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The Shield





POLE POSITION Scaling the heights to make a viaduct fit for the future MAJOR refurbishment works to the viaduct at Shoreham-by-Sea are well underway. The site was set up in April, and to date, access scaffolding has been completed on 45 percent of the 325-metre span. The viaduct spans the River Adur and was built in the late 19th century, and is constructed of early steel. There are a total of 16 spans, simply supported on cast iron caissons filled with concrete. Continued on page 3 >>

Don’t hang around

Wessex works


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Keep safe at home PAGE 12


First Person

The Shield This paper is produced for:

A BIG thank you for all your efforts over the last year in driving down the number of accidents and incidents we have in the southern region. With our Christmas works now approaching we want everyone to be able to go home safely and enjoy Christmas with their friends and families, so please continue to think about your safety and the safety of others working around you during this busy period. Think about how many people count on you each day to come home safely? If you add them all up you might be surprised. Imagine yourself sitting around the Christmas table in a leg cast because you fell off a ladder or tripped over something. Imagine spending Christmas in hospital because you needed to get that job done and took a shortcut. We all know the pressures to get the job done on time, to complete the task and hand back the railway but none of that is impor-

tant if you and your mates don’t get home safely. Right from the top this is important. This is what Mark Carne, CEO of Network Rail, said about safety and performance: “I know that if we focus on what it takes to do things safely, performance will follow. After all, to do a job safely, it must be well planned, be carried out by competent, motivated people, be well-led, they must use the right equipment in the right way. All the ingredients of high performance… right first time.” So let’s make sure that we get everyone home safe for Christmas and the New Year. A Christmas message from the Southern Shield Safety Leadership Team Who are the Safety Leadership Team? See page 11


Bianca Millar “THE MOST important thing I’ve learned is the benefit of using BIM (Building Information Modelling) for a variety of activities on site at Shoreham viaduct. “Before the introduction of BIM, I had a large filing system, and most of the paperwork was done in the office. Now I can complete daily diaries, quality checklists and safety or environmental inspections on site using an iPad. This saves time and also

reduces the site’s carbon footprint. “BIM is a great tool to check documents and see progress at any time from a laptop. We can also track repair steelwork from delivery to site, using barmarks, through to installation and sign-off. ITPs (Inspection and Test Plan) are all completed electronically and stored for use in our health and safety file.” Bianca Millar, Section Engineer, BAM Nuttall

STAND DOWN FOR SAFETY Written and designed by:

STAFF at BCM Construction had a chance to have their say about health and safety during a threeday series of HSE engagement workshops. The fifth annual “Watch My Back” event was held from 1 to 3 November. “Watch My Back” is BCM’s self-developed and self-delivered health, safety and environmental engagement forum. Over the three days, 189 staff saw presentations on effective communication, healthy diet, mental wellbeing, driving awareness and fatigue. “We talked about real-life accidents and incidents and used some real BCM examples where the people that were involved discussed the lessons and shared the learning,” said Ulana Fries, HSQE Administrator. “We had a presentation on preventing accidents, where site staff were encouraged to give us

suggestions on improvements that could be made.” Staff suggestions on how working environments could be made safer and accidents prevented included aligning shift patterns, more training for specialist work, more feedback on Close Call reports, more site visits and more safety forums and workshops. The workshop on the third day was orientated towards



WITH DARK nights, cold, wet and potentially even snowy weather, are you ready for working this winter? There are plenty of risks on construction sites that are increased by winter conditions. Icy or wet surfaces create slip hazards, fallen leaves or snow hide trip hazards, working in low light conditions, low temperatures and icy or wet conditions increases risks of manual handling injuries. “There are definitely some precautions that we can all take to reduce these risks,” said Matt Wright, Senior Safety, Health & Environment Advisor at Osborne. These include keeping access routes clear of material and debris, using rock salt or sand to make sure that stairs and steps are kept free of ice and snow. You can also keep the body and hands warm when working outside and provide additional safety lighting to access routes. “One of the big things that we all often struggle with in winter conditions is the maintenance of welfare units,” said Matt. “Sometime our water supplies, pipes or cess tanks can be become frozen, leading to all sorts of problems. “To help prevent this we can empty our cess tanks frequently, lag piping, add trace heating to the outside of the water pipe and if we know it’s going to be very cold – drain down external pipes and pumps to prevent freezing.” And if you do spot any hazards or anything unsafe, don’t forget to raise a Close Call. Cold weather can also make some medical conditions, such as HAVS, respiratory or circulatory conditions worse. It is so important to remember to use the correct PPE for the job. So remember to: • use thermal liners – these are essential for using vibrating equipment • use specific liners for hard hats (no beanies or hoodies) • use drying facilities to keep clothes dry before wearing them • keep your lower back covered • warm up before work – light exercises and stretching can avoid muscle injuries • drink hot drinks to keep core temperature high • use a windproof layer and build layers of clothing rather than just one thin one.

managers. With managers otherwise engaged, site staff were encouraged to take part in environmental volunteering at one of four projects - Wetlands and Wildfowl Trust at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust at ‘The Park’ in the Forest of Dean, London Wildlife Trust at ‘The Warren’ in St Mary’s Cray and Kent Wildlife Trust at Brenchley Wood in Pembury. “Around 80 staff got involved in the four projects,” said Ulana. “Our guys managed to do quite a bit over the four projects and some of the work included vegetation clearance and reinforcing fencing. It was a good opportunity to give back to the environment and do some good in the community. We got some really great feedback.”


Continued from page 1 >> “As well as repairing and strengthening the viaduct, we are removing the existing paint system and applying a new four coat paint system,” said Bianca Millar, Section Engineer, BAM Nuttall. “The track side works are being carried out with limited possessions and line blocks, and we will endeavour to have the project completed by the end of 2017.” The work is in a Site of Special Scientific Interest, so permission had to be gained before the work began from a number of authorities, including the Environment Agency, Marine Management Organisation, Natural England and West Sussex County Council. The fully-encapsulated scaffolding is not only being hung from the parapets but also the soffit of the structure and is progressively being built from both river banks. While the scaffolding is being erected over the water, a rescue crew are

on standby in case of emergency. “The security of the site and the safety of the public are paramount,” said Bianca. “We monitor who comes on site by using a access gate controlled by biometrics. Finger prints are taken after site inductions, along with next of kin details, medical history, and CSCS (Certificate Skills Certificate Scheme) authentication.” The team are advocates of raising Close Calls. Since the site opened 230 have been raised, including 60 during August – impressive as there were only 20 people working on site at the time. Bianca added: “As our team regularly submit Close Calls, we are able to plot trends and see what the most commonly raised issues are and learn lessons for the future of the site.” Shoreham is also a top scoring site, it was named a gold site in Route to Gold, a performance measurement initiative within the IP Southern supply chain.


It was lucky for one young lady that BAM Nuttall staff were on hand at Shoreham viaduct. Operative and Boatman Paul Marchant heard screams from the foreshore of the river and raised the alarm with Foreman Steve Cornish. They found that a young woman was up her waist, stuck in silt at the side of the river with the tide coming in. They decided that a rescue was safe and used their waders and crawling boards to access the woman and pull her free – leaving her boots behind. She had been harvesting samphire on the side of the river when she became stuck and was very grateful to Steve and Paul for their help.

Edmund in uniform


ARMY VETERAN Edmund Mtawali has not only returned to civilian life but a career in railway engineering too. After being medically discharged from the army after seven years of service, Edmund decided to return to his first career choice, civil engineering.

Edmund suffered a non-freezing cold injury after being exposed to severe cold, which affects extremities like fingers and toes, leaving him with long-term symptoms. “When I joined the army I had hoped to get involved civil engineering, however it didn’t quite work so I trained as a Communications Engineer which I loved doing as well,” said Edmund. “After I left, I knew that I wanted to return to civil engineering, which is when I decided to go back to study. “I needed to do a placement as part of this and I saw this one at VolkerFitzpatrick which was ideal.” Edmund found his placement through Hire a Hero, an organisation that helps soldiers who are going back to civilian life and careers. As well as studying part time, Edmund has been working at the Hackney Wick site as a Trainee Engineer since August and hopes to continue. He is doing site inductions, track monitoring twice a day and site set up for piling as well as other duties. “I have been getting really involved in a lot of different things on site, which has been great,” said Edmund. “It has been a really great experience for me here at VolkerFitzpatrick and I am hoping to continue with the company.”

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Site of the works

DUMMY RUN This dummy’s not hanging around – it’s helping colleagues learn how to save lives

EVERY three months, staff at Stewarts Lane depot take part in emergency drill training – practising what to do should the worst happen. Using a dummy, the emergency drill replicates what were to happen if a person fell from the scaffold. The 70kg dummy, wearing a harness and restraint, typically worn by the scaffolding operatives, is pushed off the five-metre crash deck. This is when staff spring into action. Using a well-defined procedure, a rescue system is immediately set-up and a retrieval reel is used to safely lower the dummy to the floor. The drills take place in realistic conditions in the area where the day-to-day works take place. “We are on site here for 18 months, so it is important for us to repeat this type of training every three months to refresh our staff and account for new people joining or returning to the project,” said Nick Moss, Agent, BAM Nuttall. The training also gives all of those working at Stewarts Lane an opportunity to hold a ‘Time Out Take Five’ stand down to discuss any safety issues or listen to any concerns or suggestions staff may have. The ongoing roof renewal work means scaffolding is being erected constantly to gain access to the roof area. BAM Nuttall is working with the contractor Hadley Scaffolding. “The subcontracted staff on site have taken the training on board and learnt from it,” said Nick. “They all said that they feel more trustful of their working environment – should anything happen to them at work. “Fortunately, we haven’t had any real-life incidents like this, but if we did, it’s good to know that Hadley’s staff are well practiced and as prepared as they can be for the situation.”


FOUR BRIDGES A BIG part of the continuing steel works to four bridges along the TAH2 line is working with other operators and, of course, the general public. “The steel strengthening works we are doing to the four bridges on the Tottenham Hale line is part of an 11mile blockade for an electrification project,” said Darren Williams, Project Manager, VolkerFitzpatrick. “We thought it would cause less disruption for everyone if all the work was done at the same time. “We have weekly meetings with the other contractors on site to make sure we are all on the same page and maintaining the same standards. We have also liaised with the public in advance and organised a meeting with local people to keep them involved and informed. The steel strengthening works to the four bridges and tracks includes repair work to bring the bridges to the right criteria. The project is due to be completed in January 2017. “A major risk that we identified was that with the rivet busting we are doing, there is potential for bits of metal to hit our staff and members of the public,” added Darren. “So we have been very clear about the exclusion zones that have been set. “HAVS is also a major hazard for us, as everything we are doing on site uses vibrating equipment. We are trialling a wrist band that records the movement from the tools into the hands – which can help prevent any incidents. “As with all of our sites, we actively encourage our staff on site to raise a Close Call if they see anything to prevent any dangerous incidents occurring. It 100 per cent helps us on site.”


TOO CLOSE TO CALL Raising a Close Call is a common and accepted thing to do on sites across the southern region – by doing so you could be helping stop an incident from happening BUT WHAT IS A CLOSE CALL?

THE definition of a Close Call is an event that has the potential to cause injury or damage. In other words, something where no-one was hurt and nothing was damaged on this occasion, but next time the outcome could be different. It is important to remember that if an incident or accident occurs, an accident report needs to be completed. Accidents should not be reported as a Close Call. Staff are continuing to raise Close Calls and different types happen frequently. Here we look at the most recent top five in terms of severity…


Failing to secure sites could lead to members of the public, mainly children and young people, entering sites without permission and be at risk of coming to harm. This is particularly crucial during the festive period and long, dark winter nights. And a Close Call? A sub-contractor raised a Close Call after seeing the code for a combination lock written on the corner of public-facing sign, next to the door and the lock. This door led to the worksite and the welfare compound – meaning that a member of the public could have got onto the site.



And a Close Call? Just one of the Close Calls raised was when an operative climbed onto a Mobile Elevated Works Platform (MEWP) without a safety harness, putting himself and others in danger.

And a Close Call? While a lorry was being loaded with heavy wooden sleepers on a site, someone noticed there was no exclusion zone, banksman or lockout on the opposite side of the lorry, so a Close Call was raised.

As well as staff not using a fall arrest harness when working at height, drivers unloading from the back of lorries, which also counts as working at height, without a safe system of work in place could also be at risk. Working at height is the biggest cause of employee fatalities.

Always use a safety harness when working at height, unless other protection is in place


Exclusion zones are set up to prevent harm coming to people or property. In some instances, staff have ignored barriers and entered exclusion zones, which have been set up for safety, or entered zones that are set up around plant.


Plant reversing without a banksman could cause harm to people and property nearby. When signing a delivery docket, a stores keeper was leaning through a vehicle door and was thrown to the ground when the driver moved forward to allow for a fork lift truck. And a Close Call? A staff member raised a Close Call when they saw a piece of machinery being moved with no banksman to make sure the movement was happening safely.

Never enter the agreed exclusion zone unless directed to by the person in charge

AS HACKNEY Wick is the scene of a major development programme – it’s only natural that the station should be regenerated too. “We are constructing a new underpass to provide a new passenger access to enable future development proposals, partially demolishing and upgrading the existing station, including installing new lifts, new station buildings, new access points and making the station accessible for all,” said Matt Wilson, Project Manager of VolkerFitzpatrick. “We are building the underpass off to the side of the station and we will transport the underpass as part of a cut and cover construction in a 96-hour blockade due to start over Easter weekend 2017.”

The project started in August and due to finish in January 2018. “It is an unusual project as it is all part of a wider regeneration of the area so we have to plan very methodically,”said Matt. “It is also a very busy and congested area – a huge focus of the scheme revolves around the logistics of delivery. “There is a lack of space, so it is important that we plan carefully to ensure the safety of everyone on site.” Due to the tightness of space, one of the most important safety risks on site is the interface between people and plant. To ensure that staff are aware of their surroundings and segregated from the plant, the site is using MyZone technology, which alerts the wearer if they are getting too



Should lifting equipment fail, there needs to be additional measures in place. On one site the hook fell off a piece of plant used to pick up a stillage of steel. And a Close Call? A Close Call was raised when one operative saw another walking under a load being lifted, which meant that should that piece of equipment fail, the operative could have been seriously injured. close to a piece of plant. “The demolition work is always risky as we never know quite what we will be facing,” added Matt.“We are making sure that we are fully aware of the existing infrastructure before we even go in and are currently doing a number of intrusive surveys to minimise the risk.” To combat these risks, staff on site are encouraged to raise Close Calls – currently running for one at every 150 man hours. “We actively engage with our ground level staff as they are the ones driving Close Calls,” said Matt. “They are guys that live it and see what is happening on a day-to-day basis, it’s far more important for the Close Calls to come from them.”



THE ONLY WAY IS WE Wessex Capacity Alliance is on track to complete the major upgrade to London Waterloo station by 2019

Never enter the agreed exclusion zone un



THE WATERLOO International Terminal is being brought back into use, with platform modifications and interventions to the outlying stations and rail systems. Wessex Capacity Alliance is providing full design and construction. The Wessex Route is part of the South Western Rail Network, connecting Waterloo to the South Coast and providing connections for millions of customers. Waterloo is the busiest station in the UK. An Alliance of AECOM, Colas Rail, Mott MacDonald, Network Rail and Skanska brings together international expertise to deliver, in an innovative, sustainable and collaborative way, an enhanced railway. It will increase capacity by 30 per cent and protect the network for the future providing a vital service to millions of people. As well as bringing platforms 20 to 24 (the former Waterloo International Terminal) back into service, the Alliance is also extending platforms 1 to 4 and modifying platforms 5 to 8 to accommodate 10 car trains. “This will increase the overall capacity of Waterloo to 10 cars and 18 trains per hour during peak periods by 2019,” said Derek Van Rensburg, Lead Delivery. “We will be installing mid-platform stairs on platforms 1, 2, 3 and 4 that connect to the peak hour subway to ease congestion for people trying to get to the Underground.” And it doesn’t end there. The Alliance is also installing a new lift and staircase at Vauxhall station and upgrades to the track and signalling around Queenstown Road. “The sheer scope of these works mean that the reputation of Wessex Capacity Alliance is incredibly important,” said Derek. “A lot of amazing work has been completed already and it is a dynamic and exciting way of working.” One of the biggest safety hazards are the redundant elements left after the former Waterloo International Terminal was taken out of use. “There are a lot of unmarked services and cables – some of which are live, so we have to be extraordinarily careful,” added Derek. “And because of the confined and enclosed environment we are working in, we have to be aware of safe work zones and the effect one task may have on another – just because it is safe for one person, doesn’t mean it’s safe for another.” Although the public is segregated from the work, when the station is open, spotters are positioned on the balcony to ensure that no smoke, smell or dust is coming into the station to disrupt the general public. Any noisy or intrusive works take

nless directed to by the person in charge

place after the station has closed for the night. The Alliance is constantly striving to improve safety culture from the supply chain directors to the operatives on site. This is done with project leads and directors at a monthly forum where knowledge sharing and best practice is encouraged. The workforce are also empowered to talk freely about safety and concerns on site at a weekly meeting, The Voice, which is run by operatives on site with no management present, to encourage honest and open feedback. “We actively encourage our staff to raise Close Calls and report all incidents no matter how small, it is all part of our culture,” said Derek. “It is not just about our staff raising them though, it is important that we are able to provide feedback and to let them know what we are doing to act on items raised, and make improvements.”

Seven projects make up the renewals work: 1. Former Waterloo International Terminal – platforms 20 to 24 2. Suburban 10-car upgrades at Waterloo – platforms 1 to 8 3. Railway systems 4. Queenstown Road project 5. Vauxhall station project 6. Upgrading the power 7. Waterloo congestion relief

Some upcoming milestones: • February 2017 – commission Queenstown Road • 5 August 2017 – open platforms 20 to 24 at Waterloo for temporary use • 5 August to 29 August 2017 – blockade of Platforms 1 to 8 at Waterloo for platform works • December 2017 – open Platforms 1 to 8 with increased capacity for 10 car trains • December 2018 – reopen the former Waterloo International Terminal as part of Waterloo • December 2018 – Complete and commission Vauxhall station works



If you need someone to speak to, then there is help out there. Contact your employee assistance programme, your GP, Samaritans on, or the mental health charity Mind at


‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY… OR IS IT? A message from Matt Kent, Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead Southern Shield “So, according to the TV, the most wonderful time of year is fast approaching and it’s time to get with the family, spend plenty of ‘dough’, and pull out all the stops! “Absolutely! In some cases… but certainly not all. Circumstances vary, seasonal changes affect people’s moods, emotional fatigue sets in, a peculiar pressure may arise as a new year approaches and a ‘better you’ MUST appear ready to face it! “Be smart, be kind – to yourself and others. It’s quite a journey and there’s a lot for the mind to take in and process and there’s a lot of change going on around. No harm at all in taking time out to make sure you’re not driving your mind while ‘over the limit'. Oh, and the “getting with the family” bit isn’t a given for everybody…”

A NUMBER of Costain staff went on a two-day training course to become Mental Health First Aiders. They will be able to assist those who are experiencing mental or emotional difficulties. We speak to four frontline staff who have completed the training…

CHRIS ROCHFORD, SITE MANAGER “I was offered the training and I thought it was important that I take it up – as a society, we realise there is a lot more to mental health and how it affects home and work lives. “Even though we are not trained practitioners, we recognise the symptoms, talk to staff and let them know where they can go for help. “The stigma around mental health needs to be removed and I admit before this course I didn’t take it as seriously as I should of. I have since seen how it can affect people. “I thought the stress bucket was great. If there is something that you are struggling with then you put it in your bucket and when the bucket is getting full, you know you need to do something about it.”


PAUL BACIU, SECTION FOREMAN “I took part in the training and I think that it is so worthwhile. It helped me to understand people and how to notice changes in colleagues, something like a change in temper. “I wanted to be one of the first to get involved, I was touched by how much you can help someone. My wife has anxiety, and the training has really opened my eyes to the condition. “I think that this is helping to change the culture – your behaviour becomes more understanding and you try to help people on site. “People can be afraid to speak about their mental health and I think that if we are able to help and support them, they can have confidence to speak about it on the workplace.”

DESPITE significant bank slips, work is underway to stabilise the Wrecclesham embankment. The embankment is on the Farnham to Alton line and issues were first reported in April. “The track movement was caused by a bank slip,” said Phil Mellish, Senior Construction Manager. “Despite significant packing being done, the line had to be closed.” Emergency repair work included a series of sheet and anchor piles being installed alongside extensive construction work. The track was switched to the old adjacent running bed and a speed limit of 20 miles per hour was put in place. The embankment itself slopes down to the River Wye floodplain – 14 metres below track level and at angles of

JOHN KENNY, WORKS MANAGER “The course was presented so well – it has made me looks at things from a totally different perspective. I can help to look out for the mental wellbeing of both my peers and workmates. “It is about making the time to see if they need to talk, even if you are busy. It has made a real difference in the way I work. The training has allowed me stop and take a look at the guys I work with, offering advice where required, but mostly just being prepared to listen. “I am a father of three children, with a large extended family and do feel a lot better equipped to deal with issues following my two days education. “It is one of the best training courses I have ever been on, I would really recommend it.”

40 degrees. The slip itself was caused by groundwater flow after periods of heavy rainfall. Although repair work was completed, a permanent solution was required. Staff on site have been removing and replacing all of the slipped debris with granular fill material to reform the slope. Counterforts will be installed to either side to aid drainage. Gabion baskets, used to stabilise earth movement or erosion, will also be put in along the edge of the embankment as well as a filter drainage system. “There are many risks on the site including heavy plant for removing and replacing the slipped material and the presence of overhead cables, all of which has been managed in a professional and extremely competent manner,” said Phil. “First indications from visitors are that the site is focused, well organised and demonstrating the true meaning of collaboration.”

90 people didRAIL not getLIVES– home -safe last11year winter driving page page 8

DARCY COE, SUPERVISOR “I was asked if I would like to take part in the course and I thought that it would be a good opportunity to learn something new and try to understand the different types of mental health issues, from problems at home, that can affect concentration, to anxiety. “We learned so much on the course, it was so involved and, for me, it was all about how you would react and help an individual – about what you should say, or often – more importantly – what you shouldn’t say. “I’m not a doctor, but I will be able to deal with possible issues a bit better than someone who hasn’t had the training. At work, I’m much more aware of people’s personalities and able to pick up on things when talking to them.”



YES, WE CAN-OPY Know what a porte cochere is? Neither did The Shield until a trip to Victoria station PROJECT BRIEF WHEN IS a roof not a roof? When it’s a porte cochère – and there’s a newly refurbished one at London Victoria station. In fact, a porte cochère is another name for a canopy, specifically one that was originally used for carriages. The one at Victoria dates back to the early 1900s and is a Grade II listed structure – now in the process of being refurbished. It’s a complicated operation; staff are working via a complex scaffold system in one of the busiest train stations in Britain,

where the public still has complete access. “Attempts to refurbish the structure have been ongoing for many years,” said BC Kumar, Agent, BAM Nuttall. “The site can be challenging as the location is so safety critical. Around 200,000 people pass through every day and it is open 24 hours a day. Part of our careful, detailed design was to ensure we didn’t obstruct anyone or their business. “We are jet washing and painting the entire structure, doing timber and steel works as well as putting in modern lighting, re-leading the roof and putting in pigeon netting.”

Working from height is one of the most important safety aspects of the job. The scaffold, 250 tonnes of it, took 147 night shifts to erect. There are members of the public accessing the station at all times as the Gatwick Express is operating 24/7, exclusion zones are an important part of the project to protect the public and staff from overhead works. The attention to safety and the dedication of staff on site has meant that since the Victoria site opened for business in January 2016 there have no incidents at all.

SHAUN KNIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PAINTER “We have been washing off all the old leadbased paint, getting as much of it off as possible. We then wash it again with a garnet wash to get all the layers off as well as any rust. We have to ensure that the water does not go through the deck over the public areas creating a slippery surface. “We then give it three coats of paint – which takes about three weeks. “As passengers are still using the station, people see our staff and come over to ask for directions. We are all conscious that our work doesn’t interfere with members of the public. “I have put in a few Close Calls that I have seen when working, it makes a real difference. You can even do it anonymously if you wish.”

LUKE LAWRENCE, INDUSTRIAL PAINTER “I have never really worked on anything like this before, it is unusual – particularly as it is a Grade II listed structure. The restoration and refurbishment work is being done in the original colours. “As we are working with lead-based paint that we are washing off, we have to wear masks and have a blood test every six to eight weeks to make sure we don’t have high levels of lead in our systems. “We are all encouraged to raise a Close Call if we see anything on site – even if it seems silly, they are quick to action it if something seems wrong. If it prevents incidents from happening, then it can only be a good thing.”

TONY RUSSELL, WORKS MANAGER “We have built relationships with the station management team and local businesses. This was one of the most important things – we could have had programme delays if it was not for this one goal/vision approach. “As well as representatives from London Underground and Network Rail, we also welcomed managers from the nearby Grosvenor Hotel to site, so they can understand what we are doing on the project and why. We know just how important it is to have everyone who could be affected by our works gain a better understanding of our project demands. “Thanks to building a strong working relationship with the station manager, we are able to start our night shifts earlier, as he is aware that we can manage the flow of and interact with commuters and visitors working safely and ensure a safe passage for all people.”

MATT SMITH, SITE ENGINEER “Part of my job includes supervising the work going on, safety inspections and monitoring Close Calls. “We have observation card boxes, so anyone who sees anything can tell us and report it as a Close Call. It is important that we don’t hide anything and encourage people to tell us if they see anything that is a potential risk. “We have been able to identify the areas that came up the most, plot trends of Close Calls and identify what we can do to rectify them. We can also address issues before they happen, ensuring that we don’t become complacent and that we learn for future projects.”


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STEP OUT A NEWLY-OPERATIONAL substation was certainly a site with a bit of a difference for safety-conscious staff working on the project. The site, called Tunnel, between Strood and Higham, used to be a canal and is situated 200 steps below ground level. This was a collaborative project with BAM Nuttall undertaking the civil engineering and crane lifts on behalf of Siemens. “There was a TP hut and it needed to be converted to a substation, with a high voltage switchboard and transformer rectifier, to inject power into the network,” said John Archer, Senior Project Manager, Siemens. To optimise project timescales, the high voltage switchgear and rectifier stainless steel modules, were constructed and pre-wired off site, ready to be lifted into place along with the transformers and other materials. “This minimised the work that was needed to be done

ELECTRICITY and railways often go hand in hand and most staff throughout the southern region work with it. Most of the railway is electrified – from third rail electrification in Wessex, Sussex and Kent to overhead line electrification in Anglia. “The trouble with electrical equipment is that we can become a bit complacent around it,” said Shane O’Halloran, Managing Director, BCM Construction. “It does take a combination of circumstances for the conductor rail to bite. The current has to be able to find a return path to an earth through a conductor, otherwise nothing really happens. But that conductor could be you!” There is lots of other conductive equipment and material on the railways, including DC cables, which carry the same current and voltage as a conductor rail. It does have a protective sheath, but they are often eroded or weathered away, or scrap rail or materials have dropped on them. There have been a couple of serious incidents at Point Pleasant substation and Victoria substation, where the sheaths of the DC cables were penetrated by stud work designed to contain the cables – making the stud work live. Electrical hazards are a consistent theme among of Close Calls.

“We have seen many Close Calls emanate from poor knowledge or working within one metre of HV cables,” said Shane. “These Close Calls are not only being raised by electrification and plant (E&P) suppliers but also by the larger Tier 1 multi-functional contractors.” WHAT HAVE WE DONE ABOUT IT? A special briefing on electrical hazard awareness has been produced, aimed at improving awareness and knowledge around some of the more common electrical hazards. The briefing has been produced by the electrical hazard working group and covers areas that you would see on a DC conductor rail course as well as things like working with DC cables, HV cables and substations. It is currently being trialled throughout the southern region and it is also hoped that the content of the briefing will be incorporated into the PTS DCCR training. “Feedback is really important and we want to further improve the briefing using feedback on the course,” added Shane. “This is a clear example of your Close Call reporting feeding into our safety improvement initiatives. Electricity is a killer – we want to improve training and awareness so that we help everyone get home safe every day.”

on site and made it safer for our staff,” said John.“The equipment is also of better quality and more consistent. All the equipment is tested before it is lifted into place and final connections made.” Over a number of days, a 750 tonne crane was used to lift the modules in place – the heaviest being 13 tonnes. “Due to the nature of the site, there was a risk of the crane falling, so we had to do a lot of work prior to it arriving to make sure the ground was stabilised,” added John. “Although, there were delays due to a fault with the lifting equipment, we managed the breakdown and recovered the time lost. Everyone worked together to make sure it all happened. “There was always going to be challenges with this site, particularly with the 200 steps that staff had to negotiate to get to and from the site – making it more time consuming. But we were able to mitigate delays and work slightly different to get everything done.”

90 people didRAIL notapplying getLIVES– home safepage last year Always test before earths 8 or straps

The cause of the accident at Point Pleasant


THE COMMITMENTS THE SLT (Safety Leadership Team) across the southern region have made safety commitments to their staff and their teams. These are: John Cox – VolkerFitzpatrick “…to act as one to build a safer future for our organisation.”

Simon Morgan – Network Rail “…implement action plans to promote behaviours that reinforce great safety performance.”

Alan Cox – BAM Nuttall “…to encourage everyone to be fit, healthy, safe and get the most from life.”

Steve Walters – Network Rail “…to treat everyone’s safety as paramount and never to turn a blind eye.”

KEEPING SAFE ON THE ROADS THROUGHOUT the winter, traffic accidents increase by a third during the hours of 3pm and 6pm – so the question is, is your travel essential? If it is, then it is crucial that you plan your journey before you set out. Leave yourself extra time to reach your destination and keep an eye on weather forecasts and travel reports. If visibility is a problem, then delay or postpone your trip and if you are tired or planning to have a drink, leave the car at home. “It is so important that the vehicle is fit to drive in adverse weather conditions,” said James Owen, Construction Manager. “Ask yourself if you need to drive or if your journey can be postponed. Always prepare for the

worst and keep dry clothes, food and water in the car just in case.” By giving your vehicle the once-over, you can help to prevent accidents from happening. Check your windows are clear before moving, ensure that your wipers work and the blades are undamaged. Also, check fluid levels in the heating and cooling system and ensure that the radiator has plenty of antifreeze. Remember to keep your fuel tank topped up, especially if you are planning a long journey. And it’s not just the inside of your car. Ensure that your tyres are safe before every journey and check them weekly. Make sure that the tread depth is at least three millimetres, that there are no major cuts or damage and that they are well inflated.

Always obey the speed limit and wear a seat belt

Never work or drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Last, but definitely not least, when driving keep safe in severe weather and keep your distance from other drivers.

Remember to: • brake smoothly • do not underestimate how long it takes you to stop • leave two seconds between yourself and the car in front, leave even more time in bad weather • slow down in plenty of time for bends and corners • ensure you have 100 per cent visibility from all windows • whatever the weather, always drive within the speed limit.

Andy Duffin – Network Rail “…to be a role model and start conversations that lead to a stepchange in safety.”

Shane O’Halloran – BCM Construction “…to drive through tangible, physical improvements to the working environment.” Janice Crawford – Network Rail “…a role model leader, demonstrating and setting expectations for safe behaviour.”

Julian Dunn – Costain “…to win hearts and minds as we drive to deliver our shared safety vision.”

Jonathan Walley – McNicholas “…to prevent all Lost Time Injuries on projects under my leadership.”

John Dowsett – Osborne “…to inspire and engage others and to create a legacy of exemplary safety performance.”

Shaun Cooper – Siemens “…to achieve Zero Harm through leadership, cultural behaviours and positive actions.”

Peter Walsh – Murphy “…to review what I can do today to make never harm a reality.”


Any stories? Email

Never use a hand-held or hands-free phone, or programme any other mobile device, while driving




SHIELD ONLINE THE Southern Shield website contains a wealth of information to keep you up to date and get you home safe every day. As well as the latest safety bulletins, Toolbox Talks and details of upcoming events, you’ll find an online version of The Shield newspaper. Visit and see for yourself.

Neil’s injuries

“ THERE WAS SO MUCH BLOOD” Neil Jones reminds everyone that it’s not just at work where you need to be safety conscious WHEN Neil Jones started work on repairing his garage roof last year, he had no idea that the project would end in such a bloody fashion. “I needed to make some wooden wedges to do the work,” said Skanska Survey Manager Neil. “I was using a table saw, which I had for 14 years, to make them, passing them through with a push stick.” After more than a day of making the wedges, disaster struck. “The blade caught the wood and because of the pressure the push stick snapped and my hand went beneath the guard and onto the blade,” said Neil. “As it became caught between the blade, fence and guard, I had to drag it out as well back over the blade. “I thought that it stung a bit and I looked down and saw the blood flowing – there was so much of it I couldn’t even see my finger.” In fact, Neil had done significant damage to his hand, not only tearing the flesh from his finger but crushing it as well. He had also badly cut his thumb, shaving the top off. “My mobile was in my back left pocket and I just couldn’t reach it because of the damage to my left hand,” he added.“No-one was home, so I had to run through the house and down the street to my mother-in-law’s house, where my family were, holding my hand above my heart to stem the flow of blood as I had learned in my first aid training. “All my family were panicking and my daughter was crying, so I had to take charge because of the training I had. They called an ambulance and once I heard the sirens, I could relax – but then the shock kicked in.”

Neil was first taken to the local hospital, where he was given painkillers and bandaged up, before being transferred to a specialist unit at Swansea Hospital for surgery. “I had an operation the next day because I had lost the tendons and arteries in my finger,” he said. “They took tendons from my forearm to repair it.” Although, Neil returned home after three days and was back at work after two weeks, the ramifications from his accident are still being felt. He had physiotherapy for eight months and faced a second operation when the tendons healed too quickly and the scar tissue stopped his finger from moving properly. “I still can’t use my finger and thumb properly, but I am adapting,” said Neil.“Although the effect that my injury has had on my family has affected me more than the physicality of it. “I have worked for Skanska for 27 years and After the never had an accident at work, but at home, the second tendency is to perform tasks in a way you never operation would in a work environment, there are so many things that I could have done to minimise the risk to myself. “I am so lucky that I am in a position where I mainly work in an office, if I worked out on site, if would have had a huge impact on my working life. If I needed dexterity in my hand, it would have been a game changer as it would have been far too painful. “Whether you are at work or home, when it comes to safety, remain vigilant at all times and never get complacent.”


Steve Cornish, Foreman at BAM Nuttall THE SHIELD: Explain safety in 10 words. STEVE CORNISH: To carry out a task in a safe, controlled manner. TS: What unsafe act would you banish forever? SC: Although impractical, I would banish all night shift working at weekends due to ongoing fatigue, particularly when our lads have worked days in the week. Although this is being addressed, I feel that fatigue incidents are becoming more frequent and night shift working is a major contributing factor. TS: What is the best safety motto you have heard? SC: Don’t Walk By – the statement speaks for itself. If we see an unsafe act or condition, we don’t walk by we stop or rectify it or raise a Close Call and prevent someone from having an accident. TS: What company stands out for you for safety? SC: BAM Nuttall – the safety culture is among the best in the world. We see ourselves as leaders, not followers. We’re not perfect by any means but we do strive to meet our Beyond Zero goal.

60 SECONDS Adam Szeremeta, Site Manager at Osborne THE SHIELD: Explain safety in 10 words. ADAM SZEREMETA: If it doesn’t feel right, then it isn’t right – stop! TS: What unsafe act would you banish forever? AS: Breaking the ground with zero knowledge, drawings, plans or information. TS: What is the best safety motto you have heard? AS: Safety rules are your best tools. TS: What company stands out for you for safety? AS: Rolls Royce – their commitment to safety is outstanding and the robust health and safety governance framework that helps them to monitor and make direct improvements in management and performance.

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