Innovation was the name of the game in this category, Sponsored by TPS consult
This award proves that you don’t have to be a big gun with a massive safety budget to achieve excellence in ensuring the welfare of your workforce. WA Developments is a civil engineer based in Appleby, Cumbria, which mainly delivers rail projects for principal contractors of clients such as Network Rail. In re-engineering tunnels to allow for new tilting trains, which have less clearance than traditional trains, the firm has had to undertake heavy labour removing brickwork from the roofs of tunnels, a tough job that had to be done in a confined space, on scaffolding that has to be moved regularly, often at night, and in as short a time as possible to minimise rail disruptions. But the risk of falling brickwork is huge – so WA Developments adapted a road rail vehicle to incorporate a rock head attachment on an extending arm capable of removing brickwork remotely from inside the cab. This means fewer workers, none under falling brickwork, no scaffolding, much less risk of dust inhalation and vastly reduced fatigue and problems from working overhead. A brilliant solution to a nightmarish problem and a worthy winner of this category.
‘WA Development’s solution meant fewer workers, none under falling brickwork, no scaffolding, much less risk of dust inhalation and vastly reduced fatigue’
Capital Safety Group Northern Europe
Fall arrest systems are great – they save lives, after all. But once a person’s life has been saved by such a system, they are still not safe as they hang in mid-air. Even after a short time, suspension trauma can lead to injury or even death, as the blood supply is cut off and risk of clotting is increased. Capital Safety has addressed this problem with its use of Sala’s suspension trauma safety strap, which allows the fallen worker to pull out a strap and secure it under their feet and stand up in the harness, dramatically reducing the risk of blood pooling. The strap is compact and light, and attaches to a full body harness easily, so there’s no excuse for other companies not to follow suit.
‘There’s no excuse for other companies not to follow Capital’
Transporting hazardous materials by road is a tricky business. Which is why there are requirements under the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road Regulations 1996 to display stickers warning other road users of the potential dangers. This much you knew. But did you know the same regulations ban the use of such stickers if you are not carrying such materials in the quantities that do warrant their display? Well, the good people at Clancy Docwra certainly do now, after one of their Surrey transit vans was pulled over by police. But after removing the offending stickers as instructed, the firm felt it was necessary to have at least some form of warning about the small amounts of chemicals being carried – so it designed a new sticker, which it sent to its friends at the Surrey Police for approval. The verdict? The police not only loved it, and gave it the green light, but also said that it should be made standard across the country, and even proposed taking the design to the HSE.
‘The police loved Clancy’s warning sticker and said that it should be made standard across the country’
Cheshire contractor SCC found that when it was installing precast concrete flooring slabs in its multistorey car parks, there was a significant risk of falling from an interior edge to the floor below (all outside edges having safety rails fitted as standard). The team realised that a safety net was necessary, but this meant that they would need anchor points on the floor slabs. So these were cast into the units at manufacturing stage to become an integral part of the floor slab. The system was designed to exceed minimum BS requirements, and can be very easily hooked up from completed floors below – after all, installing it from above would carry the inherent risk of falling in itself. These days, operatives are trained to install the netting properly and the system is being used across the company.
‘The system exceeds minimum BS requirements’
Plant equipment hire company Speedy Hire observed that every year in the UK there are more than 200 reported incidents involving compressed air equipment – and this is from the rental industry alone. Air hoses are inherently dangerous and can even be a killer, as failing, rupturing or incorrectly installed equipment causes the hoses to flail about wildly. So the Speedy Hire team put their heads together and came up with a new 2-inch air hose called the Speedy Power Air Hose with an integral clamp to prevent this happening. Its four clever features should do the trick: the clamp has bump rings around it to protect it and the operator; it is attached to the hose with a restraint, reducing the risk of workers forgetting to use it; the restraint stops the hose becoming detached from the compressed air machine; and an identification tag provides a complete test and hire history.
‘It came up with a new air hose to prevent this happening’
Synchro is both the name of a company and the name of the software it has developed. This is a collaboration program for use by the whole of the construction supply chain, allowing everybody on a scheme to input information and share knowledge instantaneously. Project visualisations are created as a CAD file and displayed for all to see in almost any sectional view, and components are then virtually installed so that every contractor can see, as Synchro puts it, “who is where doing what and when”. It can also include other elements such as cranes, plant and storage, and most importantly it displays danger areas, which will change throughout the construction programme, and vehicle routings. And of course, the collaboration the system engenders means that risk becomes a collective issue, by allowing all participants to allocate risk elements to each task.
‘The program allows everybody to share knowledge’
Health and Safety Awards 2005
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Best safety product