Ovi Gradinaru, SHEQ & Training Manager for J P Dunn Construction Ltd speaks to CONSTRUCT

Ovi Gradinaru, SHEQ & Training Manager for J P Dunn Construction Ltd speaks to CONSTRUCT

Tell us a little about J P Dunn Construction Ltd and your career.

I started my construction career back in 2008, when I joined JP Dunn on the tools, as a groundworker. I then gradually progressed to a supervisor and assistant site manager. In 2014, I joined the newly formed SHEQ department as a SHEQ & Training Manager.

Tell us about any recent J P Dunn Construction Ltd site issues and how you overcome them.

Workforce supply chain for holiday covers, i.e., agency workers and their current health & safety culture, which most of the time is poor. Our aim is to educate and increase the workforce’s awareness of health & safety and occupational risks through safety briefings, toolbox talks, and awareness courses.

Operatives wearing dust masks and being clean-shaven on a daily basis is a huge challenge, I believe this is a construction industry wide issue.

Have you undertaken any sustainability or environmental initiatives on your sites?

Bungee keys /spiral cords are in use by all plant operators, preventing the engine from being left running when dismounting. The use of the bungee keys will assist the projects in reducing carbon emissions when engines are not left running idle during construction operations.

Regular emergency spill response drills and environmental awareness courses.

Use of plant nappies below the fuel-driven plant and hydraulic attachments.

Please provide information on any operatives on site who are undergoing apprenticeships.

We currently employ 3 apprentices:

  • Saul had recently started with JP Dunn and was enrolled in a formwork apprenticeship.
  • Alexandros joined JP Dunn undertaking an existing apprenticeship in carpentry/joinery.
  • Kateryna is undertaking a level 3 Project Control Technician apprenticeship programme.

How is J P Dunn Construction Ltd coping with current construction issues such as material and workforce shortages, etc? Is there any action you’re taking?

As the prices for essential construction materials, like cement, concrete, timber, and steel, continue to climb, along with material shortage this creates a difficult situation for all current projects. We try to reuse materials on-site as much as possible, e.g., timber and plywood, use of temporary works designed formwork and falsework, this reduces the need for new timber, implementing a thorough QA process to minimise material wastage.

Staff retention programme, taking apprentices on board, and local labour recruiting.

What is your outlook for the concrete structures and groundworks industry for the next 3 years?

It’s difficult to predict given the current situation. Although the UK economy is facing a recession in 2023, the groundworks and frame industry constantly needs more personnel due to workforce shortages/holiday covers. I believe recruiting personnel from the UK will be encouraged rather than recruiting people from outside the UK.

What activities run by CONSTRUCT such as forums and committees are J P Dunn Construction Ltd involved in?

JP Dunn attends the CFTF, H&S, and Groundworks meetings.

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