IT Carlow wins HSA ‘Safety in Design and Construction’ Competition


A team of Built Environment students from IT Carlow, Henry Hickey from Carlow, Noel Conalty from Rosslare and Robert Downey from Kildare, has won the Health and Safety Authority’s ‘Safety in Design and Construction’ third level competition aimed at undergraduates.  At the final held in Dublin’s Ashling Hotel in February, six short-listed teams battled it out to win the first prize of €3,000. The remaining four finalist included two other teams from IT Carlow who received €1,000 and certificates of commendation. 

The aim of the competition is to provide an environment where undergraduate students can collaborate and work together to enhance, develop and embed their knowledge and understanding of health and safety in construction.  The challenge involved the selection, procurement and installation of a complete MRI Modular Unit, and all associated site preparatory and interface works within an existing hospital. The project also included the design and specification of any necessary internal reconfiguration works required to be carried out to the hospital. Central to the brief was to minimise all risks to the safety and health of patients, staff, and construction workers arising from the installation works.

Chairperson of the Authority’s Third Level Education Group, Dr. Anne Drummond, said, “This competition goes beyond the boundaries of the classroom  and brings together students who may not yet have interacted at an undergraduate level and yet, will work together as professionals. The approach to the competition is based on problem-based learning which resembles professional life far more than many more traditional methods of assessment.    The feedback from students and their lecturers is that the engagement of working together with their colleagues on the competition is a rewarding and enjoyable part of their learning experience.”

Joanne Harmon, Education Manager with the Health and Safety Authority said, “This competition is in its third year and it’s great to see the level of engagement from students and their lecturers as well as the continual high standards and creativity on display.  I would like to congratulate the winning team, IT Carlow and other finalists and thank everyone else who took part.  We kept the brief as real as possible so that students had to be creative in their solutions but are also as likely to come across similar scenarios in their future working life.”

“Health & Safety has long been an important element of our Built Environment courses at IT Carlow.  The staff and students of the Department of the Built Environment are exceedingly proud of this outstanding achievement by the three IT Carlow teams who have excelled at this high level in competition with other renowned third level institutions.  Congratulations to our students, Rosslare man Noel Conalty, Carlow man Henry Hickey and Kildare man Robert Downey for achieving first place in the competition” commented Martin O’Neill, Built Environment Lecturer, IT Carlow.