December 8, 2022

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Winner and finalists announced for SHP’s Rising Stars in Construction

The SHP Awards judging panel has selected its finalists and winner of SHP’s Rising Star in Construction Award for 2022.

The SHP Rising Star Awards celebrate young, high-performing health and safety professionals. Some of the brightest, most passionate young stars of the profession.

Rising Stars is brought to you as part of the wider SHP Awards, which, for 2021, is in collaboration with Shirley Parsons, global HSEQ talent experts.

Rising Star in Construction recognises individuals, aged 30 and under and from the UK, in the construction sector going above and beyond to improve occupational health, safety and/or workplace wellbeing.

The winner is…

Sophie Henderson, SHEQ Advisor, Ward and Burke Construction

Since graduating from Leeds Becket University with a master’s degree in Occupational Health & Safety Management (Merit), Sophie has managed the SHEQ responsibility of projects over £100m. However, what stuck out in her nominations is her work around coaching and mentoring of employees, including sub-contractors. An idea that came following training she attended on human behavior and psychology.

Sophie originally identified the organisations’s need for change, pinpointing an improvement in its relationship with employees through the belief system (trusting each other) incorporating the human factor in hazard reporting cards and human behaviour in the Safe System of Works (including RAMS).

Sophie has also embedded this coaching and mentoring tool of intervention into one-to-one meetings with employees and has trained managers and other SHEQ advisors on how to use the tool. Since the tool’s implementation, this, coupled with other measures used in the organisation, has seen incident rates drop and employees, including sub-contractors now having better relationships within the projects. Ultimately it has meant an increase in morale on projects and improvement around safety performance has also improved.

Sophie is a very worthy winner of this year’s award.


Frazer Lowrie, HSEQ Manager, Valley Group

Having been a nominee and finalist for Rising Star in Manufacturing in 2020, 27-year-old Frazer has since changed roles and is now HSQE Manager at Valley Group, a fast-growing construction company who carry out works across Scotland. He has quickly taken to his new role, and quickly worked to support and improve safety, wellbeing and sustainability within the growing company, quickly in his seven months in the role. He reports directly to the Managing Director and works with the Senior Manager’s in charge of each of the 6 divisions, focusing on supporting HSQE and developing the culture within the fast-growing company.

In his first three months at Valley Group, he led an intensive Annual Surveillance Audit, the first the company had had which included a site inspection. The audit covered ISO 9001:2015, 14001:2015, 45001:2018 and SSIP. During the audit Frazer identified and planned improvements to include Mental Health and Wellbeing into the Management System. In this improvement Frazer put a proposal to the Board of Directors for Valley Group to become a company supporter of the lighthouse construction charity. The proposal was presented to the board of directors and accepted. Frazer also identified that top management in the company needed to make their support formal, making a formal commitment the Building Mental Health charter was signed.

Since becoming a company supporter, Frazer has looked at ways to promote the lighthouse construction charity. The company induction for new workers has been updated to reference the lighthouse charity, the site inductions for company projects has been updated to communicate the company’s commitment to everyone. This information is also included in the company’s tender submissions, ensuring the message is communicated to all stakeholders.

Furthermore, Frazer has developed guidance for managers on “having supportive conversations”. This provides a basic guide on some do’s and don’t for managers. The guidance is circulated internally across the company, helping to spread awareness on signs of poor mental health, as well as supporting managers on having supportive conversations, not only around mental health, but to support the culture of the business. Frazer also used the impact of Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms and ways in which it can be combatted in his communications around Winter Preparedness, carried out site visits to some of their field based workers, and encouraged managers and the support team in the office to check in with them more frequently to check progress of work, but also spend some time chatting. This has led to some positive feedback from the field-based engineers and electricians in feeding back that they receive good support from their line managers and the support teams in the office and helping the lone workers to still feel connected, and part of the team. Frazer also spends time regularly with Division Managers, checking in and asking how the teams are getting on, allowing any issues to be escalated, or intervene informally. This has already allowed numerous interventions in responding to workers feeling an increase in fatigue due to seasonal affective disorder and allowed managers to implement sufficient changes to their working arrangements to support them.

Jamie Hamilton, SHEQ Co-ordinator, K4 Consultancy

“Jamie is a rapidly developing professional, who is a future leader of the profession,” reads the opening to Jamie’s nomination. He has put this into practice by mentoring a placement student, Catriona Friel who said the following, “Jamie has been great in my personal and professional development. I came into this placement with not much health and safety experience but now nearly 6 months in, I am continuing to expand my knowledge and become more confident every day. Jamie goes that extra mile to make sure every day is a learning day and that I’m set up for a good start to my career.”

One of Jamie’s key roles at K4 Consultancy is the design, development and implementation of health and safety management systems within businesses for ISO45001 Certification. Jamie’s innovative thinking & knowledge of the standard makes certification accessible to smaller businesses who might otherwise find the whole process daunting.

Active on LinkedIn, Jamie engages with his connections to share best practice, giving tips and advice.

Taylor Stevens, Health and Safety Advisor, Berkeley Group

As part of his monthly inspections, Taylor visits all sites within the Berkeley Southern region, looking at all aspects of principal contractor duties, inspecting the trades in detail. For each site, he Chairs a HS committee meeting every six months inviting trade supervisors and other HS stakeholders from the contractor’s teams and regularly complete weekly H&S reports which are distributed to the board of directors and are are used to monitor performance and begin to create targets for H&S improvement.

Taylor has also established a mental health committee, where all mental health first aiders meet to discuss new challenges and have a refresh on training. In Spring this year he also a attended a careers fair, speaking to many students about pursuing a careerin health and safety. He also visited a school to speak to a group of year 3 and 4 students about sustainability, health and safety on one of Berkeley’s local construction projects.

His passion is evident and he told SHP, “I believe that the number of young people working in H&S is too low. I want this to change – it is a brilliant career. There is still a stigma surrounding the industry and I am passionate about breaking this down. I absolutely love what I do, every day is different and my role exposes me to new challenges all the time.”

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