THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB
COLLEN’S CONSTRUCTION DIRECTOR, DAVID LEE, CHATS TO ICIM ABOUT THE IMPACTS OF COVID-19 ON THE BUSINESS AND WHY COLLEN IS A COUPLE OF STEPS AHEAD WHEN IT COMES TO HEALTH AND SAFETY
For over 30 years, David Lee has been a part of the Collen family. He began his career at the company as an apprentice carpenter, following in the footsteps of his father Vincent who also worked at Collen. When he began his carpentry training David worked for Collen’s longest-serving employee, Jimmy Small, who clocked up an impressive 59 years at the company.
Three decades later, David now holds the position of Construction Director at Collen, with responsibility for the delivery of all projects in Ireland and overseeing structures in Germany, within programme and on budget. He is tasked with managing all of Collen’s construction teams while at the same time ensuring the highest standards of quality and safety are maintained across all projects.
Not the easiest job in the world, particularly in light of today’s Covid-19 environment, but David’s well able for the challenge. “I’ve held various positions at Collen including site foreman, contracts manager and senior contracts manager. Those roles have allowed me to experience all facets of the company and given me the tools I need to fulfil my role of Construction Director,” said David.
As Construction Director with responsibility for sites across the Collen portfolio, David has unsurprisingly been heavily involved in managing the company’s Covid-19 response strategy. “We have been following the national protocol, but we also have our own Covid-19 policy. I think we were probably one or two steps ahead in terms of the policies we had initiated even before the pandemic hit.
We have always had temperature testing across our sites; it’s considered good practice so that’s something we were well used to and it gives people that extra bit of reassurance. We were also a step ahead in terms of how we manage our canteen spaces. We already have barriers in there so that was something that our workers were used to.”
The majority of Collen sites are back open. “We’ve taken our time and given ourselves a good bedding-in period. On the first day, we brought in our project managers and site team and in the afternoon, we started bringing in the sub-contractor supervisors to look at the site and make sure they were happy. The next day, we got more subbies in to get the site moving. We slowly built it up. By the end of the week, we were back up to about 60% capacity on site compared to where we were before the pandemic.”
Read the full article in the May/June issue of Irish Construction Industry Magazine
Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine