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Being Pick Everard

Matt John - Senior Health and Safety Consultant

2 Nov 2023

What was your route into the profession?

After a 22-year career in the Army, I went onto pursue a profession as an electrician. However, upon gaining valuable work experience in this field and seeking guidance from industry professionals in the construction sector, I had the opportunity to explore various other avenues. This opened an opportunity to work in construction consultancy which really appealed to me.

Tell us a bit about your role and what projects you’re working on?

My role is a Senior Health and Safety Consultant, I am currently working with a key banking client both on and off site. This is such a varied role and includes client assurance which involves ensuring the client is compliant with CDM regulations. The team also regularly attend site visits to carry out site audits and assess the health and safety arrangements in place on site, I then create a report following this and support the contractors in their role to ensure best practice. This maintains consistency across all the sites and helps build collaboration throughout the teams.

I also support the client in reporting accidents and hazard trends. And feed the information into a dashboard. I support the client in escalating any issues to the management meetings. I support the M&E forum in informing the forum of any health and safety issues the forum needs to be aware of and feed in any information on incidents that have occurred on site that are associated to M&E.

I chair the design & construction safety management team which is set up to discuss key initiatives and actions. It is this collaboration and regular contact with the whole team that embeds the zero-harm message into everything we do.

Why is health and safety so important?

Making sure that we are staying ahead of the industry is vital. We look at H&S initiatives and what more we can be doing to instil the highest of standards within the Design & Construction Group and striving for Zero Harm!

We share information through Safety Management Team meetings, presentations, and workshops, looking at ways we can share and build knowledge with the industry. We also invite specialist industry experts to our forum to give specialist presentations. We can also drive change, by championing days such as mental health awareness week we can start to open conversations around mental health and raise awareness within the industry.

Identifying hazards is incredibly important, the Design and Construction Group has made this easier where contractors/ operatives can use an application to report a construction site hazard in real time, these applications can also assist the contractor to identify any trends that may be developing on their sites.

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?

The biggest thing I would change would be having quicker advancements of technology. Integrating the right technology can help reduce risk, be more cost effective and help us be more efficient. The recent use of using drone surveys at height is a perfect example and technology such as this I hope becomes more widely used throughout the construction industry.

What does the future of health and safety look like to you?

Again, technology is always going to play a huge part in the future of H&S. The construction industry is embracing technological advancements like virtual reality, drones, augmented reality, and wearable devices to enhance safety. These technologies can aid in monitoring and identifying potential hazards, as well as providing more comprehensive safety training, which will making construction sites safer for workers. It will be exciting to see how these technologies develop and how they can help us shape the future of H&S.