Institute of Technology Carlow wins HSA Third Level ‘Safety in Construction’ Competition

A team of students from Carlow IT has won the Health and Safety Authority’s Safety in Construction competition, aimed at undergraduate teams from construction-related programmes in Higher Education.

At the final held in the RDS, seven short-listed teams battled it out to win the first prize of Apple iPads. Cork IT won the runners-up prize of €600 and all finalists received certificates of achievement.   The winning team was captained by Adin Middletonand other members were Richard Burke and Alan McCartney.

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The aim of the competition is to provide an environment where undergraduate students can collaborate and work together to enhance, develop and embed their knowledge and understanding of health and safety in construction. The competition brief asked students from different discplines to work together as a team of safety consultants considering key aspects of refurbishment works on an historic building – the fictitious Ballycarraig Rua Castle, in Co. Waterford.

Various challenges had to be addressed including:  designing a poster to be used on this and other State-sponsored conservation projects to motivate site personnel to work safely, and  positively influence safety on-site using the principles of behavioural- based safety; addressing risk assessment around manual handling; scaffold design; and occupational health challenges in relation to lime plastering.

At the HSA Safety in Construction undergraduate awards competition were (l-r): Seamus Feeley, Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, Mike Keyes, Safety Consultant, Dr. Anne Drummond UCD, winning team members from Carlow IT, Richard Burke, Alan McCartney and Adin Middleton, Martin O’Halloran, CEO HSA , Robert Butler, CIF/HSA Board Member, Damien Owens, Engineers Ireland and Norita Robinson, IOSH.

Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority, Martin O’Halloran said: “This competition gets construction undergraduates thinking and collaborating on safetybefore they reach the workplace. Working together to find solutions to the kind of safety challenges that construction professionals will come across every day will help to keep the construction sites of the future safer places to work in.”

Chairperson of the Authority’s Third Level Education Group, Dr. Anne Drummond, from U.C.D. said, “Encouraging teams from different disciplines in construction-related third level programmes to collaborate on real-life scenarios like this, reaps real benefits for the students. Using problem-based learning helps students to learn about risk management in a very hands-on way where they can learn from one another and apply theoretical knowledge and principles.”

The judging panel was made up of the following members: Mike McDonagh (Senior Construction Policy Inspector, HSA), Mike Keyes (Aegis Safety, Safety in Design Consultant and Third Level Education Group, HSA) and Kevin Cummins (John Sisk and Son Ltd).