Kier Highways manager wins leading Health and Safety award

SHE Manager at Kier Highways, Dave McPherson, has been named as the winner of the SHP Award for Trailblazer in Health and Safety for 2021.

SHP Trailblazer Awards celebrate those who are going above and beyond to make a positive difference, the real pioneers of health and safety.

Dave McPherson was selected as the winner of SHP’s Trailblazer in Health & Safety from a list of eight finalists, by the SHP Awards judging panel.

Trailblazer in Health and Safety recognises individuals who have made an impact in workplace safety, people who have transformed safety, through a transformative project or culture change, someone who has used technology to make a safety impact and unsung heroes. This is part of the wider SHP Awards, which, for 2021, is in collaboration with Shirley Parsons, global HSEQ talent experts.

Judges said they were impressed with Dave’s passion, commitment, vision for improvement and commitment to influence change, highlighting how he had taken an idea and taken and shared it with the wider industry.

On learning of his success, Dave told SHP: “I can honestly say, that I did not expect to win this award! The other finalist have made simply outstanding contributions to health and safety, so much so, that simply to be counted among those few was an honour!

“My team and I feel truly passionate about improving the health and safety of everyone at work, especially high risk areas like construction. Gaining recognition for changing the landscape will help to spur us on… I cant wait to see what we can achieve as this project develops!

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me, and the USP Competency Framework, your support makes this all possible!”

Underground Service strikes (Electricity, Water. Gas etc.) not only cause danger at the point of work, but also create significant cost and disruption to members of the public, communities and businesses alike.

Dave used his knowledge and experience to identify a lack of understanding in the safe use of Cable Avoidance Tools. He then went on to design an award-winning training programme, which was recognised by Highways England (Now National Highways) for achieving ‘Excellence in a new training initiative, which significantly improved attendees’ skill and confidence in the scope and application of the equipment’.

Dave went on to become the founder and project lead of USP Competency Framework; a project which has brought together the country’s leading experts from across multiple disciplines and sectors, to create an open source, universal competency framework; which enables anyone involved in the planning, management and delivery of ground-breaking activities to easily identify the skills required, to perform their duties effectively and safely.

SHP Awards – Trailblazer SquareBy creating a team of leading experts in their fields, from leading training providers, equipment manufacturers, subject matter experts, industry leaders and leading academics in civil engineering, Dave has helped to change the way training providers approach construction training, that will have a lasting impact for many years to come.

Judges spoke favourably of the framework being open source. “I felt like there was good innovation and liked how the individual took it to the multiple sectors, rather than just keeping it in their business, bringing leading experts together to make a change. It’s one thing having an innovation or an idea but getting backing from experts I think is commendable.”

It was also picked up how Dave is not afraid to challenge and be challenged, choosing to foster open communication and honest feedback with the workforce, proactively and frequently recognising and praising positive behaviours and identifying actions for improvement, and how his “learning by doing” ethos in social environments, has already reduced risk across several major construction projects, significantly increased knowledge retention and improved skills and behaviours.

(Picture – SHP)

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