HSE head bows out with tribute to Jones Bros workforce12th May 2019

The health, safety and environment manager who introduced stricter standards required by major corporate operators in civil engineering as Jones Bros sought to take on bigger contracts, has retired.

And Dave Gibson has praised Jones Bros operatives and other site staff in particular, for “upping their game” during the last nine years, enabling accreditation to higher, national standards, which has also led to multiple health, safety, environment, and training awards for the company.

Dave joined the family firm in 2010 from Carillion. An environmentalist by profession, with a degree in zoology, he spent his earlier career working for North West Water, the National Rivers’ Authority and Environment Agency, before joining Alfred McAlpine, which went on to be bought by Carillion.

He said: “During my time at Jones Bros, the company has grown from a medium to a large company, with more than 350 employees on the books.

“It aspired to work with prestigious clients who all operate to much higher standards than the legal minimum, so Jones Bros had to mature as a company in health, safety, and environmental matters.”

Originally also with responsibility for training, Dave developed his remit until training needs grew to the extent that it was hived off into a separate department in 2015.

A Yorkshireman who married a Lancashire lass and whose family home remains in the Ribble Valley, Dave quickly took to Ruthin, where he bought and refurbished a property to live in during the week.

He added: “Ruthin is a lovely market town.  I have been able to walk or cycle to work and the quality of life working here has been really good.”

Highlights that employees have helped enable Jones Bros to achieve during Dave’s tenure include:

  • Year-on-year RoSPA Gold Awards for Health & Safety leading to the RoSPA’s President’s Award for the last two years
  • Consistent reduction in serious accidents over nine years 
  • Maintaining the international ISO 9001 (Quality), 14001 (Environment) and OHSAS 18001 (Health & Safety) and achieving ISO 50001 (Energy) standards
  • Winner of the 2014 Outstanding Training Partner at the CITB ‘Pride of Construction’ Awards
  • CEEQUAL Excellent Award for the Porthmadog bypass contract
  • Various Considerate Constructors Scheme National Awards
  • Achilles UVDB Verify
  • ConstructionLine Gold
  • Safe Contractor
  • Safety Management Advisory Services certification
  • RISQS standard for the railway network

Dave added: “Coming to a family firm after big organisations was a bit scary.  I had come from a company that was centralised where you did not feel that anything you did had any impact, and you were told what to do. 

“At Jones Bros, whatever you did was obvious, and being a family company, most people knew everyone else. It was quite a change, but I took to it and I’ve enjoyed my time here.

“However, it’s all very well listing accreditations, but at the end of the day it’s the guys on the ground who do most of the work. I introduced and drove them, but they achieved them.”

Dave is staying for a few months as a part-time consultant, to help the company achieve the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme and Construction Logistics and Community Safety standards, which concerns safety for vulnerable road users such as cyclists.

Looking ahead, he is planning to spend more time with his wife, Judith, adult son and daughter, and grandchildren, plus their 14-year-old foster son.

Dave explained: “We started fostering four years ago. Steven is our second foster child, who has been with us for three years.”

Dave is also going to grow the number of bee hives he keeps, a hobby he started whilst living in Ruthin, and help out more at his local cricket club, of which he is a former chairman.