Client: St. Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School
Date: 13-weeks starting in 2017 (previous 10-year external painting programme)
Scope: Full internal and external painting process, through design/colour scheme consultation to the decorative works themselves
Contract value: £112,000
Maintaining over 50 schools annually, we were well placed to service St Bernard’s due to our understanding of the education sector’s demands. Additionally, our specialist knowledge of anti-mould paint and hygienic coatings allowed us to deliver service in a way that would provide longevity and thus a cost-saving to the client. Work included internal and external painting of the property over a three-month period by a team of approximately 10 operatives, with portions of the works being completed while pupils were on-site.
For efficient service delivery, the team were inducted to understand the internal and external works as two separate sites. Successes included:
Site manager, Richard Russell, worked with the client to identify additional measures to facilitate safe working around pupils. On-site, it was determined that signage methods would not be enough to prevent unauthorised access, due to pupil curiosity. Additionally, measures needed to be in place to avoid children speaking to the workforce.
To ensure zero harm we:
Toolbox talks stressed the necessity for operatives to wear ID badges and uniquely numbered hi-vis PPE at all times, with supervisors conducting unscheduled spot-checks ensuring adherence, with zero non-conformances recorded. Contract Manager, Peter Twells NEBOSH, procured client feedback weekly, with a primary focus on the effectiveness of our risk mitigation methods, specifically with regard to working in proximity to children. Feedback on this was extremely positive, with the client praising the effectiveness of our embedded culture of behavioural health and safety.
Works were conducted internally and externally simultaneously, which enabled efficient transit of materials and minimised disruption. Further success was established via:
This resulted in completion of the programme in spite of instances of inclement weather, and increased safety due to operatives’ tasks varying, leading to reduced fatigue.
Progress was monitored by the site manager via unscheduled spot-checks, daily and weekly progress inspections, and informal operative reporting also feeding reporting. Data recorded included:
Additionally, to ensure strict health and safety procedure compliance, our Health and Safety Manager, Amy Pohribnyj BSc (Hons) PIEMA, Tech IOSH, PCQI, conducted monthly site-visits with the contract manager to monitor working procedures and the effective implementation of RAMS. Quality of work was assured to the client via reporting check sheets, and photographs being taken upon a task’s completion, especially significant where the painting involved working at height.
Effective pre-works planning, resourcing and monitoring resulted in all classrooms, corridors, staircases and ancillary areas being completed, inspected and handed over ahead of the established deadline.
We provided added value by working with the client and a specialist paint firm, PPG Paints. Using knowledge of the effect colours have on adolescent learning and emotions, we developed a colour scheme intended to facilitate an effective learning environment. Through pre-mobilisation meetings between the client, and our site and contract managers, the need to complete internal works prior to the commencement of the school’s September autumn term was communicated to our workforce as a key project goal. This resulted in:
Clear lines of communication, including a contract-specific escalation policy process map, were established prior to work commencement, assuring the client on our safeguarding commitment. We also provided on-site walkarounds with a client representative daily, allowing any concerns to be raised, with formal progress reporting occurring weekly.
Due to St Bernard’s being an occupied site, several challenges had to be overcome. This included the strategic planning of MEWP access and material supply lines to mitigate disruption to stakeholder parking and facility access.
Additionally, in recognition of the site’s heritage status, additional caution was taken to protect the building’s appearance and integrity, such as operatives using disposable overshoes where appropriate to avoid treading dust, strategic boarding of windows to prevent accidental damage, and the use of rubber door stoppers in place of wooden ones to avoid damage to the building’s aging wooden doors. These considerations resulted in high levels of client satisfaction, with positive feedback given in post-works consultation.