At the beginning of this year we announced that we had evolved our strategy, in line with market needs, to a more consultative led approach. We’ve seen, as customer needs change, that a wholly owned on-premise solution may not be the best option, and that a hybrid solution of cloud, colocation and some on-premise may deliver better against technical and commercial needs.
We’ve been working hard this year delivering strategy and IT Asset advice for both public and private sector organisations across Europe with great success (watch this space for upcoming announcements!) and have launched a new company – Business Critical Solutions – to further support this offering.
But once your strategy is in place – how do you best implement it?
Whilst we have been historically known as the data centre design and build experts (and we have been recognised by leading award bodies across the globe for our projects) our Critical Facilities Management division is less well known. With over 30 critical engineering specialists (plus administration and helpdesk teams) supporting our 200+ contracts across Europe, our teams are constantly looking at new ways of supporting and optimising our customers facilities and operations.
With IT Asset consolidation or moves being required in some cases, expert support is needed to safely and securely transport your IT hardware. In order to further satisfy this need Keysource has recently taken delivery of a new set of bespoke Shock Mounted Portable Server Racks.
They have already had their first outing, transporting the Metropolitan Police Service servers and IT hardware from their old data centre operator across to their new one. Carried out under highly secure conditions and escorted throughout the process by two NPPV (Non Police Personnel Vetting) level 3 staff, the new portable racks ensured the move went as expected and integrity of the data was maintained throughout.
Keysource, the specialist in business critical infrastructure, has won a RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Award for the third year in a row. The company received a Gold Award after being applauded for its high health and safety standards during the past 12 months.
Justin Busk, Head of Safety, Health & Environment at Keysource, said:
“Our number one priority is to ensure the safety, health and welfare of all our employees and all other persons who may be affected by our activities. This commitment extends to the trade contractors we employ, stakeholders that we work with, visitors to our projects and members of the public. Having achieved two Silver Awards in as many years, we are thrilled that our ongoing commitment has now been recognised with this Gold RoSPA Award”
Now in its 60th year, the RoSPA Awards celebrate commitment to continuous improvement in accident and ill health prevention at work. The judges consider entrants’ overarching occupational health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.
Julia Small, RoSPA’s Head of Awards and Events, said:
“To win an award at such a highly-regarded event as the RoSPA Awards is a great achievement for our winners. It recognises their commitment to maintaining an excellent health and safety record and raises the bar for other organisations to aspire to.”
Keysource, the data centre design specialist, has completed its role to deliver principal design consultancy to Teesside University for its challenging new data centre upgrade project.
Keysource’s design on this complex project, which recently received planning permission, will see the University’s data centre benefit from a new critical power generator. This will ensure it has an uninterruptable power supply as well as a highly resilient modular UPS which can be expanded in response to changing requirements. It also utilises an innovative fresh-air cooling system that will make full use of the low-ambient temperatures around the data centre.
The full scope of Keysource’s consultancy contract was to conduct an initial feasibility study identifying any issues and risks, and address them. Designs were then developed for critical power and air quality. Keysource also assisted with the planning submission and took responsibility for the procurement of contractors and suppliers, taking the role of CDM principal designer.
There were several major risks that needed to be ironed out in the design process due to the data centre’s location. The University is flanked by an estuary and in close proximity to the sea. This means that the atmosphere around the data centre could be potentially challenging for both the IT and M&E infrastructure, with corrosion being a risk needing to be factored into the design. In addition, as the data centre is in the heart of Middlesbrough where the surrounding area is host to a large number of industries, there is the usual threat from external contaminants.
Keysource had to take into account noise control and all modifications also had to meet strict planning requirements.
Andrew Maclaren, Assistant Director (Estates Services & Energy Procurement) at Teesside University said,
“We chose Keysource through the North East Universities Purchasing Consortium (NEUPC) framework. We wanted totally independent data centre design specialists with experience in both fresh air cooling as well as working within the education sector. Keysource has professionally met every requirement and we’re really pleased with their designs and guidance on sourcing the best solutions for our needs.”
Andy Hayes, Director at Keysource added,
“We have a number of Higher Education providers within our portfolio and are well versed in the challenges the sector faces particularly around the need for flexibility and the budgetary constraints. We were able to complete this project on time and on budget and our innovative design will ensure the data centre meets Teesside University’s IT requirements for many years to come.”
We’ve recently been looking at the changes to Construction (Design & Management) Regulations (CDM) and what’s needed to comply with the legislation and how they will affect our customers.
The first thing to note is that the changes place more responsibilities on the client with an obligation to ensure that H&S is managed effectively throughout the duration of the project and non-compliance which leads to serious incidents, now has the potential for unlimited financial penalties to be imposed.
Briefly the main changes are:
What you need to do to ensure compliance
In our previous post we looked at the 6 things you need to do to ensure you comply with CDM, with two of the compulsory tasks being appointing a Principal Designer and a Principal Contractor. We live and breathe data centres and business critical environments so we understand the importance of making sure you have the correct suppliers and contractor working within this environment.
This blog looks at the roles of the Principal Designer and the Principal Contractor and delves more deeply into what skills are required for working within business critical environments and suggests questions you should ask your chosen designer & contractor before you appoint them!
First off, the Principal Designer…
A CDM Principal Designer can be an organisation or individual depending on the size of the project and head up the project design process. They are appointed by the customer to manage the whole pre-construction phase of any project that involves two or more contractors. Indeed, principal designers are responsible for managing all elements of health and safety risks that are presented at the preconstruction phase of the project.
In more detail, principal designers are required to work with the customer to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety taking into consideration all existing information that might affect design work carried out both before and after the construction phase has started.
On larger projects, where there is more than one designer, the principal designer is required to work with all of the designers and share all relevant information to ensure that any potential risks are mitigated. This means that the principal designer assumes the role of coordinating clear communications across the design teams. Furthermore the principal designer has a duty to keep the contractor informed of any risks that need to be managed at the construction phase.
Whether working in a live upgrade or on new build projects, it is important to make sure you are working with a designer that really understands the environment, the potential risks and hazards, and more importantly how to mitigate them. The best place to start is by selecting a couple of companies and looking through their case studies and previous work (you can find ours here). From this, you can really see what experience they have and the type of projects they have worked on. You can also see their awards or any accreditations they have achieved which gives un-biased third party validation and assurance of their expertise. You should also be looking for suitable CDM and Lead Auditor qualifications. Armed with this knowledge you should then call and speak to the person that heads up their Health and Safety team, in our case Justin Busk; Head of Safety, Health and Environment (you can use our example questions below as a guide!) which will help give you a feel for their understanding and capabilities.
You may be tempted to use a supplier you have used previously but they may not have the level of expertise required or the experience, and for what is essentially 30 minutes on Google (or the search engine of your choice!) it could save you years’ worth of trouble with projects that weren’t properly assessed, the risks were not correctly controlled, or even resulted in injury to people or damage to property.
Questions to ask a potential Principal Designer
For projects with more than one contractor, a principal contractor must be appointed by the client. The principal contractor needs to have the expertise to manage all health and safety risks throughout the construction phase as they assume responsibility for planning, monitoring and co-ordinating the project during construction, and in particular this includes managing any health and safety risks to workers on the project and the general public.
The specific requirements of a principal contractor include:
Once you have appointed your Principal Designer you then need to consider your Principal Contractor, this can be from the same organisation and makes sense, especially if the organization is providing both services. But again we would only recommend this if they have the correct technical knowledge and experience, and can demonstrate the organisational capability to carry out the role.
Questions to ask a potential Principal Contractor
Keysource recently claimed a Silver RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Award for the second year in succession. We caught up with Justin Busk, the company’s Head of Safety, Health & Environment.
Hi Justin, so who are RoSPA?
RoSPA stands for The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. The organisation has a long-standing objective to reduce injuries and ultimately save lives. Each year, around 2.7 million people go to A&E for treatment and RoSPA provides a number of resources to inform, educate and help to prevent accidents in the home and its surrounding area.
Can you tell us a little about the RoSPA Awards?
The RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards are internationally recognised and provide businesses of all sizes the opportunity to showcase their health and safety initiatives. The Awards have been in operation for 59 years now and over that time the scheme has encouraged a commitment to raising health and safety standards across every industry.
How did Keysource get on at the 2015 RoSPA Awards?
Keysource received a silver award after being applauded for high health and safety standards during the past year. In fact, this is the second year in a row we have been granted this award, which is a testimony to the hard work and dedication of the Keysource Board and wider team.
So it must have been very busy twelve months for you?
Absolutely. It has been a hugely successful year for Keysource, including the launch of our own pro-active safety culture, ‘Safety First, Always’. Our number one priority is to ensure the safety, health and welfare of all our employees and all other persons who may be affected by our activities. This commitment extends to the trade contractors we employ, stakeholders that we work with, visitors to our projects and members of the public.
The initiative encourages our people to lead by example, embracing and championing our safety culture. All are encouraged to intervene on unsafe behaviour, acts or conditions and put safety first, always. All staff must ensure that suitable and sufficient risk assessments are at the core of our activities.
Is the business using its expertise in this area to help its customers and other organisations?
Indeed it is. We have launched a number of exciting SHE & Compliance Services to help companies protect and enhance their people, assets, critical environments and reputations. These include consultancy, compliance and auditing, management systems, and training and development. These professional services are all underpinned by key International and British standards, accreditations and approved memberships in the field.
Finally, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a Chartered Health & Safety professional with more than twelve years of experience working with various blue chip clients in both the public and private sectors. My key specialisms include occupational safety, health & environmental management, specialising in construction design. I joined the Keysource senior management team back in 2013 to help support the continued growth of the business.