Our feature in Building Design & Construction
“So often, an approach to health and safety is characterised by compliance and audits can be seen as a major headache for contractors,” says Beverley Holden, Director of DCM Surfaces. “I’m of the opinion that I’d rather know if something is unsafe than not and auditing is very much a way of doing that.” Expressing utmost respect for employees and observing keen emphasis on health and safety, DCM Surfaces is one of the few subcontractors in the sector to express its unwavering commitment to the needs of its staff, as well as those of clients, which is why the company is regularly billed an exemplar of corporate responsibility.
Established in 1995, DCM Surfaces has developed a unique identity in the sector, revered for its knowledge and flexibility when it comes to outdoor surfacing. Whilst the company was originally borne out of local and national initiatives to increase safety in public parks and playgrounds, the business has since grown exponentially to include a range of outdoor surfaces beyond purely safety surfacing. With the recent purchasing of a separate tarmacking business, the company is also able conduct civil engineering, groundworks and tarmacadam as Macadamize. As a result of an extending portfolio of services, DCM Surfaces now works for clients across industries and on a nationwide basis, acting as subcontractor to private and public sector clients.
With new office and warehouse space, DCM Surfaces is well-equipped to handle its growing client base and widening repertoire. The new facilities represent a significant gain in efficiencies, and the company has gone from a storage capacity of 90t to 400t. Now able to mobilise material more quickly, serve projects of greater size, DCM Surfaces performs at a pace to outstrip any other. The company has established a loyal client base and is favoured for its quality and responsibility.
DCM Surfaces aspires to much the same standard as the biggest and brightest in the construction industry, pertaining to the same principles and standards as one would expect of a main contractor. The company benefits from a close-knit team of specialists in design, installation, management and delivery, all operating in synergy. As Holden corroborates, “By directly employing all our staff, we safeguard the quality of work and encourage repeat business. More importantly though, it improves the morale of our team and inspires pride in the job. They get to know one another; each have the same over-arching ambition and the same ethics of safe, efficient and effective project delivery.”
On-site safety continues to be challenged by the interfacing it demands between contracting parties involved. The same is true within a firm; safety requires everyone, from directors to installers, to take accountability for their own practice so as to prevent placing themselves or others at risk. Alongside a strong staff ethic, DCM Surfaces regularly unites on-site operatives to deliver toolbox talks, ensures each member understands his duties and responsibilities on a daily basis, and sources relevant health and safety training for all employees. On-site operatives each have an up-to-date CSCS card while supervisors and managers have been through the Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS) or Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) as appropriate.
With the addition of CHAS membership, DCM Surfaces evidences that strict code of practice and is provided not only a framework for its ambitions, but a means of testifying its continuous ethic to potential clients and partners. “CHAS is a means of differentiating the serious contractors from the ordinary,” attests Holden, “And it has always been our ambition to be a leader in surfacing design and installation. Alongside ISO 9001 accreditation, CHAS membership has provided us key competitive advantage and a quality assurance that simply isn’t available elsewhere.”
One such client attracted by DCM Surfaces’ strong corporate values and exceptional quality products was one the of the UK’s leading main contractors, Kier Construction. A discerning client with exacting expectations, Kier posed distinct challenges for the sub-contractor as Holden explains: “During projects in Halesham and New Haven, we had to adapt our working methods so as to meet their health and safety requirements, purchasing four new mixers fitted with emergency stop buttons. Flexibility is a core value of the business and whether we’re working for a main contractor like Kier Construction or a small school, we always strive to deliver and produce something we can be proud of.”
With ongoing audits and a growing order book, DCM Surfaces is determined to retain the quality workmanship by which it is known. And as it continues to promote employee development and welfare, and boasts a health and safety ethic beyond that of any like competitor, the company’s prestige is only set to enlarge and, with it, comes the opportunity to develop further capabilities and services.
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DCM Surfaces are a nationwide multi surfacing contractor providing play surfaces including wet pour, sports surfaces, decorative surfacing and structural surfaces.