CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYER PROFILE: LEYLAND FORREST

Last month we caught up with Pete Leyland of Leyland Forrest for a Zoom chat about the post-Grenfell firestopping industry, staff qualifications, waste reduction and sustainability.

Pete, a former bricklayer, started the company 20 years ago with a joiner friend. The firm now specialises in a range of building services including firestopping, office alterations and building maintenance. You can find out more about Leyland Forrest at www.leylandforrest.co.uk or by following them on Twitter.

If you’re short on time or suffering Zoom fatigue, we’ve picked out a selection of Pete’s quotes from the interview.

On passive fire protection…

“If you’ve got a building, typically made up of rooms, each of those rooms is deemed to be a compartment. What we aim to do is stop the spread of fire from one compartment to another. The most important compartment is the one that forms the exit route in the event of a fire. We aim to protect that exit route… in order to give the occupants long enough to exit the building and hopefully to give the fire service enough time to get in and put the fire out. That, in a nutshell, is what passive fire protection does.”

On ensuring his staff are fully qualified…

“We’re employing people from various trade backgrounds and for the same reason we [Pete and his business partner] decided to become qualified, we decided that they also needed to have some form of qualification, so that they understand their role in our company. We can demonstrate to our third-party certification body and our client base that each and every one of our employees is qualified to do the job…We need to show that we’re competent at what we do…

“…It’s not just a piece of paper you can wave in front of a customer’s face…it provides you with knowledge and confidence to carry out the work that you do in a confident, competent manner”.

On NVQ assessment…

“Ian [DMR NVQ assessor] came in to see us, and any apprehensions we had we put to him. He put us at ease…and gently guided us through the process from start to finish. In the event, I think all of us wondered what all the fuss was about!”

On the Covid-19 pandemic…

“The pandemic was an issue in the beginning, and the main reason it was an issue is because everybody panicked – we all did. In reality, I don’t think the majority of us in the building trade, or on the periphery of the building trade, really needed to [close down].

[Lockdown] allowed us to focus on our clients and our clients’ best interests with regards to Covid, and figure out ways of working through it. We’ve actually taken on two new men during the pandemic in order to meet the demands that are out there for us”.

On waste reduction…

“We’ve purposefully reduced the amount of waste we produce, not only for the environment – I’ve got to be honest – it’s a cost thing as well. We want to achieve our ISO 14001, the environmental standard, as quickly as possible. In order to do that, we need to reduce our waste even further. We’re conducting a feasibility survey with one of our main suppliers to see whether they can actually recycle waste product that we have.”

On electric vehicles and sustainability…

“Our next vehicles will be completely electric. We feel that, not just as a company but as individuals, we need to make an effort to become sustainable.”

And case you missed it, here’s the interview in full

Scroll to Top