Irish Water leads on safety through collaboration with engineering industry leaders

01 November 2022

Irish Water has launched a new initiative to bring together key safety influencers from Irish Water and their partners to help ensure the safe delivery of over €1 billion of capital works annually in 2022 and beyond. 

The Infrastructure Delivery Collaborative Forum includes leading Irish contractors and engineering companies, along with Irish Water’s experts in infrastructure delivery and Environment Health and Safety, with the aim of fostering a world class safety culture in the delivery of critical water and wastewater projects.

Irish Water is on track to invest €5.35 billion between 2020 and 2024, to deliver improvements to public water and wastewater infrastructure throughout Ireland where they are most urgently needed.

Together with our delivery partners we will work over 3 million hours on site in 2022, and more in the coming years,” said Brian Sheehan, Irish Water’s Infrastructure Delivery Director.

"Putting safety at the heart of everything we do is a core value for Irish Water. We want to lead the delivery of a best-in-class safety culture and approach to infrastructure delivery with our partners." 

Creating a positive safety culture is key to ensuring that everyone that works on our projects is empowered to do the right thing when it comes to safety. Consultation, communication and collaboration are vital to promoting that safety culture. We believe that our new Infrastructure Delivery Collaborative Forum will identify ways of putting health, safety and wellbeing first and promoting a positive and proactive safety culture. Not only will this ensure that critical Irish Water projects are delivered safely; the knowledge, learnings and insights we gain through the Forum can also be applied across the wider industry, enhancing its safety culture and ultimately making work safer for all of us."

Irish Water has brought together a leadership group made up of representatives of key safety leaders and influencers from our delivery partners including contractor representatives Áine Healy HSQE & Sustainability Director, Glan Agua Ltd., Cathy Kelly SHESQ Director, Murphy Ireland and Paul Daly HSQE Area Manager, Coffey Group; Fiona O’Donnell Global HSE Strategy Lead, Jacobs representing the Employers Representative; Seamus Lee (Senior Engineer) Jennings O’Donovan & Partners representing Resident Engineers; as well as Irish Water’s experts in infrastructure delivery and Environment Health and Safety. 

Timmy Harnett, Irish Water’s EHS Design and Construction Manager, added that, “The Leadership Group will lead members of the broader Collaborative Forum to actively and effectively ensure ongoing improvement in safety standards across our projects. This Collaborative Forum will run in addition to our ongoing review and improvement of safety processes, industry safety days, safety conversations and our biannual Infrastructure Delivery Safety Award and Recognition Programme. Irish Water promotes a behaviour- and culture-based safety approach to the delivery of infrastructure, making a reality of our Work Safe Home Safe belief that we all have a right to work and go home safely.”