“Construction safety is a challenging but rewarding sector to work in,” says Kirby safety professional Lauren Henry

Lauren Henry is an Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Advisor on one of our industrial projects in Ireland. We talk to her as part of our #PeopleFirst series, as she takes us through a day in her life and explains why construction is the best sector for a safety professional to work in.

“There’s a certain amount of pride that comes with working on the project I do. This is my first safety role within construction and it’s one of the larger ones in Kirby’s portfolio,” says Lauren who racks up 20,000 steps per day as she carries out her daily checks.

The 24/7 construction project has up to 5,000 people working on it every day across almost 50 subcontractors. “There are nine Kirby safety professionals on-site, as well as safety professionals working for the main contractor and other specialist contractors, like us. We work really closely as a collaborative team to make sure everyone goes home safe at the end of every day, it’s an environment like no other and you have to make sure you work as a team, regardless of who you work for,” explains 22-year-old Lauren.

Lauren’s day starts at 7:30 am as she arrives on-site to join the morning safety whiteboard meeting. After that, she makes sure all worker permits are signed and fit for the activity being carried out. Every member of the team has a Safe Plan of Action (SPA) for the day, which she reviews and signs off on. Another key part of her role is working with the main contractor and the client on document audits, as well as organising and hosting twice-weekly toolbox talks.

Before joining Kirby almost a year ago, Lauren worked at a health and safety consultancy firm, covering the retail and manufacturing sectors. “I don’t think I would go back to working in another sector. Construction is unique, challenging and the team spirit is ingrained in our culture. I know that I can learn an incredible amount here,” says Lauren who has benefitted from Kirby’s mentoring programme and is now supporting a placement student as they shadow the safety team for six months as part of their rotation.

“We have a college student with us now, she is in her placement year at college and has 24 weeks on-site with the safety team. It’s a great initiative that Kirby runs and will be a real benefit to the student when she goes back to college.”

Lauren is currently also undertaking a six-month Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) qualification as part of her development plans and is looking forward to a future in safety with Kirby.

To find out more about careers at Kirby or any of our graduate placement programmes, go to Kirby Careers.

 

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