Health and Safety Award

Candidates for this award must demonstrate an initiative, operations process, innovation or piece of equipment that has clearly contributed to improving health and safety, between January 2023 and January 2024. The award can be for a company-wide policy that benefits geotechnical operations, or an initiative or technique applied to a specific ground engineering project. Entries must demonstrate how safety risks associated with the geotechnical element of the work or for the geotechnical workforce were reduced.

Bachy Soletanche & Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering JV
People Plant Interface Campaign

SB3 recognised the need to implement a change to the existing “People Plant Interface” (PPI) information and processes on site, due to ongoing incidents around movement and exclusion of plant on site. With that in mind, a working group formed by all relevant departments in the organisation, and SB3 have launched an innovative PPI campaign that has been communicated and well received by all our workforce. The high quality of visual materials and animations utilised in the campaign have allowed a successful roll-out in the organisation and the HS2 N1 N2 project generally. The campaign has been embedded in the organisation through animation videos, real-life footage from our sites, magnetic signs on our plant and clear posters on all our sites; with good quality briefing materials.

Bam Ritchies
Nothing Ventured, Nothing Trained

At BAM Ritchies, we are investing in piling plant and equipment to meet our project and client needs. As our capability grows, we needed to match that with the competency and capability of our people. To support this we created a “fake” construction site and mobilised our GEAX CFA piling rig along with our RH-28 piling rig. We are only as good as our people so this CPCS and familiarisation training with the piling rigs and ancillary plant meant our people were challenged with live site situations and trained in how to overcome so they were prepared for these events on a real site. This investment in creating a real life “fake” site and delivering CPCS training and familiarisation training over a 2-week period to more than 25 key personnel demonstrates our commitment to our people, our performance and to our clients.

Geoquip Marine
Digitally Transforming QHSE Data Empowering All Personnel of Geoquip Marine

Geoquip Marine (GQM) continuously strives to improve health and safety during geotechnical site investigations, aiming for “The Perfect Day” every day. The GQM slogan is “delivering reliable data safely”. In 2023, GQM implemented the My Compliance Management (MYC) digital system, transforming how we process and track safety data and enhancing the QHSE standards and compliance. Before the use of the MYC system, GQM used Microsoft Word and Excel. We didn’t have a complete mechanism to track and review safety NCRs and actions effectively and efficiently, so we couldn’t achieve compliance. By introducing MYC and enhancing our communication with our employees, we have shown a heightened commitment to safety. GQM employees feel more empowered and inclined to raise safety concerns and suggest improvements. Staff also have more accountability and responsibility when closing out actions and responding to Non-Conformances, ultimately creating a safer environment.

Liebherr Werks Nenzing
Floating unit operation & pile tilting device for crawler cranes

A world-first operating mode for crawler crane operation on a floating unit (pontoon, barge). The system provides dynamic monitoring of slewing forces that can occur during barge operations due to the variable movements of a floating platform. The optimised load curves provide a significantly safer operation and better utilisation of the cranes' load chart vs standardised de-rating values. In combination with the assistance system the Vertical Line Finder supports the crane operator to minimise possible diagonal pull while lifting or lowering the load. The pile tilting device offers a safer and more efficient system to lift and handle piles with the unique ability to control the tilting angle of the piles 90° (from horizontal to vertical). This eliminates the risk of shock loading and lateral forces on the crane vs conventional single hook vertical lifting, and full control of the pile during handling and positioning on site.

Mott MacDonald

The West Midlands section of HS2’s Phase 1 route is a complex 90km long civils contract operating as 8 individual sublots containing tunnels, cuttings, embankments, viaducts, culverts, and bridges. SafetIbase was used to provide one centralised health and safety risk assessment and risk transfer process including ground engineering risks, automatically linking significant risks to federated models. The workflow enables collaboration between designers, contractors and client as well as providing assurance evidence for CDM compliance. As it is one system, it drives consistency and best practice in risk mitigation across the individual sublots. It was used throughout the entire project lifecycle from designer to contractor and finally client. Successful team engagement through training, workshops and CDM champions was used throughout the workflow and is now being adopted by other contracts.

Network Rail
Network Rail Scotland - Weather Operations

The Weather Operations Delivery Manager role is a “industry first” in UK railway operations and they provide expert advice and monitoring of Scotland’s Weather from dedicated operational meteorologists rostered 24/7, 365 days of the year in Scotland’s Route Control. This is now a cornerstone in Scotland’s Railway in providing safety to workers and the public, as geotechnical assets such as soil cuttings and embankments are more susceptible to catastrophic failure during adverse and extreme rainfall events. Since climate change is pointing to an ever-increasing trend in the recurrence and in the intensity of these types of events, the Weather Operations Delivery Manager role is essential for Scotland’s Railway. This unique role provides Scotland Railway with an added layer of essential safety and information to make strategic operational decisions to protect passengers, the public and workers alike while also alerting quickly to any geotechnical asset failures.

Systra & AmcoGiffen
EVFE Earthworks – Significant CDM Risk Identification and Management

Using Safe by Design principles, SYSTRA collaborated with construction partner AmcoGiffen to address significant CDM hazards identified on the Ebbw Vale rail project. The unique geological conditions of the Western Valley rail line, including periglacial landslide deposits on sidelong ground, along with the proximity of the River Ebbw to historic embankments, added complexity to the assessment. Using engineering geological hazard mapping in development of a “Geological Chance of Success” (GCOS) process for the route, it was possible for SYSTRA to use a systematic approach to evaluate and communicate the risk of failure across different earthworks to Network Rail and the National Technical Specification Notification (NTSN) assessor. This ensured the successful commissioning of the route into service. Completed in 2023, Ebbw Vale demonstrates Safe By Design in practice. The team sought the optimum approach to managing significant health and safety risks, using an open mindset and the collective safety culture.

Emergency Repairs

On 14th January 2023, VolkerFitzpatrick were notified of an embankment failure in Hook, Hampshire by Network Rail. Requiring a rapid response, we swiftly mobilised the same day to examine the embankment and begin to rectify the 44metre section of the embankment that had washed away, leaving two tracks undamaged and two suspended in mid-air. By the 16th of January, we generated conceptual designs based on Engineering Judgement to be verified as site information became available, enabling early procurement of materials and engagement of subcontractors. On Day 7, embankment repair works commenced. By Day 30, 13th February, the Phase 1 works were complete, 11 days before the target date, with the railway reopening to resume normal services for passengers. The successful delivery of the emergency works led to Phase 2 being awarded to futureproof the areas either side of the impacted embankment area whilst the tracks continued to remain operational.