Balfour Beatty’s ‘Boots on the Ground’ event at the Track Partnership depot in Ruislip last night was most successful.
The event focused on health and safety. Balfour Beatty’s health, safety, environmental and sustainability director Mark Groombridge held a series of sessions asking workers for feedback on their H&S issues, and there was a long queue for the free confidential health checks sponsored by VGC.
As part of trying to increase close calls and cut accidents including RIDDORs, Lee Hollett ran a ‘hazard perception’ competition (main photo). Groups were allowed into the shielded training area and asked to spot as many dangers as possible. I could see some of the more obvious hazards, but the people in my group were excellent: they noted a large number of technical mistakes crammed into a very small line of track!
Workers could also chat to Balfour Beatty’s driver risk management expert on vehicle safety (left). Representatives from Bodyguard high vis clothing, Traffiglove gloves and Cembre railway tools were there to discuss their products.
Crane operator Michael O’Sullivan demonstrated the narrow field of vision from the cab of an RRV. People were encouraged to climb up into the vehicle and watch as he walked around it. It allowed me to see for myself just how limited visibility is for the driver – as well as experience the microphone relay from the crane controller and the rear-view CCTV. One of the Track Partnership team who also tried it said it was the first time he’d been in an excavator, although he’d been working on the track for over 30 years. A demonstration like this really shows why the 10m exclusion zone exists, as well as the risks of not taking plant interface seriously.
I said a brief hello to Nevil Steadman, operations manager, and enjoyed the opportunity to chat to Balfour Beatty’s H&S specialist Adam Lucas. I also spoke to several of our team on Track Partnership, including Emmanuel Adetayo, Key influencer Moyo Gisanrin and Dennis Pollard (who was one of the very first key influencers I met when I joined VGC).
Then – after all, I had been in the office all day – I cycled home for some sleep!