Training at Mackoy: how we help our groundworkers hit the ground running

28 August 2018

In any new job it’s important to ensure employees are up to speed with workplace practices and processes that need to be followed. And the construction industry is no exception. With heavy plant moving around site, as well as materials, and people, it’s vital that everyone is familiar with on site etiquette, as well as health & safety best practice. Before entering any new development.

At Mackoy we understand the importance of this all too well. Which is why we take active measures to ensure our groundworks team are fully trained before they join one of our client’s builds. Having been in the groundworks and civil engineering business for 7 years now we’re deeply familiar with industry protocol and standards. And we make it our business to ensure any new hire to our team is in no doubt about how to perform his or her job safely. Not only for their own wellbeing but also for the collective safety of everyone around.

As a minimum requirement all Mackoy employees must have CSCS training, and carry a valid card at all times on site. But we also look for experience in any new hire to our team. As well as relevant industry certifications to prove you have the necessary skills and training to perform your unique job on site. Including any specialist licences for operating road sweepers, HGVs and articulated dumper trucks.

Here are a few of the other ways we at Mackoy help prepare our new recruits for a post on one of our client’s developments. Together with keeping our existing employees trained to the very latest industry standards.

Mackoy new starter inductions

Whenever we expand our team, we never let a new employee loose on site before they’ve received a full and thorough induction from us first. This happens at our Hampshire Head Office with a core member of our leadership team. And is a key part of Mackoy company culture. Not only does it outline (in no uncertain terms) what we expect from our groundworkers, but it also underpins the values we at Mackoy operate to. Together with outlining key policies and practices that are a daily part of how we do business.

Machinery operation training

The safe handling of machinery is a fundamental part of our Mackoy training initiatives. So every time we add a new piece of plant or tool to our site kit (such as our recent 912F Hydrema dumpers or our Air Picks) we make sure that everyone responsible for operating them receives full training in a controlled environment. And is 100% comfortable with what they’re doing. For our Air Picks, we even developed a set of Dig Cards, which cover off Air Digging ‘dos and don’ts’. Ensuring our groundworkers are fully capable and confident with handling these powerful new excavating tools.

Health & safety initiatives

Health & safety never stands still, so we’re constantly reviewing our practices at Mackoy. To ensure we’re always conforming to the latest industry legislation. We also have a dedicated SHEQ team in-house who regularly inspect our worksites to check standards are up to scratch. If a new regulation comes into effect we’re always quick to act on it and update our policies accordingly. Which includes training all our operatives, old and new, in the latest and safest ways of working.

Investing in the latest technology

We always want our people to have the very best tools for the job at Mackoy, so we regularly invest in new plant for our fleet and equipment to improve efficiency on site. Investing in new machinery not only keeps our people as safe as possible, but it also helps them do their jobs to a higher standard too. The new compact Hydrema 912F dumpers we added this year, for example, feature fully enclosed cabs in response to a number of open cab injuries that occurred on construction sites in 2017. And of course, when we bring in any new kit or plant, all operatives receive full training on how to work it.

Pairing new employees with experienced site operatives

Another way we induct our newest employees to our worksites is by teaming them up with an experienced member of our crew for the first two weeks they’re with us. This ensures that anyone coming onto our sites for the first time has a support system, and someone more experienced in the same role to learn from. Rather than throw our employees in at the deep end, we find this approach is a valuable way to learn the ropes and quickly get up to speed with the way we do things at Mackoy.

Groundworks are the building blocks of any new development, so they’re an important part of the service we provide to our clients at Mackoy. And while skills and training are vital to fulfilling works to the standards and best practice we expect. These aren’t the only requirements of anyone looking to get into groundworks as a career.

Some things to bear in mind if you want to become a groundworker:

  • It’s a physically demanding job

Groundworks is a manual labour vocation that involves excavating land and tunnelling trenches, among other physically demanding duties. So it requires a good level of fitness. You’ll be working to meet daily targets set by the Foreman, so you’ll need to work quickly, as well as with quality, to keep build times on track.

  • It requires working outdoors in all weather conditions

Day to day life as a groundworker means you’ll be working outdoors for much of your time. And that means year-round, in a variety of weather conditions. Come rain or shine. You need to be able to get on with the job at hand, no matter what the weather throws at you. Even if the idea of working outside on a sunny day sounds appealing, the reality of grafting hard in the heat, means summer builds can be just as challenging as winter ones.

  • You’ll need good literacy and number skills

Groundworkers work to technical drawings produced by clients that illustrate the precise locations of where things like manhole covers, utilities cables, foundations, and pipework needs to go. These drawings must be followed meticulously to a T. Anything a little way out, or not to spec, could delay the entire build. And while you’ll receive training on how to read technical drawings, competency with numbers and the ability to read are essential skills if you want to be a groundworker.

As well as groundworkers, we supply a number of other on site staff and plant on our client’s builds. From foremen, site managers and civil engineers, to bricklayers and plant operatives. While our in-house fleet includes the very latest compact closed-cab dumpers (added just this year), to Volvo excavators, and Hendy Ford Transits. All of which are available to hire when you contract us for your development.

To talk to us about a project you have in the pipeline, get in touch via our contact page. And one of our experienced groundworks and civil engineering team will be happy to meet with you to discuss your requirements.

Categories: About Us , Recruitment

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