The Shield December 2021

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The Shield

THE SAFETY NEWSPAPER FOR RAIL PEOPLE

HIGH EXP ECTAT FOR LIFTIN IONS OPERATIO G NS

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ISSUE 35, DECEMBER 2021

THE CHIPS ARE DOWN Staying sure-footed is all important when it comes to winter work on a slippery slope

COLDER, wetter, darker days bring additional risk to railway work. That means teams across the region are deploying a range of measures to keep sites bright, warm, dry and free from the hazards that come with winter weather. At Wadhurst in East Sussex, where the team are helping stabilise a steep cutting, that means taking extra care to ensure safety standards don’t slide. Read the full story on pages 4 and 5.

Roof rehearsal

Reduce, reuse, recycle

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southernshield.co.uk

Trip advisor PAGE 6 AND 7


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THE SHIELD ISSUE 35, DECEMBER 2021

First Person

Our success in keeping the region’s trains and passengers on the move is directly linked to the way we behave, both with each other and with our customers, including lineside neighbours.

That means making sure we treat people with kindness, respect, empathy and support. It’s what makes for a safe working environment and one where the public appreciates and values the work we do. You may have seen the seven steps to being a good neighbour described with the acronym ‘respect’ (see the explanation on page 3). It’s a great way to promote the basics of good behaviour – especially as we head into the festive season. Of course, the winter weather brings its own hazards, so extra care is required to ensure everyone goes home safe every day. You can read how one team is making sure they are prepared on pages 4 and 5.

NOT WORTH THE RISK

It’s also important to look after your own wellbeing over Christmas – especially with so much vital work taking place over the holiday period. Being fit for work is one of the Lifesaving Rules for a reason – working while fatigued, distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol puts you, your team and the public at risk. And with Covid-19 still a presence as we head in to 2022 remember to stick to the guidance and if you see anything that doesn’t look right – stop, challenge and Feel Safe to Ask. On that note I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a safe New Year!

WHILE the party season may be approaching, it’s important to remember the effect alcohol, and drugs have on safety – and the consequences of being found unfit to work. Drugs and alcohol are known to affect concentration and physical coordination which can lead to highly dangerous and unsafe behaviour – putting, yourself, your teammates or the public at risk. That’s why Network Rail has a zerotolerance approach to anyone attending work whilst under the influence. And the limits set by the Rail Industry are even stricter than the government limits for driving. Therefore, you may be under the limit outside of work, but not when in the workplace. As a consequence of failing a drug or alcohol test, you could be subject to disciplinary procedure, have your PTS certificate revoked for five years and have your Sentinel card cancelled. So while it’s good to relax, unwind and enjoy the festive season – always follow the Lifesaving Rules, never work or drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Antonia Buckland, route delivery director – Kent, Network Rail

The Shield This paper is produced for:

THE HEIGHT OF GOOD PREP A SCALED-DOWN replica of a scaffold due to be used on a future project is helping rail workers get a heads up on safety. Osborne is scheduled to be working on the roof of Waterloo station, which will involve building a significant scaffold structure over the concourse. In order to prepare for the work, Osborne liaised with scaffold supplier Alltask to build a replica of the scaffold in an area within one of their highway projects in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire. The replica scaffold enables its team to have a good look at the structure and understand exactly what risks and technical challenges

they will encounter well before work begins for real. “This is a good example of working with suppliers to prevent accidents during construction work,” said project manager Nick Freeman. “Having a real scaffold set up enabled key safety colleagues to visualise the structure, and to understand some of the challenges in a way that can be achieved so easily on paper. As well as making it safer it will also save time when it comes to building the real structure.” The work at Waterloo station, which will see the Georgian wired glazing replaced, is expected to begin in the autumn of 2022.

Safer by design There is a direct relationship between the number of Close Calls raised and the number of accidents that happen on our projects which should also translate to the development and design stages. Southern Shield’s Design Close Call guidance document has been updated. You can find out more information along with a Design Close Call poster at www.southernshield.co.uk

Written and designed by:

beetroot.co.uk

towards is 2 April 2022. NSCDs replace the need to apply straps. They are controlled from a place of safety, off the track infrastructure, eliminating the need to approach the track to complete short circuit protection. The roll out of NSCDs supports the Track Workers Safety Programme. To support the go-live, free NSCD

Tier two and three supply chain and agency staff can call the 24-hour freephone number: 0800 3584569 or go online at Validium.com Username: southernshield Password: homesafe Network Rail staff can contact PAM Assist on 08081 964 505, by email at counsellingteam@pamassist.co.uk or via webchat at PAM-assist.co.uk (access code NWR1).

METAL GURUS

NSCD GETS DATE FOR MANDATE A PLANNED go-live date of 8 January 2022 has been set for mandated operation of NSCDs on the Sussex and Wessex routes. The mandate will apply in Works Delivery sites in areas where the equipment is available. For the rest of Capital Delivery where the equipment is available the go-live date being worked

IT’S GOOD TO TALK The Southern Shield Employee Assistance Programme is a confidential care service available free to everybody who works in the Southern region.

refresher sessions will be on offer for staff and supply chain partners. The sessions will involve demonstrations on replica NSCD panels, talking through the escalation process for any issues and the opportunity for colleagues to ask questions. Look out for more information or contact shield@networkrail.co.uk.

SCRAP metal is being cleared from sites across the region by the Works Delivery Kent and Sussex team. “Historic” scrap rail, generally left over from previous jobs, has been collected by the team during recent planned works as part of a drive to help keep walkways clear and safer for track workers. “In the last three periods we’ve removed just under 1,000 tons of historic scrap rail, so over and above what we generate through our renewals programme,” said Bobby Hannah, Programme Director – Works Delivery, Network Rail. “The intention is that we remove all of our scrap and as much of the historical scrap as possible in the access we have available.”

Want us to feature your team? Get in touch at shield@networkrail.co.uk


ISSUE 35, DECEMBER 2021 THE SHIELD 3

DON’T SNOOZE AND LOSE

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Recycled wood at a school in Kent

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6 steps to fight fatigue

FATIGUE is one of the biggest causes of accidents in construction and maintenance industries. Described as a state of extreme tiredness resulting from physical or mental exhaustion, it can lead to reduced alertness, impaired decision-making and poor judgement of distance and speed. The main causes of fatigue are a lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep with lots of interruptions, long working hours or poorly designed shift work with inadequate breaks during the working day. Here are six simple tips to follow to reduce the risk...

GREEN NEIGHBOURS TABLES, benches and bird boxes are just some of the items being created from recycled wooden pallets, collected from railway sites across the Southern region. The project led by BAM Nuttall is one of many schemes to promote and deliver more sustainable work and to benefit local communities. At Netherne Drive Cutting in Surrey pallets have been donated to Community Wood Recycling, a network of social enterprises working to save resources and create jobs and training opportunities for disadvantaged people. These pallets will be recycled into tables and benches. Elsewhere, pallets have been carved into bird boxes and sold locally by a charity and others have been donated to local probation services, where they were used in woodworking skills classes as part of offenders’ rehabilitation. Staff at Siemens have reused pallets by creating a flower-bed at the company’s Earlsfield office.

Being a good neighbour is all about RESPECT: Bird boxes in Surrey

PLENTY OF SLEEP Get at least seven to eight hours a day.

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EVVING – No engine idling or unnecessary revving, especially at night. Close vehicle doors quietly

CUT THE COFFEE Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks four to five hours before bed as this can cause sleeplessness.

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MPATHY – Ensure our neighbours know how seriously we take our role among local communities. If you receive a complaint, handle it with understanding and courtesy

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HOUTING – Loud conversations or shouting, especially at night is disturbing for neighbours – keep to a minimum

Technocrete installation for HV Feeder renewals

LOWER CARBON At the Chatham Access for All station project in Kent, a PPE recycling bin has been put up to collect items that have become worn out – reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfill. Other sustainability initiatives around the region include using lower carbon Technocrete Ockley instead of concrete. For example, technocrete Embankment is being used during installation of single height ballast boards on Kent and Sussex HV Feeder renewal work. As well as being more solar generators are being sustainable, Technocrete weighs used to power the site, significantly less than concrete, reducing the amount of reducing manual handling risks. diesel used for fuel, while at It also saves water as it doesn’t Wadhurst Cutting in East Wadhurst Sussex, rechargeable USB require water to mix. Cutting water dispensers are helping An oasis of green has been introduced to one of the busiest construction reduce energy use. The dispensers sites in the region. Workers at the Gatwick are also housed in timber reused from the Airport station redevelopment have created site. You can read more about the work at a mini market garden on part of the site.There Wadhurst on pages 4 and 5. are plans to introduce more varieties of Neighbourly relations and the vegetables and use more areas around the environment were also in the mind of a site in a similar way next year. team from Balfour Beatty working on a bridge replacement near Swanley in Kent. SOLAR POWER As well as screening areas to absorb noise At Ockley Embankment in Surrey, and at disturbance, solar powered site lighting Bracewell embankment in North Kensington, helped reduce noise from generators as

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ARKING – Don’t obstruct private driveways or park on verges

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ATING – Eating and smoking should always be done off site, during agreed meal breaks and not in public 5

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OILETS – Only use provided toilets 5 facilities. or agreed welfare

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A healthy diet that promotes longer lasting energy. Avoid junk food and drink plenty of water.

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TAKE A BREAK Make sure you get frequent breaks throughout the day.

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3EAT WELL TO4STAY WELL

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well as reducing the site’s carbon footprint. Waste material from the site was also recycled where possible. One of the beneficiaries was nearby West Kingsdown Primary School, where 16 tonnes of hardcore was recycled and used to create hardstanding, and four tonnes of chipped vegetation was reused to create safe playground areas. Leftover wood was recycled and used to create a decking, fencing and bird boxes. Elizabeth Lewis, Sustainability Apprentice at Balfour Beatty Rail Environment, said:“Due to the inevitable disturbances a major bridge replacement works has, we wanted to give something back to the community within the local area and make the site as sustainable as possible to leave a lasting legacy.”

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LEAN UP – Clean up after yourself 1in car 2 and leave no litter on site or parks.

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PUT6DOWN YOUR MOBILE Avoid using technology 30 minutes before bed.

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DON’T DRIVE DROWSY 3 Always if you 4 6 avoid driving feel tired.

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SPEAK UP

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If you are concerned that you or a colleague is suffering with symptoms of fatigue, raise this with your line manager.

NEVER UNDERTAKE ANY JOB UNLESS YOU HAVE BEEN TRAINED AND ASSESSED AS COMPETENT


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THE SHIELD ISSUE 35, DECEMBER 2021

ON SITE The team working to stabilise a rail cutting at Wadhurst can bank on plenty of winter working measures to keep them safe

CUTTING THROUGH WHEN it comes to safe winter working, the team at Wadhurst have got it nailed. And that’s not just because of the huge soil and rock nails they are using to stabilise a 170-year-old cutting. Colder, wetter, darker days bring additional risks to the site in East Sussex, where the steep slope, walkways at height and rope access already call for well-planned and careful work. Specialist lighting, extra drying facilities and warm and waterproof PPE are among the measures in place to ensure the work continues safely through the winter. The project involves stabilising the Victorian cutting at either end of a tunnel where landslips have disrupted passenger services between London and Hastings. One end of the tunnel – the “country portal” – was recently completed during a seven-day blockade. The same possession was used to carry out vital prep ahead of work at the opposite “London portal” which is now well underway. “Getting rigs over the side while trains are running is the biggest challenge at this stage,” says Network Rail construction manager Tom Harris. “We have to ensure nothing is dropped on to the track, so all the tools are tethered. We also have to make sure everyone working on the cutting is safe from falling or being struck by anything from above.”

ILLUMINATED WALKWAYS Rope-trained workers from BAM Ritchies are carrying out this work, with level three supervisors on hand to ensure all the equipment is properly set up and checked. Wetter, frosty weather means trips, slips and falls are a key risk. Extra lights on site illuminate working areas and walkways in the darker evenings, while additional drying rooms allow workers to air their PPE and reduce the risk of fatigue from being over exposed to the cold and wet. Some of the biggest winter dangers lie outside the site, however. “We are on a remote area served by single track lanes,” says Tom. “We regularly remind workers to drive carefully and keep an eye on the conditions, especially when there are leaves and ice on the road. The narrow lanes also mean we have to plan very carefully for how large plant and delivery trucks get in and out of the site.” The project is due to be finished in Spring 2022. With all the safety measures in place, Tom is confident there will be no slip-ups. “Good planning and communication are the key to safe working,” he says. “Everyone on site takes great pride in their work and safety is very much part of that.”

Quiet as a mouse As well as keeping workers warm and safe, the team have been minimising disturbance to neighbours and the local environment. Soundproof barriers have been used to reduce the noise from plant, while HVO (vegetable oil) fuel is used through the site reducing its carbon footprint. A special license was obtained to enable drilling in a badger habitat with measures in place to detect badgers and reduce the risk of any being trapped underground by the work. Vegetation cut from the site was collected and placed at the top of the crest to create a temporary habitat for the hazel dormouse.

Always use a safety harness when working


ISSUE 35, DECEMBER 2021 THE SHIELD

MEET THE TEAM Jasvir Singh Mundra, multi-skills operative “One of my main jobs is to set out safe walkways on site. That’s very important when the paths can be slippery in bad weather. We also make sure any holes in walkways are filled, and we’ve been putting down wood chippings in places to ensure a better grip on the ground. We also make sure handrails are in place and stable, and putting up extra lighting makes a difference in the dark evenings. Daily briefings here are very clear. Everyone understands the basic rules and exactly what they should be doing.”

Dick Taylor, general foreman “One of the best safety precautions is to look where you are going! It’s vital to be aware of what’s around you at all times. At the moment preplanning for weather conditions is very important. If there’s likely to be frost we put salt down on the access routes and when heavy rain is predicted we’ll make sure there’s plenty of waterproof PPE available. The drying rooms are important – warm and dry workers are happy and safe workers! I’ve worked 30 years in construction – it used to be about turning up and getting the job done, now there’s real consideration for everyone’s safety and welfare. We don’t tell people what to do, we have a conversation.”

Hollie Colville, geotechnical engineer

THE COLD

“I have a supervisory role on health and safety and on the technical side. That includes carrying out slope inspections, setting out for the drilling locations and testing what we have installed. It means I’m regularly on the ropes myself. As we get into winter things get a lot more slippery – that’s where good housekeeping around the site is very important. In extreme conditions our ‘level threes’ always have the final say on whether it’s safe to work on ropes. Having adequate welfare to come back to and dry off is important. It’s very good here, with separate women’s facilities too.”

Tej Pal Singh, general operative “I’m involved in groundwork and cleaning in and around the welfare areas. Trip hazards are something I always look out for, so it’s important to keep the site clean and tidy at all times. I make sure tools are properly stored and there’s nothing lying around the yard where it shouldn’t be. In wet and cold weather it’s also important to keep the floors clean and dry to stop anyone slipping and falling. The lighting really helps in the dark evenings too. It’s up to everyone on site to keep things tidy. On this site everyone is very good at that – and the communication is also very good.”

Robbie Clark, rope access technician “Safety is a priority when working on ropes. Level threes check all the kit but we also make sure everything is correct. We keep two points of contact at all times and in bad weather you have to be very careful with your footing and making sure the ropes don’t slip. You also need to watch out for anything falling from above and take care not to knock anything down on to the track. I’m eight months into the job after training and I really enjoy it – rope technicians get to places no others can!”

at height, unless other protection is in place

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THE SHIELD ISSUE 35, DECEMBER 2021

DON D ON’T ’T SL SLIIP UP PPE

LIGHTING

Are you wearing the right PPE?

Can you see what you’re doing and where you’re walking?

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Carry out a risk assessment to determine what PPE is needed for every task

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Always wear the required PPE for the task at hand

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Check that your PPE is in good condition before beginning work

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Always make sure areas walked through or worked in are properly lit Check that any lighting used doesn’t create shadows or dark spots When working on scaffolding, always use additional lighting

TIDY SITES

UNDERFOOT CONDITIONS

Is your site tidy before you start work, during work and after completion?

Do you take extra care when underfoot conditions are poor and avoid these areas if possible?

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Survey your site before starting work to identify any slip or trip issues Keep working areas tidy throughout your shift Regularly dispose of site waste and keep designated walkways clear

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Take care when walking on stairs and uneven or sloped surfaces Be aware of your surroundings and any changes to underfoot conditions When working on tracks, always walk on ballast and never on sleepers


ISSUE 35, DECEMBER 2021 THE SHIELD

Slips, trips and falls are some of the biggest dangers on any site. Here’s how to minimise risk ACCESS ROUTES

WORKING AT HEIGHT

Do you always use designated access routes and make sure they are kept clear?

Do you follow the Southern Shield Working at Height Hierarchy and Lifesaving Rule?

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Always use designated walking routes where possible Be aware of your surroundings when entering or exiting site Telephone calls should only be taken in a designated mobile phone area

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Risk assess the task to ensure you have the correct protection Ensure you have the required competencies for the task A safety harness should always be used unless other protection is in place

MANUAL HANDLING

STAIRS

Do you eliminate manual handling where possible?

Are stairs well maintained and free from hazards?

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Eliminate or minimise manual handling hazards through risk assessment Consider whether manual handling is necessary to the task Use the correct technique and minimise twisting, stooping and reaching

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Areas with stairs must always be well lit

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Always use handrails when using stairs or steps

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Stairs must always be completely free of tripping hazards and obstacles

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THE SHIELD ISSUE 35, DECEMBER 2021 ift YL VEL

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NO GUIDE ROPES TOO MANY UNNECESSARY WORKERS CLOSE TO OPERATION

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WORKERS TOO CLOSE OR WALKING UNDER LOADS – RISK OF BEING CRUSHED

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WORKERS NOT FOCUSED ON OPERATION

GROUND NOT LEVEL PLANT NOT STABILISED

NO EXCLUSION ZONE

TOO CLOSE TO EXCAVATION

GIVE US A LIFT LIFTING operations happen to some extent on almost every site across the region. No matter the size of the crane or the load there are many hazards that have to be considered to safely negotiate the ups and downs. The good news from the latest Southern Shield figures is that during the last 13 periods October 2020 – November 2021 there have been no accidents resulting from lifting operations. However, there were 37 events reported during the previous year April 2020 – March 2021 that had the potential for significant injuries. These related to: lifts taking place without suitable exclusion zones in place, or individuals entering the exclusion zone whilst lifting is taking place; lifting equipment being outdated, faulty or not fixed correctly, or the wrong type of equipment being used; undertaking lifting operations without a lifting plan in place or the plan not being suitable for the item being lifted or the lifting equipment. It is this potential for harm which is measured by Southern Shield’s Risk Barometer. The Barometer measures the actual harm from real

accidents and compares this against the potential harm that could have occurred. It also looks at non-injury events such as Close Calls or observations from inspections. When preparing and undertaking lifting operations the following points should be considered: PLAN AHEAD – a lift plan must provide all the key details for the activity to the site staff involved. Include emergency arrangements and factors such as the potential collapse radius of the crane. PAY A VISIT – a site visit should be undertaken to ensure that the layout, and other physical factors at the site of work, are as those used in the plan. ABOVE AND BELOW – Due regard must be given to any overhead lines in the area of the lift and the position of buried services may need to be known to avoid potential damage caused by outrigger loading. SOLID BASE – Ensure ground stability and

THE RISK BAROMETER In the barometer, the short hand (inner semi-circle) points to the level of actual harm from accidents in the last 13 periods. The long hand (outer semi-circle) indicates the level of potential harm that could have occurred from these actual events and other non-injury events, such as Close Calls. LOW

temporary works for outriggers. A temporary works design may be required to ensure the ground beneath the outriggers is capable of withstanding the loads. FIT FOR PURPOSE – Selection and use of a suitable crane and lift equipment. All plant and lift equipment needs to be visually checked and a record kept of inspection. IN CONTROL – Consideration needs to be given to how any load will be controlled without the need for staff to get too close or beneath the load for example, with guide ropes.

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KEEP OUT – Exclusion zones need to be established and monitored to ensure that no-one can walk into the area beneath the lift or within the counterweight swing radius. ANY LINE OPEN – A risk assessment needs to be undertaken when lifting near to an open line. QUALIFIED SUCCESS – Ensure staff involved with the lifting operation, including operators, banksmen, slingers and crane supervisors, have the correct level of competency. WEATHER WATCH – Will the wind speed or weather conditions affect the lift?

What do you think? Get in touch – shield@networkrail.co.uk


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