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Webinar replay: The potential of compliance automation technology to improve safety in construction


Over the past 15 years a category of software applications have emerged, which use artificial intelligence, computer vision and other technologies to automate compliance procedures in complex organisations.

These technologies provide organisations with workflow capabilities related to compliance, such as self-assessments, control analyses, corrective action planning and controls testing. By automating these processes, compliance automation has been shown to replace the need for manual checks and reduce errors.

At Safetytech Accelerator we’re keen to explore how technologies across business sectors can be transferred or repurposed to improve safety and reduce risk in safety-critical industries, for instance a collaboration with HSE and Costain in the construction sector. 

We brought together speakers from the industrial construction sector, the UK health and safety regulator and compliance automation firm Audit Comply, to discuss how technology can help automate compliance in construction to improve safety.

We discussed:

  • Challenges, barriers and benefits to using automated compliance in construction
  • What automated compliance on construction sites looks like at present
  • The ‘compliance-tech’ market and how tech can automate compliance
  • A real project where we explored what this looks like in real life

Moderated by Maurizio Pilu, MD at Safetytech Accelerator, with speakers:

  • Richard Roff, Group Process Safety Director, Costain
  • Lawrence Webb, Group SHE Strategy Director, Costain
  • Steven Naylor, Senior Scientist in HSE’s Science and Research Centre and a technical lead on the Discovering Safety Research Programme
  • Kevin Donaghy, CEO at Audit Comply

Watch the video here:

See the case study here.


Richard Roff, Group Process Safety Director, Costain 

Richard is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and Member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers working as Costain’s Group Process Safety Director. Based in the Northeast of England, he advises the group and its clients on the strategic implementation of process safety management across all sectors and service lines but with particular focus on contracts with catastrophic incident potential. He leads for the group on incident investigation and is also involved in auditing, defining company guidance and education in process safety and leadership.

Richard became a Chartered Mechanical Engineer having graduated from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and trained with ICI; he is also a Professional Process Safety Engineer. He joined Costain in 2013 having worked before then in the petrochemicals, chemicals and steel industries for business of ICI, DuPont, Croda and Tata Steel. In these, Richard held roles in asset integrity, maintenance management, projects management, process safety and organisational consultancy and was also involved in business strategy, business purchases and new business integration. His work has taken him to many countries in Europe, South and South East Asia and to the US.

Lawrence Webb, Group SHE Strategy Director, Costain

Lawrence has almost 30 years of experience in health, safety, and environmental management. A Chartered Fellow and President of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), he utilises an engaging and practical approach to HSE implementation with experience from a wide range of industries, specialising in construction, He currently sits on a number of best practice working groups, including the IOSH Construction Group.

He is currently the Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Strategy Director for the Costain Group, the sustainable infrastructure solutions provider. In this role, Lawrence is also a wellbeing advocate and champion for both Costain and Business in The Community.

Steven Naylor, Senior Scientist in HSE’s Science and Research Centre and a technical lead on the Discovering Safety Research Programme

Steven is a Senior Scientist in HSE’s Science Division, working within its Data Analytics team, and a technical lead on its Discovering Safety Research Programme. He’s part of a diverse team of scientists who collectively deliver projects for HSE, other government departments and for industry, using capabilities in data analytics, information systems, statistical modelling, epidemiology and quantitative risk assessment.

Steven’s current research interests are in the application of data analytic techniques, including data mining, text mining and natural language processing, and predictive analytics, to generate intelligence from routine health and safety datasets, to support better organisational health and safety decision-making. Much of his work is centred around how organisations can collect the right sort of health and safety risk intelligence and use it effectively to enable more proactive and preventative health and safety to be practiced.

Kevin Donaghy, CEO at Audit Comply

Kevin has led teams and companies from the earliest stages of development through commercialization and hyper-growth phases. He started his career with WPDS in San Diego as a software engineer focused on Equipment Configuration Management systems for air forces across the globe. He quickly progressed to run multiple teams for Spirent Communications both in Ireland and the US. Kevin then founded Swan Labs which specialized in WAN optimization and was acquired by F5 Networks in 2005. In 2007, he founded Replify which focused on mobility optimization and virtualization. Through his own consultancy, Kevin has worked for web security firm Blue Coat Systems on mobile optimization strategy and on multiple projects from mobility, security and virtualization to online GRC platforms. Kevin holds a PhD in Computational Fluid Dynamics from Queen’s University Belfast.

Dr. Maurizio Pilu, Managing Director, Safetytech Accelerator

Dr. Maurizio Pilu is a digital technologist and technology and innovation executive with 30 years experience. After gaining a PhD in Artificial Intelligence at Edinburgh University he joined Hewlett Packard Laboratories in Bristol and Paolo Alto, CA, where he invented, published and commercialized a variety of cutting edge imaging technologies. After an Executive MBA, he moved on to early stage venture capital where he was in charge of deep-tech investments. After being involved in high profile projects at InnovateUK, the UK’s Innovation Agency, and the UK’s frist-ever national digital innovation centre, Digital Catapult, he moved on to Lloyd’s Register as VP of Digital Innovation with the brief to create and run its first ever digital innovation practice and contributing to transforming the business. As part of that he created Safety Accelerator. Maurizio has 50 patents, 35 academic publications, secured over $100m of investments for programmes and ventures and his work has featured in the FT, Guardian, BBC.