Winner - Astrazeneca Engineering
Astrazeneca has set out to help the whole of the design community by identifying and propagating best practice. It is doing this through something called the Design Best Practice Network, a group of 10 multidisciplinary organisations with historic links. The aim of the network is to share design best practice among its members and raise awareness of the duties on designers to comply with the CDM regulations. This involved every technique the firms could dream up, from mutual audits to a web site, www.dbp.org.uk, that passes what has been learned on to whoever wants to learn it, for free. The network has been working on this project for three years, and now it is ready for a wider audience. Accordingly Astrazeneca has asked the HSE to advertise it to the industry. So check out the site and find out the very best way to design your next project …
This firm worked on the industry legend that is the Jobcentre Plus Rollout Programme. This was a package of more than 1000 projects across the country with a total value of more than £750m, and Allan Nuttall was named a key supplier. One of the firm's objectives was to design out as much of the risk as possible in working at height, regardless of whether it was in the construction, operation or maintenance phase of the project. It did this in many site specific ways, but common factors were the use of off-site prefabrication, redesign of elements to reduce the duration of working at height and the removal of the need for step ladders.
Atkins' highway and transport division has come up with a Safety Operation System intended to act as a kind of co-pilot, and consists of a helpline operated by trained staff at a service management centre in Worcester, who take calls from operatives. The aim is to encourage the man on the ground to think through the procedures that they are following. The questions involve cross-referencing information given by the operative with facts held by the employer. For example, if the operatives say they will be working in a confined space, their competency will be checked against a database. On average, 150 tasks are stripped every month by the SOS staff, which equates to about 450 staff prevented from undertaking overly hazardous activities, and ensured that many more operate according to the rules. This is a significant achievement.
This firm has been looking for a safer way of retrofitting structural support beams, particularly when it comes to forming openings in load bearing walls that are made from poorly bonded masonry. Traditionally, this has been done by needling, propping and shoring, which often leads to movement in the surrounding structure. Brooks innovation eliminates the need for temporary supports, reduces the area of demolition and substantially reduces cost. It works with a beam and bold system, and greatly increases the safety of the construction operative and reduces the cost to the client.
In its City Point scheme in Leeds, Buro Happold was faced with the problem of extending a basement and underground car park while a new structure was put on top. This is usually a hazardous thing to attempt, partly because of the physical difficulty of cutting out a 1.2 m thick basement slab and partly because of the amount of temporary propping required. Rather than do that, the engineer determined that it could install load bearing liner walls to the inside face of the existing structure. This meant that it didn't have to demolish the existing wall, it didn't have to underpin four party walls, virtually eliminated the need to cut out the slab, greatly reduced the props and reduced operatives' exposure to contaminants in the ground water. All in all, this was a splendid demonstration of how the designer can use its creative imagination to make everyone's life easier, and safer.
MLM's entry is about it newly developed system for getting designers to think about the dangers involved in their design, and how to eliminate them. It operates like a kind of flow diagram. First the hazard is identified, then the designer is asked to try to tackle it by, for example, altering the materials used, or the position of the structure, or employing prefabrication, and so on. The form is simple to use, yet sophisticated in its conception, testament to MLM's skill, and that of Professor Richard Booth of Aston University, who helped to develop it. So far, the system has undergone a one month trial, and a further three month review. And so far, it has increased compliance with approved process from 20% to 70% and has put health and safety at the heart of early project planning.
Health and Safety Awards 2006
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Best safety innovation from a designer or engineer