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ECL’s Black Hat Seminar 2023 was a huge hit! All 64 attendees were welcomed to the Legend’s Lounges on Friday, January 5th, and engaged from start to finish with the team’s keynote talks.

The presentations covered all aspects of the business, including health and safety, customer care, infrastructure, and more. This highlighted the extent of ECL’s success and its future plans. Our innovative program allowed us to showcase the company’s performance and progress in the industry, and most importantly, cast a spotlight on our exceptional colleagues without whom none of this would have been possible.

Black Hat Seminar

Introductions were kicked off by Claire Stacey, HSEQT Manager, followed by Construction Director, Dave Fil, who announced ECL’s strength in the early securement of work, creating a full order book with new and existing clients.

Claire proceeded with a presentation on health and safety, emphasising its importance alongside the company’s HSEQT statistics. With thanks to the ECL team, the company had once again achieved a low IFR (Injury Frequency Rate) and a drop in the SSR (Service Strike Rates) for 2023 compared to 2022. 

With safety goals and a series of continuous improvement steps, the company was confident to maintain an exceptionally high health and safety standard for 2024. 

Claire commented, “These improvements in statistics are down to the hard work and dedication of the entire ECL Team. It highlights the importance of the Site Managers and Operatives’ efforts in making this happen and emphasises the significance of working safely and avoiding risks. 

I would personally like to thank each and every person out there who has contributed to achieving these results by working safely and not taking risks. We look forward to achieving even better results in 2024 with the same level of dedication from our entire team.”

Following Claire’s positive news, Head of Customer Care Ryan O’Shea enthusiastically reported a decrease in defects since 2021. His department had witnessed first-hand an improvement in work standards and used the seminar to commend effective teamwork and the implementation of micro-actions to optimise defect management and reporting. 

Ryan added, “The nature of the department means we are always asking our men to improve on their outputs, so it was great to be able to reemphasise to the team that they are doing an excellent job and that the customer care team at HQ are here to support them.”

Following Ryan came an insightful talk from Paul McSkimming, Head of Procurement, on issues significantly impacting our daily operation. 

Paul remarked, “I thought the best approach would be to target just three areas where we know we can make a meaningful difference and where the benefits would impact the Head Office, our site-based teams and, ultimately, the wider business. The three areas I locked in for this period were the ‘Segregation of Waste’, ‘Signing for Goods’ and ‘Lead Times’. While all three subject matters encompass issues relating to the same, there is particular emphasis on some more than others, like cost, productivity, and brand. Having dealt with these issues daily, it’s something I’m passionate about, and with the collaboration of site managers, I am confident that we can see continued improvement in 2024.” 

Francis Gillespie closed the presentations on a high, displaying the excellent quality of work for 2023, but also importantly highlighting the improvements that would be made entering the new year, particularly regarding defective work. He discussed the need for work surveys within departments to ensure our high-performance levels remain consistent. Moreover, he took the time to especially commend the team for their full understanding of the new procedure in all elements of house building. 

He commented, “The quality of work has definitely improved year on year. We must continue to drive to be better at all times.”



The seminar ended with awards being handed to our colleagues in recognition of their incredible dedication and input throughout 2023, casting a well-deserved spotlight on their efforts. 

A huge congratulations to this year’s winners,

  • Jetmir Vejseli – H&S Excellence Winner
  • Tom Hobbs – Quality Award Winner
  • Martin Cull – Young Site Manager Winner
  • Peter Fil – Special Recognition Winner. 

Health and Safety Excellence Award Winner Jetmir Vejseli remarked on receiving his award.

“Winning this award was not expected at all. It was a lovely surprise and a privilege to win, as I always strive to achieve our high standards of health and safety on site, which ensures we can all safely go home to our loved ones. This award is also for the entire team, as I wouldn’t have won it without my lads putting the standards I expect in place. I would also like to thank the Health and Safety team, especially Claire. They are always on the end of the phone regarding questions about paperwork, standards expected on site, and pretty much anything. They are the go-to team; I wouldn’t have won this award without them.

I look forward to next year, where I will be striving to be even better so I can hopefully win the award again… pressure!”

Our Young Site Manager of the Year, Martin Cull, who has been with ECL for an impressive nine years, and has steadily worked his way up from labourer to site manager, added,

“It was nice to win an award after being with the company for so long. When I looked around the room, I realised I have worked for many of the Site Managers in that room, so it was great for me to receive an award in front of them so they could see how far I have come.

I couldn’t have achieved this award without the dedication of my team members. They are hardworking, and I credit them for my success as a Site Manager.”

Cull continued to say with a chuckle, “To win the Young Site Manager of the Year Award is nice, but I didn’t even think I was that young! All I can say is all the others best up their game as I am coming for all the awards next year.”

Mensur Shurbi, currently serving on Project 358, was also delighted to be crowned Site Manager of the Year,

“I was nominated three times, and after not winning the Health and Safety Award and the Quality Award, I thought I had to win one, so thankfully, my name was announced for the Site Manager of the Year Award.

I really appreciated hearing such favourable feedback from the heads of departments and directors about what we are doing right as a company and as individuals. It’s something we don’t often receive in our day-to-day role.

The whole event brought to our attention a lot of positives for our men, and it’s a good feeling to know that you’re doing your best and doing it right. It gives you that extra push and enthusiasm for the job.”

A heart-warming thanks to our attendees, speakers and award winners. We wouldn’t have had the productive year we did without all of your hard work. 

We look forward to celebrating our accomplishments once again next year as we strive to demonstrate the very best of the industry. 

Hats off to ECL! 

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