kids learn the importance of respecting authoritative figures, like their coaches and referees, but also the opposition and their teammates.
  • #5 – Provides a platform to excel
    Getting involved in a sport provides children with the platform to realise their sporting goals and ambitions. Whether they go on to become the next Olympian or just take part for fun, it can stay with them for life.
  • #6 – Develop vital communication skills
    Team sport places children in situations where they need to communicate with their peers and coaches – who may or may not be their friends. This can help them become more sociable in different environments and overcome shyness.

Finding a trusted partner

In order to maximise your budget and deliver high quality sports facilities, you need to engage with a specialist whose team of experts has a proven track record in designing and building sports projects to a diverse range of exacting client specifications.

O’Brien Sports delivers natural sports pitches used for rugby, football and cricket. It also supplies synthetic and Multi Use Games Area pitches, with surfaces suitable for just about every sport and user – from professional sports teams to schools and communities.

Our services

O’Brien Sports offers a full range of sports pitch services, including:

  • Full design and build construction projects
  • Synthetic and multi-use games area (MUGA) pitches
  • Pitch renovations
  • Natural turf sports pitches
  • Total solutions for sports pitches
  • Infrastructure, including access roads and car parks

To discuss how you can create the right sporting environment for young people in your community, contact us: Tel: 01926 319 724 Email: info@obriencontractors.co.uk

O’Brien Contractors win a coveted RoSPA Gold hat-trick

In recognition of our Health & Safety standards, we received the Gold Award during the RoSPA’s Occupational Health and Safety Awards in 2014, 2015 and 2016

We have scooped our third RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Gold award.

The RoSPA Awards is celebrating 60 years of presenting highly-regarded and sought after accolades to businesses and organisations which have shown commitment to accident and ill-health prevention.

The prestigious title is awarded for demonstrating overarching occupational health and safety management, including: strategic vision, risk assessment, workforce involvement and training.

Julia Small, RoSPA’s head of awards and events, said: “To win an award at such a highly-regarded event as the RoSPA Awards is a great achievement for O’Brien Contractors. It recognises their commitment to maintaining an excellent health and safety record and raises the bar for other organisations to aspire to. We offer them our congratulations.”

The company, based in Leamington Spa, achieved gold in recognition of the commitment to continuous improvement in protecting its staff, subcontractors and the local public, resulting in:

  • Staff receiving an average of 3.78 training days – mainly for health and safety
  • 100% of site operatives completing a CSCS safety course and holding a CSCS card
  • 80% of site operatives qualified to NVQ 2+ standard

However, the greatest success came from across the eight high profile schemes secured last year, including: New Assay Office, Longbridge Town Centre Phase II, Number One City Locks, New Cross Hospital, Aston Student Villages, Burton Hockey Club, i54 Manufacturing Facility and Lyons Park, all achieving zero accidents spanning 211,786 man hours.

Peter O’Brien, Managing Director, O’Brien Contractors, said: “Winning three straight Gold awards is a real achievement and recognises the commitment and effort applied by our team to ensure high standards are maintained across all of our sites.”

O’Brien Contractors takes pole position at Silverstone Park

Civil engineering specialist providing groundworks services across the Midlands, including Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry and Wolverhampton.

Leading groundworks and civil engineering specialist, O’Brien Contractors, has been named by Readie Construction as the partner to work on MEPC’s Silverstone Park development.

The latest phase of the high-performance technology business park will enable new businesses to join a growing motor sport community, including eight of the 11 F1 constructor teams and many supply chain companies that serve the motorsport industry.

Appointed by principal contractor, Readie Construction, O’Brien has secured a design and build contract for the installation of roads, sewers and services.

Peter O’Brien, Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to welcome Readie Construction to our portfolio of high profile clients. It is always refreshing to work with likeminded businesses with a reputation of providing the highest standards in terms of quality, health and safety and the environment. We are very much looking forward to forging a strong and long-term relationship with them.”

O’Brien Contractors has built up a presence in the Northamptonshire area having provided civil engineering support on a number of schemes, including: Thunderbird 2 in Kettering – a 98,700 square meter distribution centre for Sir Robert McAlpine and Northampton College – a state of the art college building for SDC.

Established in 1958, O’Brien Contractors is a second generation, family-run business that has gone from strength to strength and expanded into a range of new sectors.

From commercial units and hospital facilities, to industrial units, schools, universities, highways and commercial housing developments, O’Brien’s extensive experience consistently leads to the delivery of class-leading solutions.

MEPC, the developer behind Silverstone Park, has aspirations to create more than 8,000 new jobs and accommodate 200 businesses at the site over the next 10 years.