The Scheme sets a benchmark for Conlon Construction Ltd on its award-winning Southlands High School project

The Scheme has allowed us to set a benchmark for professionalism, both on and off site, to raise awareness of modern construction standards to those people affected by our presence.

Neil Conlon, Divisional Director, Conlon Construction 

Conlon Construction Ltd’s Southlands High School project in Chorley, Lancashire, received a Silver Considerate Constructors Scheme National Site Award 2017 for its exceptional practice.

Southlands High School is situated approximately 2km from Chorley town centre and the project consists of internal refurbishment to the school, plus a new four-court sports hall, including ancillary changing and shower areas.

The hall will provide facilities for a full size basketball court, three practice courts, netball, volleyball, five-a-side football and handball. The hall will also be available for out-of-school-hours usage by the local community.

The works to the sports hall commenced in September 2015 and were completed before the new academic year commenced in September 2016.

Outlining any hurdles experienced on the project, Neil said: “We haven’t faced any particular challenges. We implemented our Responsible Construction Strategy at the start of the project and this demonstrates our strategy and vision as a company. The integration of the strategy is within our ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 standards and it enables us to form a specific on-site plan.

“We have recently held our annual Supply Chain Conference and one of the topics covered was to encourage our supply chain to sign up to the Scheme.

“We recognise this will help us to continuously improve the image of construction and set even higher standards for the respect of the community, clients and workforce. We are currently setting up workshops with our supply chain to discuss continuous improvement.”

Enjoying a 14-year association with the Scheme, Conlon Construction Ltd registered its first project in July 2003 and has since signed up over 160 of its sites. Demonstrating its on-going dedication to the Scheme, Conlon Construction Ltd has received 18 CCS National Site Awards, including four in 2017.

Here is how the project team encompassed all elements of the Code of Considerate Practice within this particular project:

Care about Appearance

  • Branded PPE to enable the workforce to be recognisable to the public, school staff and stakeholders. All staff, operatives and visitors wear the same Hi-Viz Conlon-branded PPE.
  • A designated discrete smoking area is located within the compound with health risk posters displayed inside the smoking shelter. Operatives are not allowed to smoke outside the site entrance to avoid any negative image or littering.
  • External banners are displayed promoting Considerate Constructors Scheme Site Registration and Construct CO2.

Respect the Community

  • Residents that may have been affected by the works were identified pre–start and hand-delivered letters with contact details provided to the site manager to discuss any concerns they may have.
  • Monthly newsletters are hand delivered to residents, along with the complaints and compliments form.
  • A progress board is displayed both externally and internally to the site, containing project information, progress information with pictures, upcoming works, local spend, site working hours and contact information including our 24-hour emergency contact number.
  • As a goodwill gesture we have supported the school by painting their changing rooms and we also sponsored a table for their Diamond Anniversary Ball.
  • School pupils from Alsop High School and Southlands High School have visited the site for a tour and also received educational talks on the construction industry.
  • We have provided football kits for the local football team ‘Gillibrand Warriors’
  • Site is currently trialling a strategy for ‘Responsible Construction’ which gives specific project targets to translate overall company objectives in respect of the community and environment. Some of the objectives include being an advocate for energy conservation, having a positive impact on the local neighbourhood and health and happiness of staff and operatives.
  • As a goodwill gesture Conlon donated a defibrillator box to the school. This will enable the local community to have 24-hour access to the school’s automated external defibrillator. A free onsite first aid and AED awareness course has also been offered to the school and local community

Protect the Environment

  • Environmental issues are identified, managed and promoted through the implementation of our ISO 14001 Environmental Management System.
  • An ecological survey has been undertaken which identified the project as having minimal impact on the environment.
  • Construct CO2 reports are produced monthly to measure our carbon footprint, this also monitors local spend by tracking travel of our supply chain, staff and visitors. Chorley Southlands currently has a 92% local spend within a 30-mile radius. We are currently applying for the Carbon Trust standard.
  • As a positive contribution to the natural environment we have donated bird and bat boxes to the school and have also provided funds for the creation of a ‘Zen Garden’.

Secure Everyone’s Safety

  • Fortnightly safety inspections are carried out by our H&S Manager and monthly audits are undertaken by our independent H&S consultant. All audits are issued directly to the client, Conlon’s Chairman and Construction Managing Director.
  • A minimum of two trained first aid personnel are onsite at all times with posters and contact numbers displayed. Directions to the local A&E are also displayed.
  • Medical information is requested at induction and the ICE stickers for hard hats are offered to all staff, visitors and operatives. The ‘In Case of Emergency’ ICE stickers enables our onsite first aiders to quickly gain access to a person’s potential live-saving information and to quickly notify emergency contacts.

Value their Workforce

  • Daily briefings are held with operatives to ensure the workforce feels involved and encouraged to give feedback. Our open door policy encourages the workforce to talk about any issues they may have, positive or negative.
  • Onsite health check appointments are offered to the entire workforce. Each individual can book an hour-long appointment with a qualified and experienced nurse. During the health check the nurse gives advice on exercise and healthy eating, carries out blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes checks, and also provides health information packs.

Our ‘Fresh Fruit Fridays’ is a program we have across all sites providing the workforce with free fruit to encourage a healthy eating lifestyle. All fruit we supply on our sites is purchased from local shops to support the community.