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”.

O’Brien Contractors receive award for championing sustainable development

Our commitment to the environment has seen us awarded a Green Apple award for sustainable development

We have been recognised for our commitment to sustainability with a coveted Bronze award at the International Green Apple Awards for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage 2016. This is the second time in 3 years we have received this recognition.

Lining up against some much larger companies, including Kier Construction, Carillion/Morgan Sindall JV and Skanska, the prestigious title was awarded for, “clearly demonstrating a drive towards sustainable development.”

The judges also singled out our management for demonstrating incredible foresight by “choosing to invest and diversify the business during the recession while starting to feel the pinch, resulting in strong financial results during the past six years.”

This enabled us to invest in key areas of the business, including training and apprentices, providing young people with a career path in construction and upskilling current employees by providing them with 3.78 training days on average; and £4.4m in plant and equipment, to push environmental and efficiency savings across projects.

Other areas where we were commended, include our continual investment in management systems audited and validated to ISO14001, ISO9001, OHSAS18001 and Achilles BuildingConfidence (5-star rating) accreditation, which ensures we deliver high standards of quality and compliance in health and safety and the environment.

We achieved this while improving their environmental performance with such measures as:

  • Going paperless and greening our fleet.
  • Sponsoring a wealth of community support initiatives, including: ILEAP, Warwickshire Road Safety, British Blind for Sport, and The Alzheimer’s Society.
  • Investing £220k in GPS technology and developing an earthworks modelling team that prevented 75,000m3 of material from going to landfill.

Peter O’Brien, Managing Director at O’Brien Contractors, said: “This award highlights the benefits we bring to the region and our customers by implementing best practices benchmarked against environmental, quality and health and safety performance. We are thrilled our commitment to sustainable development has been recognised with an award.”

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 awarded SME of the Year at the 2016 Celebrating Construction Awards

Our commitment to the Midlands has seen us awarded a SME of the Year at the West Midlands Celebrating Construction Awards in Birmingham


With a long-established track record of delivering expert civil engineering solutions across the Midlands, we are proud to be named SME of the Year at the West Midlands Celebrating Construction Awards 2016.

We scooped the highly acclaimed award for investing in our people, focussing on improving customer satisfaction and adopting industry best practises across all areas of the business. We were also praised for our commitment to sustainability and maintaining an above industry record for health and safety.

Peter O’Brien, Managing Director, said: “A fundamental element of our success has been the commitment we’ve placed to the Midlands. We believe by focussing on the region, we can forge strong and long-lasting relationships with clients and our supply chain facilitating greater collaboration, essential in delivering projects successfully.”

Established in 1958, O’Brien has partnered with the region’s leading industry clients, including: Morgan Sindall, Aston University, John Sisk & Son, Kier Group and University of Birmingham.

Peter added: “It’s not just about consolidating your efforts into one area. We have continually invested back into the business so that we have a highly talented and knowledgeable team, operate the most efficient plant and technology, and benchmark against industry best practices, like Achilles BuildingConfidence – having achieved a 5-star rating in 2014. This regional award recognises the hard work and commitment of the whole O’Brien team.”

O’Brien Contractors adopts SkillSight to help maintain its’ industry-leading Health and Safety standards


The safety of employees, sub-contractors and members of the public is our top priority.

With a varied workforce, managing training requirements, ensuring qualifications stay up-to-date and recording all of this information in a meaningful way had become a very complicated and time-consuming job.

By implementing SkillSight, the free skills management software from Reference Point, we have been able to improve the way we raise awareness of health and safety throughout the business and protect employees by ensuring people attend the necessary training courses, providing them with the relevant skills to carry out their jobs on site safely and efficiently.

With a workforce ranging from 100 to 180 depending on the range of projects appointed to, Training Coordinator Kelly Davis has to record thousands of inductions and qualifications on Excel spreadsheets which previously stored all of the company’s training related information, but were difficult to manage.

Added to this, many of the qualifications expire after certain periods so workers have to be booked onto the correct courses at the appropriate times so that they stay accredited as required.

SkillSight allows construction companies to add training and qualifications to the chip on CSCS cards and securely edit the information online at any time. Then the card can be read on site, in the office or anywhere it needs to be, using a card reader or NFC enabled android or Windows smartphone.

Graham Wren, CSCS Chief Executive, said: “It’s encouraging to see that forward thinking contractors like O’Brien are taking advantage of the many benefits that using CSCS smartcards can bring.”

O’Brien’s Training Coordinator, Kelly Davis, said: “Following a successful office-based trial we are rolling SkillSight out onto sites with a view to implementing it on a company-wide system over the next few months. Already it is making managing our training records much easier and quicker and more accurate.”

Andrew Foster, Health and Safety Manager, said: “We are constantly striving to raise awareness of health and safety throughout the business and we aim to protect employees by providing healthy and safe working conditions and by minimising the risk of accident or injury by providing our team with the necessary training and skills to work more safely. The implementation of SkillSight and CSCS smart cards will help us to achieve this goal.”

Double delight for O’Brien Contractors as it strikes gold at RoSPA awards

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 are pleased to announce we have been awarded our second Gold award for Occupational Health and Safety from the UK’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

The internationally recognised RoSPA Health and Safety Awards provide businesses and organisations of all types and sizes with an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to continuous improvement in accident and ill health prevention at work.

Mick O’Brien, O’Brien Contractors’ Health and Safety Director, said: “Receiving the Gold award for Occupational Health and Safety from RoSPA is testament to the commitment we place to ensure the safety of our staff by constantly striving to raise awareness of health and safety throughout the business.”

The Gold award follows another successful year which has seen an increase in the size of our projects and workforce, matched by further investment both in new plant and in ongoing training and development programmes so that our employees are competent to work safely.

“We feel it is vital companies, and especially the construction industry, protect their employees by providing healthy and safe working conditions and by minimising the risk of accident or injury to employees and sub-contractors, as well as members of the public that may be affected by their work.”

In addition to our rigorous safety policies, our industry-leading standards have been recognised with occupational health and safety accreditations ranging from OHSAS 18001 to CHAS, Achilles Building Confidence (5 Star Rating) and Achilles Link-Up.

David Rawlins, RoSPA’s awards manager, said: “The RoSPA Awards encourage improvement in occupational health and safety management. Organisations that gain recognition for their health and safety management systems, such as O’Brien Contractors Limited, contribute to raising standards overall and we congratulate them.”

Recovery can take hold in 2015 but crucial ingredients needed

Construction News Magazine – SME Spotlight 16/01/2015

With order books filling up and the financial situation for many businesses is looking rosy, it’s clear to see why 2015 is predicted to be the year when the recovery of the construction industry gets well under way. Looking towards the year ahead, there are a few key elements that we need to ensure take place in order to maintain a stable and prosperous market.

Above all else, investment in our current pool of workers and development of succession planning should take centre stage. Ensuring the upskilling of employees so that they contribute towards plugging the skills gap and helping to realise their career objectives is, a crucial factor in delivering continued business growth and improvement.

With 400,000 skills jobs lost in the construction industry during the recession and an estimated 400,000 due to be lost through retirement over the next five years, it is imperative that we put in place schemes to get the message to younger people at the grassroots level, demonstrating that careers in construction have a clear path to progression. By starting a drive towards recruiting more apprenticeships now, businesses will guarantee that in five years’ time they see the benefit of having a knowledgeable and confident professional who has been developed through their organisation.

The Health and Safety Executives’ revisions to CDM 2007, driven by the need to align the UK’s interpretation of CDM with the EU’s Temporary and Mobiles Construction Sites Directive (TMCSD), are expected to come into force during 2015. Whilst I support change which is designed to increase efficiency while reducing bureaucracy, we have an obligation to make sure the new regulations are implemented and remain mindful that the final outcome is a far safer environment for our staff to operate in.

The Government’s planning reforms, designed to make the system easier to implement and get the country building once again, have now been in operation for some three years. In many regions, like the Midlands, greater governance is required so that local authorities undertake their obligations and support neighbouring councils who have a land capacity issue. This will enable the unlocking of more land for much needed housing and employment to further boost the sector’s recovery. Should we see a change of leadership during the next election, any change in policy needs to be for the greater good, rather than a kneejerk reaction.

From SMEs to large blue chip organisations, we all have a commitment to guarantee that alongside our commercial aims, we take our responsibilities to the environment, our employees and the wider community more seriously than ever before. This should be the year where we introduce a record number of initiatives and introduce more efficient technology to ensure operations are as sustainable as possible.