De Boer to share its health and safety expertise

20th January 2010


structure specialist De Boer is championing industry-wide health and safety excellence

by launching a series of specialist training courses for sub-contractors. 


company has already taken the pioneering step of appointing a full-time,

designated health and safety manager to oversee all contracts handled from its

UK headquarters in Brackley.

Its innovative policy – believed by the company to be unique

within its industry – means a full-time safety specialist is available to work with

De Boer teams tackling construction projects of all sizes, whether for a

one-day build or a large-scale assignment lasting many weeks or months. The

strategy also involves induction training for new De Boer personnel followed by

annual refresher courses for all staff.

De Boer’s clients also frequently request assistance to ensure

they meet all relevant regulations on site and the new training resource has

been established in response to their demands. 

External courses could be staged for sub-contractors as soon as February,

covering topics that include basic health and safety, working at height, using

personal protective equipment and complying with the Health and Safety at Work

Act. Training will be provided at De Boer’s Brackley premises.   

The courses will be run by Phil Earl, who became De Boer’s full-time

Health and Safety Manager in May 2008 and who already handles in-house training.

Phil joined the company as a temporary tent builder 17 years ago and tackled a broad

range of roles including those of truck driver, transport manager and warehouse


before making his first foray into health and safety in 2003. 


– widely known in the industry by his nickname Curly – has since gained the

industry-standard NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and

Health) Certificate and is currently working towards his degree-level NEBOSH

Diploma. He has already passed diploma examinations totalling nine hours and is

hoping to successfully complete his dissertation over the coming weeks. 


to Phil, the key to effective health and safety is in avoiding

over-complication. “People find the idea of health and safety very scary until

they actually get into it and then they realise it’s actually very simple,” he

explained. “Keep it simple and you’ll stop people hurting themselves. You

really don’t need a lot of bureaucracy to make health and safety work.” 


divides his time between on-site visits and office-based work that includes

conducting health and safety audits, running training courses and chairing De

Boer’s Health and Safety Committee. His in-house training courses cover topics

such as first aid, working at height and operating fork-lift trucks.


and safety is becoming more and more of an issue because customers are becoming

increasingly aware of its importance,” he said. “People’s safety is of prime

importance but health and safety now enters into everything you do. Every time

you tender for a contract, there are detailed requirements relating to safety



is kept increasingly busy by De Boer’s ever-expanding portfolio of assignments.

He is a regular visitor to the construction stages of high-profile events such

as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Goodwood Festival of Speed, Farnborough

International Airshow, Royal Parks’ music concerts and the Playtex MoonWalk

charity event, as well as a myriad of commercial projects including the

creation of temporary offices, warehouses and retail facilities. 

But, according to Phil, health and safety issues are equally applicable

to contracts of all sizes. He said: “A one-day job is just as important as an

assignment on the scale of the Farnborough International Airshow. The team need

to know that health and safety is being treated as a priority and that I will

be available on site. I can also help clients ensure they don’t inadvertently

breach any regulations.”