Split image with one half - an image of a building complex built by Conack Construction, and the other half an aqua blue HammerTech background


Entrepreneurial Irish Contractor Turns to HammerTech for Safety Excellence

“We want to be recognised for excellence in safety by prospective and existing clients in the same way we are already talked about for high standards of quality and project delivery.”


This is the ultimate goal for Peter Byrne, Conack’s Environmental, Health and Safety Manager. Conack is one of Ireland’s leading construction and civil engineering firms over the past decade. Tom O’Connor and Kieran Cusack, Conack’s Founders, have been awarded for their entrepreneurial approach over the company’s 15-year history and it has been one of the country’s fastest-growing construction companies.


With growth has come challenges implementing new approaches; in vetting and standardising safety systems; as well as training their supply chain, for Byrne and his team of 15 safety specialists.




Conack's rapid growth has presented a challenge in standardising systems and processes across the company. That is one of the major reasons Byrne and his team has focused on moving to a paperless environment.


The Conack safety team meets once a week to review the status of all projects across safety audits, scores, trends relative to incidents and hours worked. “We’ve been using a very manual process where we draw information from several sources. It took a lot of time to collate the data into a presentable format,” Byrne said. It became apparent that the team needed access to reports and trends with less effort so they could re-invest the time on analysis and action.





Conack now works on a wide range of project types, which means nuanced safety processes and projects spread across the country. Software solutions in the market often only cover specific aspects of safety and site operations. Conack’s requirements included bringing all safety processes into one place and consolidating the various independent management systems into a single integrated management system to increase its operational effectiveness.


“We looked at several software packages and programmes and HammerTech was the one that ticked the most boxes. It was imperative for us to have a system in place to help with holiday leave. If someone is away, we can put another member of the EHS Staff straight into that site and they have access to all the information needed and are able to get up to speed quickly. That’s critical for any safety programme these days.”





One of the key benefits for Conack has been moving to a digital induction process within HammerTech. “We’re seeing a huge time saving in uploading and verifying worker details and training records, which also means the next time they move to a new site, their records are already there. If a person moved to a new project using our prior system, all their information had to be re-entered manually,” Byrne said.


Conack has already had a quick win with HammerTech. Secure construction sites and accurate labour hours are important but physical turnstiles are not always suitable. One of their clients was looking for a sign-in, sign-out system to know who is on site at any given time. However, as the project was within a live operational environment, their existing solution didn’t work, as it was best to keep the construction team entirely separated from the client’s operational staff. “We set up the HammerTech Sign-In App on a tablet, and the client has access to the system so they can check who is on site instantly. It is a win for both of us.”


Conack’s goal is for everyone to be involved in identifying hazards and ensure that safe plans of action (SPAs) are completed with the people at the coal face of the works – not off-site. Byrne believes that digital SPAs completed in HammerTech will improve the quality of planning and hazard control.


Wet weather makes paper forms difficult to complete in the field. Plus, paper forms are static and don’t offer hazard-based management suggestions. HammerTech’s digital platform makes it easier to complete SPAs and capture signatures in the field – irrespective of the weather.


Conack can also pre-populate hazard identification and management recommendations in a drop-down menu to help the team preparing the SPA. The control measures can also be updated with new trends or changes in legislation much faster than emailing out new forms.


“The more options you have to steer them in a set direction, the more accurate and comprehensive the safe plan of action should be. The idea is that everyone is involved in identifying hazards and considers new hazards every day. For example, if you’re excavating a trench today and a crane is to be rigged next to your work area tomorrow, new hazards will be introduced, and additional controls may be required. We now have a way to instantly communicate those risks and required control measures across the project,” said Byrne.





The team at Conack expect to save a considerable amount of time on subcontractor document reviews. Being able to review the safety statement of subcontractors and insurances in one place as well as visibility of statutory weekly inspection forms are immediate time savers.


“We are already saving a considerable amount of time on administration tasks, however, the most rewarding aspect is doing away with a paper-based system and replacing it with one that provides information in real time. We have a better induction process, we have greater transparency over who is on site, we have all worker and subcontractor information easily accessible in the one place and above all we believe we have a safer environment.”


Conack has always prided itself on being a leader in the construction industry and by streamlining their processes while encouraging their subcontractors to do the same will keep them at the forefront.



About Conack


Began using HammerTech: April 2023


About: Conack is a building and civil engineering company founded in Limerick in 2008 by Kieran Cusack and Tom O’Connor and has grown to employ over 200 people in its 15 years. Conack works across numerous sectors from Lifesciences to Residential, Healthcare and Commercial.


Conack has grown considerably but always with an eye on delivering specialist construction solutions to both private and public sector clients. Conack is a dynamic and ambitious firm continuously setting new standards on the way to delivering cutting-edge building and infrastructure projects throughout Ireland. The company prides itself on the fact that about 70% of its business is repeat business.


Location: Limerick, Ireland with offices across Ireland


Speciality: Education, commercial, industrial, pharma/medical, healthcare, hotels, residential, civic.


At the 2023 National Irish Safety Organisation awards, Conack’s H&S team won the Consistent High Achiever Award and Higher Distinction Award. In 2022, Tom O’Connor and Kieran Cusack were named Best Established Entrepreneurs at the Irish EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards.




Some of Conack’s major projects include:


  • The Barrington Building in Cherrywood, Dublin which provides 212 apartments across four blocks

  • The Deanrock Housing Development of 66 units in Cork

  • The Advanced Manufacturing Centre in Limerick for IDA Ireland – a project which won the 2023 Commercial or Industrial up to 10 million category at the Irish Construction Excellence Awards

  • The Moxy Hotel in Sackville Place, Dublin for the Marriott hotel group

  • More than 10,219 square metres of mixed-use space at 1 Bishop’s Square in Limerick City on behalf of local developer Rudi Butle