The Scheme enables Partner McLaughlin & Harvey to showcase its considerate performance to the industry

Scheme Partner (formerly known as Associate Member) McLaughlin & Harvey is a building and civil engineering contractor of over 160 years, combining an innovative approach with traditional values and expertise.

Operating throughout the UK and Ireland, McLaughlin & Harvey specialises in various sectors including healthcare, education, industrial, retail, sports venues, transport infrastructure and energy.

Fully embracing the Scheme and its Code of Considerate Practice, McLaughlin and Harvey first registered with the Scheme in May 2000 and has since registered over 330 projects.

Demonstrating its considerate credentials the company has scooped 39 National Site Awards and forged a closer partnership with the Scheme by becoming a Scheme Partner in May 2009.

McLaughlin’s Project Communications Coordinator, Catriona Watson said: “The Scheme has become a good way for us to showcase how well we are performing within the industry to our clients and to enhance our tenders. It has made us a more employable, approachable company.”

Outlining why the company first registered with the Scheme, Catriona said: “Initially we chose to register because we felt we were following all the sections of the Code, and believed in the ethos. Our sites were already performing well and acting considerately, so why not register with the Scheme and shout about it?

Industry Image asked Catriona a few more questions about its partnership with the Scheme:

How have you incorporated the requirements of the Scheme into your working practices?

McLaughlin & Harvey’s annual ‘Get on Board’ bus tours a large number of our sites across the country. The bus is packed full of information leaflets and posters for the workforce to take away and a nurse is on board to take BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes checks.

As gold award holders of the Healthy Working Lives Award Programme, we are always working hard to ensure we are keeping our workforce positive, healthy & happy; this ties in with the ‘Value their Workforce’ section of the Scheme’s Code. Members of the public are also invited onto the bus which demonstrates a respect to the community.

How does the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice support your company’s values and/or CSR policy/Social Value Act?

Healthy Working Lives is an NHS-led scheme which McLaughlin & Harvey have been implementing for eight years now. The scheme encourages us to provide health and wellbeing information to the workforce, hold fun days or charity awareness events and invite professionals in to give health advice to the workforce. This is something which ties in well with the ‘Value their Workforce’ section of the Code of Considerate Practice.

At each Monitor visit the project teams will always have new and fresh information or photos of recent events to show the Monitors; this ties in well with area 5.3 – ‘Does the site care for the health and wellbeing of the workforce?’, while the health bus targets 5.7 and 5.10 – ‘How is the health and wellbeing of the workforce assessed and addressed?‘, and ‘What is the site doing to improve its image and the overall image of the industry to attract and retain the workforce necessary for the future of construction?’

Commenting on the bus initiative, Alison Reilly, HR Manager of McLaughlin & Harvey said: ‘Healthy Working Lives is a Scottish Government initiative designed to support workplaces to provide a healthy workforce, raise awareness of health-related issues and how to proactively manage your health.

“The health bus has been touring our sites each year since 2009. We try and vary the focus, so this year we welcomed the team from protective workwear company, Polyco, to provide advice on dust, noise and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

“Lifestyle checks and advice are available from the occupational health nurse to monitor cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, weight (Body Mass Index) and exercise.  This is a great way to engage, not only with our own employees, but also our subcontractors.”

Since the project commenced, what particular challenges have you faced in relation to the community, environment or the workforce, and how have you overcome these?

We find the health bus is a good motivator for the workforce. It shows them that we care and allows a fun half an hour away from the site while visiting the bus. We park the bus in view of the public where possible and invite them on to have health checks with the nurse. This year for example, we parked the bus on the street at our Edinburgh University DTI project. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival was on at the time and the area was really busy, so plenty of passers-by came on board for a chat with the nurse.

We find that this combines our workforce and community work and gives the opportunity to build relationships while browsing information leaflets, or waiting to be seen by the nurse.

Could you describe anything interesting or innovative you have done with respect to the community, environment or workforce?

We think the bus is an innovative idea. Our head office is next to Glasgow Airport and we have even had staff from the airport asking if they can hire the bus from us for a day to provide their own staff with health checks and information.


How would you describe the key benefits of registering with the Scheme?

Being registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme reiterates the importance of keeping all those involved with, or affected by the build, informed and treated with courtesy, respect, and made to feel valued.

How do you feel the Scheme is improving the image of construction?

The Scheme has definitely helped in allowing us to think outside the box when organising health checks and providing information to the workforce. It encourages creative thought and in turn helps develop initial ideas into something much bigger.

Would you recommend registration to other companies in your sector?

Definitely. So many companies are putting all the hard work in already. Why not register with the Scheme and get recognised for it? You might even win an award!

Congratulations on receiving 32 CCS National Site Awards. What do you attribute your success to?

Hard working site teams. We have really great staff who want to do their best to improve the company. There’s always high spirits on sites and good working relationships. We spread good news so that sites can bounce off each other’s ideas.

Why did you become a Partner with the Scheme in 2009, and what further benefits or opportunities has it given McLaughlin & Harvey Construction Ltd?

As we were consistently performing above the industry average we felt that becoming a Scheme Partner would be the next step for us. Being a Partner allows us insights into the workings of the Scheme.

Through attending Partner Meetings, we are given the opportunity to hear from the Scheme Directors first-hand about any changes or developments. It also gives us the chance to speak to other Partner’s and discuss how we may be doing things differently.

Would you recommend registration with the Scheme to other organisations?

The Scheme encourages a positive ethos among employees and encourages subcontractors to get involved with the job to a different level. It helps the job to run a lot smoother. We would certainly recommend registration with the Scheme.

What do you hope to achieve in the future with the help and support of the Scheme?

We have high hopes to have an Ultra Site one day. However, we need to wait for the right project to come up before we can consider this. We know it will be hard work but it’s a challenge we are keen to take.

Could you sum up in one sentence your experience of being associated with the Scheme?

Being associated with the Scheme has provided us with a uniform methodology in order to enhance the nature of our sites.