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Construction News Awards Specialist Contractor of the Year

Winner: Van Elle

With a 12 per cent increase in profit and 46 per cent increase in operating profit in 2012 compared with previous years, ground engineering contractor Van Elle is a success story in an incredibly competitive specialist market.

It puts this success in these difficult economic times, down to its commitment to high quality attracting repeat business, and continued investment in new techniques and equipment to help reduce construction programmes and build costs.

It is also a company which thrives on sharing knowledge with construction professionals.

It actively engages with engineers, contractors, universities and trade associations through seminars and corporate breakfast meetings to demonstrate the new techniques, innovations and value-engineered solutions offered by the company.

“A specialist ground engineering company with a clearly defined vision and strategy. Van Elle’s approach to behavioural safety and training and pragmatic problem-solving ethos sets it apart from others in this sector”

Judges’ comment

A recent project carried out by Van Elle includes The National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth. It involved designing, installing and testing 233 600 mm-diameter bearing piles as well as 60 900 mm-diameter test bed piles and a secant piled retaining wall. All had to cater for large compressive, tension and lateral loads.

The company has an exemplary safety record, a credit to its health and safety initiative launched four years ago. The Think Safety, Act Safely campaign has encouraged an annual increase in hazard reporting and has helped to prevent accidents.

The firm carried out more than 600 unannounced health, safety, quality and environmental site audits last year, helping to maintain the highest standards, show support to the site teams and ensure safe systems of work across the group.

The company has experienced no major injuries in more than two-and-a-half years and only four reportable accidents in 2012.

Every accident is investigated internally to see if a reoccurrence can be avoided. Results of the investigation are fed back to the main board of directors, divisional directors and then to every company employee.

Van Elle is a company which invests in technical expertise and develops new equipment to suit changing ground conditions and site access. Last year, the company launched a new rail division and developed a new piling rig, as well as renewing its fleet by purchasing five others.

It also opened an office to serve London and the South-east in Crawley, West Sussex.

Highly Commended: Cantillon

This demolition contractor is commercially successful and dedicated to the highest health and safety standards. The company is also proud of its environmental credentials, which state that at least 95 per cent of materials are recycled, reused or resold on every site.

“Outstanding health and safety records and its excellent workforce culture sets Cantillon apart from the rest”

Judges’ comment

Finalists

Groundforce

Multitech Site Services

NG Bailey

The Roofline Group

VolkerLaser

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