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Health & safety officer named SHP ‘Rising Star in Construction’ for 2021

Jessica Collings, Health and Safety Officer at Great British Communications, part of United Living, has been named Safety & Health Practitioner’s ‘Rising Star in Construction’ for 2021.

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

Describing why Jessica should win this award, one judge said: “Jessica is the epitome of a shining exemplar of a rising star in the profession: a promotion, a masters degree, a mentor, innovative, truly supportive over and beyond to keep people safe, and a measured, defined impact on EHS performance. A joy to read that the UK OSH profession can attract talent such as this.”

Another said that Jessica’s submission showed “dedication to self development, learning, attitudes, breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes.”

Throughout the COVID pandemic and national lockdowns, the telecommunications sector has been essential to maintaining communication to key services such as the NHS, Police and Fire brigade. Jessica has been at the forefront of supporting all of these vital services by maintaining regular teams meetings, calls and providing updates to all of staff, engineers and subcontractors nationwide. Jessica would regularly engage with companies to provide health and safety updates and set up calls, out of hours, to ensure everyone returned home safe at the end of the working day.

Judges were particularly impressed with Jessica’s ‘quick progression’ during her career so far, indicating a visible hunger to challenge something continuously, and improve positive approach to health and safety. In the space of eight months, Jessica has gone from a H&S Coordinator to a lead Health and Safety Officer, after completing her master’s degree in occupational health and safety.

Her mentoring also stood out to the panel. Jessica has helped mentor three health and safety coordinators, providing support and guidance. During the pandemic, she provided updates to all staff, sub-contractors and the general public as legislation and guidance was updated. She regularly delivers CDM 2015 training and helps the HSE team to understand and deliver gold standard RAMS and CPHSP’s.

As a young health and safety professional working within the male-dominated construction industry, Jessica has broken down the stereotype by being knowledgeable, passionate and gaining respect from engineers, colleagues and her peers by going the extra mile to provide support.

Michael Corkhill, National HSE Manager, Great British Communications, said: “Absolutely amazing news for Jess Collings winning the SHP – Health and Safety News Rising Star in Construction Award 2021. The Great British Communications Ltd team are really proud of you and this is a brilliant achievement”.

United Living recently completed the strategic acquisition of Great British Communications. Established in 2012, they are a specialist provider of acquisition, design, build, procurement, installation, commissioning, maintenance and repair services to mobile network operators (MNO’s) in the UK.