In 2010, Hyder Consulting launched a series of initiatives aimed at achieving its vision of a working environment free of injuries and incidents. Hyder restructured the organisation of its business during 2009 in order to more actively reflect the company’s values, particularly in relation to being more heavily focused on its clients.

An important element of this is the way in which the business approaches health, safety, sustainability and quality management – all of which impact upon project delivery.

Earlier this year, Karl Simons was appointed as Hyder’s Integrated Management Systems Director. Simons is a highly qualified health & safety professional and behavioural safety expert. He has developed a comprehensive IMS improvement strategy for Hyder’s Middle East business which is endorsed by the board and is currently being implemented.

It aims to enhance performance across five key areas: leadership; behaviour and culture; processes and systems; supply chain intervention; and influencing stakeholders. It consists of a total of 25 initiatives, five under each key area of activity. The strategy is being communicated through a series of leadership conferences with two such events taking place every year.

Hyder’s 2010-12 IMS improvement strategy was launched in April of this year at a ‘Business Safety Leadership’ conference which brought Hyder Middle East’s board and all project leaders under one roof to focus on the standards of safety & sustainability management within the business. The conference also considered the ways in which the construction industry is leading change in the GCC approach to legislation and the influence this is having on Hyder’s clients’ drive in that regard.

Implementing the strategy involves engagement at all levels of the organisation, acknowledgement of the commitment to the company’s safety culture displayed by Hyder’s employees on a daily basis and empowering all members of the organisation to identify and challenge unsafe acts and conditions in the workplace without fear of reprisal.

A behavioural safety campaign called was also launched across the organisation in April as a means to empower all employees in this way. The philosophy is now being presented to the consultant and contractor teams on all of Hyder’s construction sites and there is already strong evidence of take up and an increase in standards.

According to Simons, the primary message is that safety is a vehicle to promote a positive and proactive culture in all aspects of Hyder’s business in the region.

In May 2010, a number of Hyder’s clients were taken on a knowledge sharing tour of the Burj Khalifa site to demonstrate the company’s strength and direction in health & safety leadership. John Mills, Hyder’s Project Director involved in overseeing the design and construction of the tower and Steve Dyson, EMAAR’s head of Safety on the project, lead the group through the world’s tallest tower and discussed the challenges faced and overcome throughout the evolution of Burj Khalifa.

The latest event, a ‘Design Leadership’ conference, took place on 7 June 2010 to promote safety, sustainability and buildability in design. It brought together design leaders from across the Middle East representing each of Hyder’s market sectors – Transportation and Infrastructure; Property; and Utilities and Environment – as well as some of the company’s major clients in the region.

The related corporate strategic objectives that will be implemented this year were presented and discussed. These have been developed to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of the company’s operations and act collectively to enhance delivery for its clients – ensuring that Hyder is leading industry change in the Gulf.

Wael Allan, Regional Managing Director of Hyder Consulting Middle East Limited commented: “I am committed to ensuring that the health, safety and welfare of our people is at the forefront of business decision making and that everyone in the company understands the significant influence we can each have on the life cycle risk control of our projects. This is achieved through effective leadership and support. Our senior management teams will drive a positive safety culture, through instilling the Hyder values and living by them.

I encourage and empower all our people to take action and work towards an injury and incident free environment. We can make a difference every day; continuing to create a brand that is respected and acknowledged for its consistent delivery of the highest standards within the industry.”