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The Shield





ISSUE 18, APRIL 2018


Wearable tech is helping tackle fatigue

OPERATIVES at Morgan Sindall’s Acton Town site have an easy way of learning more about their fatigue levels – thanks to Readibands. Readibands gather sleep data through a user’s wrist movements and present the information through a smartphone app. Using a sleep score marked out of 100, they show operatives whether they are getting enough quality rest before heading on site. The Shield visited the site to talk to users about their sleep scores, get their thoughts on the technology and find out how Morgan Sindall is responding to the data. Full story on page 3 >>

Lifesaving Rules

Amazing safety records

Panel powered






First Person Paul Futter, Head of Programme Development and Safety Leadership Team member, IP Southern

Consider temporary works in design

THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed towards driving down the number of injuries we have had over the last year. Two examples of the extraordinary accomplishments that have been achieved are included in this edition of The Shield. This issue showcases two of our contractors that have achieved zero lost time injuries over a 12-month period. As a result, we are sending more people than ever home safely every day, which is great news. However, we are still injuring people and even one is too many. The Safety Leadership Team are always exploring new ways of driving down accidents. I have been leading a team to look at how we can identify hazards which can be eliminated at design stage, so they’re no longer a problem when work begins. Safe working doesn’t begin when activity starts on a site. Project

development and design also have a huge part to play in the safe, successful completion of work. To help better address site safety concerns and incidents, a Design Safety Leadership Team has been established. Its focus is on improving safety in construction and operation of southern region projects through effective design safety management and specification. To achieve this, we’ve been reviewing key trends for Close Calls and incidents. Ultimately, by better understanding what is happening on site, we can more effectively identify hazards and assess risks much earlier in a project’s lifecycle. Key to this is Close Call reporting of design-related issues. The team receives every design Close Call, which helps pinpoint specific issues which need addressing. A recent example raised is track isolating switches. They are very

heavy and require four-person manual handling to move, putting the operatives’ backs at risk. Knowing that’s an issue in advance, we can look at how to avoid it at design stage (see picture below right). It’s yet another reason why design Close Call reporting is so important on every project. Every Close Call raised on the frontline helps create a clearer picture of where the problems are, and we would like all those caused by design issues to be specifically flagged when raising the Close Calls. So, if you see any issue, no matter how small it might be, do not hesitate to raise it. And it’s not just the frontline we’re focusing on either. Our designers are being sent a guidance note which will help them to better incorporate design safety into their work. By working together, we can make sites safer before work even starts.

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Design suitable access to railway

IMPROVING PICTURE The statistics for the past 12 months in the southern region are in. The most common injuries on our sites were:

Written and designed by:

• 26% finger or thumb • 13% hand • 7% arm • 6% head, leg and foot.

Total injuries: 89 6 head 5 eye 2 face 1 shoulder 7 back

7 arm 3 multiple (two or more areas injured) 3 wrist 12 hand 24 finger or thumb 6 leg

2 knee

5 ankle 6 foot

*Note: Positioning of injuries are for illustrative purposes only



BANDING TOGETHER Morgan Sindall is using technology to monitor fatigue DAVID DUNNE, GENERAL FOREMAN “The Readibands are really interesting. It knows when you haven’t slept well even if you don’t realise, which shows that you can be fatigued without realising. I have to make decisions as part of my job, and I wouldn’t ever want fatigue to influence them. “Although I’ve only been using it a short time, it’s made me think about eating at a more sensible time and going to bed earlier. If people are well rested, safety standards absolutely will improve.”

ALEX KAY, GRADUATE SITE ENGINEER “Our management team are really encouraging us to wear them to help reduce fatigue and improve safety. I’ve worn mine a week and the results look good.The app collects and displays the data for you, so you can see exactly how you’re sleeping. “Fatigue is an ongoing issue, especially for night shift work, as people can struggle to get enough sleep when rotating between days and nights. It’s exciting new technology and I’d love to see it roll out to more and more sites.”

YOU MAY think you’ve had a good night’s sleep, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not fatigued. As part of their fatigue intervention plan, Morgan Sindall wanted to better monitor fatigue levels, so they introduced Readibands. Created by Fatigue Science, a Readiband is a wearable device which tracks wrist movement

DANNY MERTOLA, SECTION ENGINEER “Now I’m on a regular shift pattern, the band has been very useful. The sleep score gives you a target to aim for and we compare scores to see how we’re doing. “Fatigue is definitely something the industry can improve. Not sleeping properly is going to affect your physical commitment and your concentration. If we think someone is too tired we can stop work taking place, but it’s better to give everyone the information and support they need to stay refreshed.”

to give users sleep and fatigue data, including a sleep score, through an app. Warren Lowe, Health and Safety Manager, explained: “Fatigue is a huge focus for us. When your fatigue levels get to a certain point it’s like being over the drink-drive limit, which isn’t acceptable. Readibands let us track fatigue to ensure it never gets to that point.”

SO, WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT THIS? Gareth White, a member of the Southern Shield Safety Leadership Team, said: “A lot of contractors are using technology for fatigue management and it’s something the Safety Leadership Team is really interested in. “Fatigue is a safety issue that doesn’t just affect people on site, but also those on their way to and from work. We can look at working hours or shift patterns, but ultimately, we all need more information if we are going to make informed decisions about our personal fatigue levels “The Safety Leadership Team has established a Fatigue Working Group to investigate and address this important safety issue.”

Morgan Sindall introduced the bands more than a year ago and are currently using them at its Acton Town site as well as other rail sites. “I think we’ve prevented more incidents because of the way we’ve handled things. We want to take the trends we find and continue to improve. For example, examining whether night workers or those that drive long distances

struggle more with fatigue. We’d never want someone operating a machine while tired.” Erin Kelly, Partnership and Strategic Implementation Manager for Fatigue Science, added: “It’s about empowering people. If someone sees they are fatigued, they can make changes to get a better night’s sleep or decide whether they can work safely.”

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LIFESAVING RULES LEAVING HOME GABRIELLA NICHOLS, DESIGNER OF THE SOUTHERN SHIELD LOGO AND DAUGHTER OF ZEN NICHOLS, SENIOR PROGRAMME MANAGER, NETWORK RAIL “I think the Lifesaving Rules are really important, if not 100 per cent crucial. How dad’s company treats its workers and their safety is of great concern to me and my family. “People going to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol is very strange – perhaps they don’t care about their jobs? I would worry about the people they work with too, as drugs and alcohol stop you behaving normally. “If I found out my dad had been to work under the influence, I’d tell my mum straight away. I think he would definitely lose his job, or at least get suspended. I’d assume he was on a downward spiral. I would be pretty disgusted as I don’t like drunk people, they’re loud and scary. “If dad came home injured, I’d ask if it was his fault. If it was, I’d say it’s his NEVER WORK OR own stupid fault! If it was someone else’s DRIVE WHILE UNDER fault, I would make sure he told his boss THE INFLUENCE OF and got something done about it. I would DRUGS OR ALCOHOL be really worried about him working there again.”


ARRIVING AT WORK NICK TAYLOR, ELECTRIFICATION MANAGER, OSBORNE “Following the Lifesaving Rules makes sure you are protected. They’re not just for people on the frontline to follow, but everyone in the industry. “We are a large industry which works on complex projects, so our sites always have a lot of tasks and operations being performed. Good planning and the safe systems of works ensures that people understand how to do that work safely. Everyone should know exactly where they are going and what they are doing. “I think a few years ago the industry wasn’t where it should have been in terms of how seriously this rule was taken. However, there’s been a huge change in culture in recent NEVER UNDERTAKE years and it’s now ANY JOB UNLESS YOU followed much more HAVE BEEN TRAINED strictly, which is AND ASSESSED AS great to see.” COMPETENT


DARCY COE, SENIOR RAIL SUPERVISOR, COSTAIN “The Lifesaving Rules were introduced to make people aware of the dangers on site, and it’s important they are regularly briefed to people. “Before using any tool, you should inspect it, check it’s in good condition and ensure it’s the right one for the job. “For example, you should only be using insulated tools when working with electricity. Following that, you also need to ensure that the person using the tool in question has the necessary competencies and training. “I manage sites, and I’d be very unhappy if one of my colleagues didn’t take this rule seriously. It’s in place to keep people safe and it could save a life.”



RICKY THORPE, GENERAL FOREMAN, KIER “The first thing you run through before going out on site is the Lifesaving Rules. They are clear, concise guidance on how to ensure every activity on site is undertaken as safely as possible. “Making sure someone is trained and has the correct competencies before performing a task is absolutely vital. We wouldn’t let anyone begin a task, or indeed work on site, until that had been done. That’s not just for major activities such as operating plant, but even for simpler tasks such as manual handling. “We have processes in place to check someone is safe to perform a task. We check their Sentinel and Construction Plant Competence Scheme cards and we also have our own competency to work form. It’s something we push hard for every single colleague to follow, and attitudes have definitely improved hugely over the last few years.”


Always be sure the required plans

ALWAYS SURE THE and permits areBE in place, before you start a job or go on or near the line. REQUIRED PLANS AND PERMITS ARE IN PLACE, BEFORE YOU START A JOB OR GO ON OR NEAR THE LINE

always be sure the required plans and permits are in p


Southern region colleagues share their thoughts on why the Lifesaving Rules are so important ON THE ROAD WAYNE BADMAN, CONSTRUCTION MANAGER, NETWORK RAIL “To me, the Lifesaving Rules are an affirmation that our safety is paramount across every site in the southern region. They set the tone for everything we do. “‘Always wear your seat belt’ is an especially pertinent rule for me, as I cover a huge number of miles in my role. I have walked away from an accident without a scratch due to wearing my seatbelt, so I know how vital it can be. “Most of us naturally belt up and don’t need to be told. However, some situations, such as when you are frequently in and out of a piece of plant, may lead to complacency. In conjunction with the mobile phone and speed limit rules, it makes driving as safe as possible, getting us home safe every day.”

SHAUN HOWARD, SHESQ MANAGER, MURPHY “The Lifesaving Rules are there for a reason and we believe it is important our teams understand why they are in place and what they actually are. They are something we work hard to communicate, and I think most of my colleagues could reel them off to you at the drop of a hat. “We cover the whole of the South East of England, which means we clock up a lot of miles. It can be so tempting to take a call while driving, but it’s simply not safe – you’re four times more likely to lose concentration when you’re on the phone even when using hands free devices. Hands-free kits used to be available to our drivers, but we have now removed them from our vehicles. NEVER USE A HAND“Our drivers’ handbook also advises that HELD OR HANDS-FREE they turn off their phones completely before PHONE, OR a journey and we also encourage our car PROGRAMME ANY passengers to be conscious of this OTHER MOBILE DEVICE, Lifesaving Rule and either answer any calls WHILE DRIVING on behalf of the driver or ensure the driver takes it when they have arrived.”




ON SITE DAN LAFFERTY, ENGINEERING SUPERVISOR, VITAL “Essentially, the Lifesaving Rules have been put together to keep everyone safe. They are the things no one working on a site should really need to be told to follow. “As an Engineering Supervisor, I know what a huge effect this rule could have if it’s not followed. I have found in the past that subcontractors sometimes try to sign in without having a live line tester on their person, which is not acceptable. I would never allow someone to sign in without one and in an ideal world, everyone would have their own. “At Vital, it’s best practice to always ensure someone is given a live line tester to use if they do not have one with them.”


PAUL RITCHIE, HEAD OF BCM POWER SYSTEMS “Everyone should be adhering to the Lifesaving Rules. They’ve been put in place to ensure everyone arrives home safe every day. “This rule should by now be second nature to everyone. Personally, I’ve seen what can go badly wrong when you do not comply with test before touch rule and it’s something I never want to see or witness again. “The incident involved a colleague and friend of mine, who was working on an 11,000-volt suite within a substation. Without assistance checking, he counted the isolated panel from the left-hand side front of the suite. Unfortunately, he miscounted the panels whilst at the rear. He exposed live terminations and the resulting flash arc blew him against the substation wall causing severe burns to his face and hands leaving him both physically and mentally scarred. After a lengthy stay in hospital and having undergone reconstructive surgery, he luckily made a recovery, apart from some scarring. However, it took him several more months to recover from the associated mental health problems.”

LEE TRAVIL, GENERAL FOREMAN, BAM NUTTALL “The Lifesaving Rules do what they say on the tin. If you stick to them, you will go home safe every day. “First and foremost, work which requires the use of a harness should be a last resort. We always try and put other measures in place wherever possible. “If a harness is required, there is a best practice process to mitigate risk. We start by looking at there’s any other way the work can be done. If not, then we need to make sure the correct type of harness is being used and the operative doing the work has the required training and competencies. No one starts a task requiring a harness until that has all been done.”




ALEX WASON JNR, FOREMAN, VOLKERFITZPATRICK “I’d describe the Lifesaving Rules as the fundamentals. If you strip back everything else about safety, they are the basics which will keep you safe. “Paying attention to and respecting exclusion zones is so important. In the last five years, around 10 per cent of industry fatalities have been people struck by plant, which shows just how dangerous ignoring this rule can be. “We’re working on a very linear site, so exclusion zones are crucial, along with plant supervision. It’s pointless setting up an exclusion zone and leaving it at that. We have barriers, signs, briefings and other warnings in place so everyone knows exactly what to expect.”




place before you start a job or go on or near the line







The Safety Leadership Team sat down with The Shield to answer your burning questions about the Lifesaving Rules



Darcy Coe, Senior Rail Supervisor, Costain: “What I’d like to see from the SLT is continued investment into getting the best quality, safest tools for the job. Cost should never be a factor when it comes to safety.”

Lee Travil, General Foreman, BAM Nuttall: “When working alongside others outside of Infrastructure Projects, for example maintenance works delivery in a possession, it’s clear to see that the same rules don’t apply to them and that standards are far from ours, even with the basics like PPE. I often get asked by our teams ‘how come we have to do this and that but they don’t have to?’How would you answer that question and is there a plan to get others involved?

Julian Dunn, SLT member: “Every company represented on the SLT shares a commitment to ensuring that whatever the task, our employees have the right equipment available for the job being done. We continually challenge ourselves and our teams to identify the safest equipment available, learning from each other, our colleagues in other Network Rail regions and from other industries.”

HANDS-FREE Shaun Howard, SHESQ Manager, Murphy: “Do you have a hands-free kit in your cars and if so, would you ever answer a call if one came through?” PeterWalsh,SLTmember: “The use of phones when driving is a source of tension. Although it is not againstthelaw,evidenceshowsthatconcentration is impacted when using hands-free – it can be as bad as being at the drink-drive limit! Yes Shaun, my car does have a hands-free kit. However, I have committed to not answering calls and disable my Bluetooth while driving. Most of my travel now is by train which eases the temptation. However, not picking up a call has to be a conscious habit. I admit that it’s hard not to answer when driving, but this is one that I’ve committed to uphold.”

Janice Crawford, SLT member: “Thanks Lee, it’s a great question which we have discussed at SLT meetings frequently.Most of us have witnessed the variable approach to safety that exists across our industry. “The bottom line is because it’s the right thing to do to keep our people as safe as we possibly can. We in Southern Shield want to increase everyone’s awareness and approach to safety, and if we wait for everyone to agree on everything, then we will only improve at the pace of the slowest. I am proud that we are leading on many safety issues and it is interesting to see that many of our route colleagues are now starting to look to us to see how they can improve their safety performance. “Please say to your teams it’s because we are leaders, not followers, in railway safety and it’s because we care about the safety and welfare of our colleagues that we take a leading role. We all want, and deserve, to go home safely to our families every day.”

AWARENESS COURSE Paul Ritchie, Head of BCM Power Systems: “BCM are in the process of developing a substation awareness course, which I think should be given to anyone working within a substation compound or substation building, regardless of whether they have electrical knowledge or not.I’d be interested to know whether the SLT would consider rolling something like this out?” Shane O’Halloran, SLT member: “The SLT has acknowledged the training gap in the electrification arena.We have previously produced a thorough briefing pack on DC hazard awareness, available on the Southern Shield website.The intention of this briefing was to expand upon the content of the DCCR (DC Conductor Rail) training provided with PTS (Personal Track Safety) and bridge a training gap. We have engaged with Network Rail’s E&P competency development group and have handed over our work to them with a view to this information being incorporated into the DCCR training course, which is a mandatory requirement alongside PTS in the southern region. The maturity of electrical training varies from company to company. Standardisation is desirable but remains an improvement opportunity within the industry.”

DRIVING SAFELY Wayne Badman, Construction Manager, Network Rail:“What I’d like to know from the SLT is what initiatives they are looking at to improve driving safety going forwards?” Gareth White, SLT member: “The SLT is focusing on fatigue and has set up a working group to take on this issue. By targeting education, monitoring and shift times for day, night and weekend working, we can look to ensure that our workers are less fatigued. This will then have a bearing on their daily commute and reduce the risk of traffic accidents. We will also start to use the HSE fatigue risk index, which will ensure planned shift times are within acceptable criteria and take account of travel times to and from site.We will support companies providing accommodation or making alternative travel arrangements where needed.”

“Say to your teams we are leaders, not followers, in railway safety... We care about the safety and welfare of our colleagues; we take a leading role. We all want and deserve to go home safely.” – Janice Crawford




Alex Wason jnr, Foreman, VolkerFitzpatrick: “What I’d like to see from the SLT is continued research and trials of technology we can use to mitigate risk. Everyone on site must always remain vigilant but supporting technology such as invisible walls and wearable worker alert systems, which omit a warning when an exclusion zone is encroached upon, have massive potential.”

Nick Taylor, Electrification Manager, Osborne: “If I could say one thing to the SLT, it would be that I think the idea of Safe Work Leaders is great, but I don’t think there should be different rules for different areas of a site.We should all be singing from the same hymn sheet.”

Dan Lafferty, Engineering Supervisor, Vital: “How often do the SLT visit sites to see if people are sticking to the Lifesaving Rules?”

John Cox, SLT member: “We are relentless in our pursuit of safeguarding the workforce and this includes the use of the latest technology such as MyZone. We are also investigating the use of a safety shield plus system, which protects the workforce by restricting machine and vehicle activity when in the proximity of personnel by giving a clear visual and audio warning to both the operator and others on site.”

John Dowsett, SLT member: “My understanding is that Nick is referring to gaining a consistency of application of PDSW(Planned Delivery of SafeWork) across Maintenance and Infrastructure Projects. “This is particularly pertinent for organisations like ours which have resources working across both areas, and it is also very important for when worksites are shared between Maintenance and IP contractors. Through our engagement with the Infrastructure Safety Liaison Group, we are working closely with Network Rail and our industry peers to support the resolution of this issue.”

Andy Duffin, SLT member:“The attendance at sites varies between SLTmembers.We commit to doing joint safety visits between SLT members every six months in order to visit other suppliers’ sites. In addition, we also undertake visits of our own sites. I personally undertake a minimum of one every four-week period and try to achieve more than two. “While the visits cover the Lifesaving Rules, they go beyond that and look to encourage trust with the workforce through safety conversations, which encourage people to look out for the safety of each other and report issues they cannot address themselves through the Close Call process.”

never undertake a job unless you haveLIVES– been trained RAIL pageand8assessed as competent


GORDON APPLETON, GANGER/FITTER “It’s great Osborne has reached this milestone, as keeping everyone on site safe is the number one priority. If we saw something unsafe going on, we simply wouldn’t work; you can’t put a price on safety. “You have to get the basics right before anything else. That means wearing the correct PPE, holding briefings and ensuring everyone remains alert. The industry’s culture has improved hugely and there’s no excuse not to be safe now. “Close Calls are vital, as we all notice different things. If you don’t bring an issue to light, there’s a chance it might not be picked up on. I raised a Close Call in the past regarding scaffolding and it was fixed immediately. That’s the response you want to see.”

AN IMPECCABLE RECORD OSBORNE is celebrating 12 months without a single lost time injury, including a six-month period without a single minor accident.

To find out more about how the company achieved such success, The Shield visited the Hammersmith Road bridge site in Barnes, where work has been underway since February to strengthen the bridge to a 40-tonne rating. Site Manager Jason Tavenor said the milestone means a lot to everyone involved: “It’s a very big thing for us. We are all driving for zero harm, so it’s nice to hear that our work is being rewarded. “I think a major part of our success is the way we deal with people. We communicate openly and honestly and are always promoting our improvement opportunity boards. People need to feel comfortable talking to us and raising Close Calls where necessary, as we can then pick up on trends we can fix. We wouldn’t have achieved the record we have without

MARTIN BATCHELOR, SUPERVISOR “The achievement is good as it’s proof that everyone is doing everything as they should be and everyone is going home safe every day. I would always stop unsafe work immediately, it simply isn’t worth the risk. “Osborne is well on top of safety. Coming on to site, everything is in place including welfare facilities, well-maintained access points. On site, safety starts with the individual. It’s up to you to look out for your own safety and the safety of those you’re working with. “Close Calls are how we learn, so I’d always put one in if we saw something unsafe. It’s something we are frequently briefed on and we even have a board in the canteen which shows what action has been taken when a Close Call has been raised.”

them, so I’d say they must be working. We’ve also made that easier by providing our app, which has simplified the process. “When I joined the industry, the culture of prioritising health and safety was still evolving. Highlighting an issue meant bringing it to the attention of your immediate superior and hoping it was welcomed. Now I am a Site Manager, it’s empowering to feel that health and safety awareness has permeated the industry to a much greater degree. In a funny way, it promotes a greater feeling of unity among teams on site, as instead of a pressure, health and safety has become a common goal we all strive towards. “This is an ever-changing industry, so I’m sure there will be further improvements, and each project has its own variables and risks to mitigate. We must keep looking at ourselves and keep open dialogue flowing as it’s never going to be an area in which we can afford to become complacent.”

GOING STRONG THEY reached 12-months in February; now Dyer and Butler is working on how long it can keep its zero reportable accident frequency rate going.

Over the first 12 months, more than twomillion man hours were worked on the way to the record. During that period the company received around 2,500 Close Call reports via smartphone, with 334 raised in one month alone. Now past the 14-month mark, Steve Broom, Safety, Sustainability and Training Director, said the challenge is maintaining the record. “Our drive to improve safety performance began following an incident in 2014. We underwent a thorough review of our safety arrangements from the very top down and decided we could do more. We beefed up our safety training, worked with leaders and managers to get safety information across and introduced our Close Call app. “The Close Call app has been a revelation. We’ve received more than 4,000 reports since August 2015. But we want to keep improving and maintain our record. We’re further developing the app reporting systems to include behavioural safety observation reports, vehicle and plant inspections and electrical isolation compliance. ANDREW CLARKE, PROJECT MANAGER “It’s a fantastic achievement. Our safety performance startsatthetopwiththeSafety Leadership Team and goes through to our operatives on site.” “I think our Close Call app is a huge factor in our success. Issues can be raised more easily than previously and can even be done anonymously if someone wishes. Once a Close Call has been raised, it will be circulated and the problem fixed at site level straight away wherever possible.”

CLOSE CALLS – DO THEY MAKE A DIFFERENCE? THE relationship between Close Calls and injuring fewer people has been starkly demonstrated by the latest safety statistics for the southern region. The graph shows that the more Close Calls we raise, the fewer lost time injuries we have.

This Lost Lime Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) indicates how many people we injure such that they couldn’t carry out their normal duties on their next shift for every 100,000 hours worked. This is calculated over a rolling year period.

Key: Close Calls (per hours worked) LTIFR

Close Call rate 2017-2018 (P13): 1 Close Call per 372 hours worked

SEE IT, FIX IT, REPORT IT LTIFR rate 2014-2015 (P1): 0.357

LTIFR rate 2017-2018 (P13): 0.183

Close Call rate 2014-2015 (P1): 1 Close Call per 1,639 hours worked

P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P7 P8 P9 P10 P11 P12 P13 P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P7 P8 P9 P10 P11 P12 P13 P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P7 P8 P9 P10 P11 P12 P13 P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P7 P8 P9 P10 P11 P12 P13 2014 –2015




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THE LAST thing you’d expect to see on a construction site is a colleague buried up to his waist in concrete. James Lynn, however, has seen just that during a career working in both the commercial construction industry and the railway. James, a qualified electrician, has worked on a number of large scale projects including the construction of the Channel Tunnel. Now a Site Manager for Siemens, he has seen how safety is treated in both commercial construction and on the railway and believes there is a lot for our industry to be proud of. “I think the railway industry is quite safe, especially compared to commercial construction,” said James. “People on our sites are more aware of safety issues and attitudes have changed for the better. Some used to think safety was an inconvenience.

Now, everyone understands that it’s for their own benefit.” James highlighted an incident which took place on a commercial construction site as an example of bad attitudes to safety. “I was receiving a delivery of 20 tonnes of Type 1 crushed concrete on a site building transformer bases, which I sent the banksman to collect. Everyone was well briefed on their duties. All of a sudden, I heard a commotion. An operative had tried to use plywood to stop the material falling into the bund of the transformer base. He was buried up to his waist in the concrete. “I made the decision straight away to try and use a machine to free him, as I was worried about crushing injuries. Fortunately, he only had a few bruises! Everything turned out okay but there could have been a fatality. I was shaken up for days after.”

When it comes to the railways, James said the way sites have improved how transport is dealt with is something he has been particularly impressed with. “There’s always a lot of vehicles coming on and off sites, so proper segregation of transport is really important. I’ve been impressed with how safety around that has been improved and it’s reassuring to see positive changes being made. “Something I’m passionate about which can still be improved is attitudes towards rubbish. I’ve seen rubbish and materials left all over sites and even sites which needed tidying before work could begin. It’s not just from a green perspective either. Keeping our work environment tidy, and therefore safe, is just one more thing we can to do ensure everyone goes home safe every day.”

“The most important thing I have learned is that if you see unsafe work taking place, you have to stand up and be counted, and make the decision to stop it. “I was working on a platform extension at Harpenden station as part of the Thameslink project, which involved breaking out a large abutment so we could install footings for a new bridge deck. I visited the site one day and was concerned to see the COSS watching for trains, rather than ensuring the work was carried out safely. There was concrete bouncing everywhere – the last thing I’d have called it was safe. “The work needed to be stopped and replanned but no one would take responsibility, so I went back and stopped it myself. Soon after, I had some rather unhappy mangers calling me to find out what happened. I began questioning myself, but deep down I knew it was the right call. “It affected me to such a degree that I took a fortnight off to review things. It was difficult, as it wasn’t a situation I wanted to be in. The work should have been planned better and it shouldn’t have got to the point where I had to step in. On my return to work, I was called in to see the Managing Director, not knowing what to expect. I was certainly relieved when it turned out I was being promoted to the safety team rather than being disciplined! I’ve been part of the team since 2008, and the work we do is something I feel extremely passionate about. “There have been a lot of positive changes in the industry since that incident, with much better planning and support provided. And the more we can continue to improve, the less chance there is someone else in future will be put in the same position I was.”

COSTAIN’S SOLAR POWER TRIAL PROVES SUCCESSFUL A 23-week trial of a new autonomous off-grid power supply at Costain’s Churchsettle and Rock Lane sites was a great success. The Solatainer uses solar panels and lithium batteries to harvest and store energy from the sun, significantly reducing diesel consumption and carbon emissions. It prioritises energy from the panels and batteries until a threshold is reached, at which point a built-in diesel generator recharges the batteries. Impressively, the unit provided sufficient energy to power a welfare unit, site office, drying room, toilets and security cameras. In fact, the unit recorded a continuous 10-day period last August during which Churchsettle ran entirely using solar power and recorded zero emissions or fuel consumption.

Along with Churchsettle’s 10-day success, the unit also significantly reduced carbon emissions, releasing 5,827 kilograms compared to 18,319 kilograms for a diesel generator. Callum Mair, Environment Manager for Costain, explained: “Our initial three-week trial of Solatainer was successful, so we decided to keep it on site for the duration of works. Whilst there was initially scepticism, it has since proven its worth through the significant carbon reductions it has achieved. “The unit was easy to get up and running, with more than enough space on site to accommodate it. It also provided a fantastic, highly-visible display of our sites’ green credentials and prompted some great sustainability discussions from our teams.”

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The Shield April 2018  
The Shield April 2018