Post date: Friday, 17th August 2012

HSE role for former Olympic construction chief

Howard Shiplee joins HSE.

Howard Shiplee joins HSE.

Howard Shiplee FCIOB joined Sarah Veale in becoming a non-executive director of the board of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) this week as his contribution to the exemplary safety record of London 2012 was roundly praised.

Both his and the appointment of fellow CBE Sarah Veale, which command an annual remuneration of just over £15,000 for up to 30 days work a year, will run until 30 September 2015.

Veale, who is the head of equality and employment rights at the Trades Union Congress and was part of the Löfstedt review team, will take her post in October while Shiplee starts immediately.

Judith Hackitt, chair of the HSE board, said: "Howard will bring real hands-on experience from his role as construction director at the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to ensure that HSE continues to promote the legacy of outstanding health and safety performance in construction which laid the foundations for this World Class spectacle."

Paying similar tribute to Shiplee, who became an executive director at Laing O’Rourke with 90% of Olympic construction complete, the ODA’s Lawrence Waterman OBE said in the current issue of BC&DS: "He was inspiring to work for, although funnily enough, at the point he was interviewed it was me and David Higgins doing the interviewing!

"Howard has this real moral backbone, he’s a real champion for health and safety. We would go from daily reports to monthly meetings but he retained a commitment to long-term development and local upskilling. I’m sure he will handle his new position with equal pragmatism and passion."

Denise Chevin was equally upbeat about the appointment writing in Construction Manager: "[It’s] good news and should help strengthen the legacy. What we need to remember is that underscoring [the] drive and performance of building London 2012 was the 2012 Commitment, the project’s road map for ensuring that what happened in Stratford was construction at its gold-medal-winning best.

"These commitments were drawn up by industry and public sector bodies together, and then subsequently tweaked to be used more widely across both public and private projects. It’s fair to say the manual has barely come off the shelf.

"If we really want to bottle the Olympic spirit in construction, then we have the answer – sell benefits of these commitments to the private sector and make them compulsory to follow in the public sector."

Shiplee himself said: "It is a privilege and responsibility to be appointed to the Board of the HSE and I am looking forward to playing an active role in support of their important work.

"I firmly believe that high standards of health and safety are not only statutory requirements and morally right, but are also good for business – a healthy, safe and engaged workforce is more productive and committed to the objectives of its employers as conclusively demonstrated by the London 2012 construction programme." 

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