A LEADING Borders building firm has put safety first by sending almost its entire workforce on an industry safety course at the same time.
Kelso-based M & J Ballantyne has sent 40 staff members – around 95 per cent of its staff – on the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), in order to prevent accidents and provide the best safety standards across all of the sites it works on in the Borders.
The move means that all of the company’s staff will now be fully compliant with the CSCS practices, which help millions of people in the UK construction industry improve the quality of their work and reduce the risk of on-site accidents.
Managing director Michael Ballantyne says his company strives to give its staff the best training and qualifications, so that they can provide the best service for our customers.
“The CSCS is the standard for safety in the construction industry, so it was important to ensure that all of our apprentices and other staff got the opportunity to complete it,” Mr Ballantyne told us.
“We had 40 workers who either hadn’t done any CSCS training before or needed to renew their qualifications, so we decided it was easier to send them all away to do the course at the same time rather than one by one.
“Many other firms will limit the number of staff they train at one time, as they think it will negatively affect their business otherwise.
“However, we wanted to make sure that all of our staff are equally qualified and competent when it comes to safety – even if it meant sending almost all of our workforce away on the same training course.
“It was a big commitment and investment, but having a full workforce of CSCS-accredited staff will be hugely beneficial for our business.”
M & J Ballantyne is one of the best-known names in the Borders building industry and has provided high-profile construction and building work in the region for the past 75 years.
The firm has built and refurbished some of the most iconic buildings in the region, including the Bernat Klein Studio near Selkirk, Melrose Grammar School, Kelso swimming pool, Broomlands and Edenside primary schools in Kelso, and numerous houses throughout the Borders.
In its most recent project, M & J Ballantyne completed the £4.7million restoration of the Old Granary building in Berwick – transforming the dilapidated premises into a new youth hostel, exhibition space and bistro.
The restoration work, which is part of a wider 20-year plan to transform Berwick, has been heralded by heritage and preservation groups in the Borders and Northumberland.