Thames Tideway induction

Pioneering construction: Can health and safety training really be truly EPIC?

What comes into your mind when you think of a day of health and safety training? A day in a cold room, surrounded by disinterested hungry, grumpy colleagues annoyed that they are being taught to ‘suck eggs’ by a salesman in a cheap suit with his array of mid-90s videos exhibiting unforgivably cringweworthy scenes a of naughty man who got hit on the head when he wasn’t wearing his hard hat?

Well, not any more. Health and safety training is transforming from the stale, beige, ‘bend your knees and keep your back straight’ – tick box exercise, to something truly epic – and I do not use this word lightly.

Last month Tideway, the company delivering the Thames Tideway Tunnel to tackle sewage overflows into the River Thames, invited me to take part in their EPIC induction training day. Every single person working on the Thames Tideway Tunnel project, from the crane drivers to the river divers, to the site managers will attend this course -and I was lucky enough to get a chance to take part myself.

And I say take part, rather than attend, as the training is both engaging and interactive, totally captivating and like nothing else I have ever been a part of.

The day is centred on the death of Michael Clarke; which happens before your eyes, thanks to actors from the Active Training Team (ATT). Michael, a young site

Thames Tideway Induction
Thames Tideway – A different approach

worker and father to a new-born baby is enduring fatigue when a set of circumstances leads to him suffer fatal injuries on site, on a Friday afternoon.

Under pressure to meet targets, with his supervisor on his case, Michael makes some fatal errors – which have huge consequences for his colleagues, family and friends – left behind following his death.

Transported into Michael’s life and immersed in the factors leading to his death participants learn first-hand that a fatality on site is a fatality at every level of thejob – from the boardroom to the workers on the ground. It is simply not just one single factor that leads to someone not going home at the end of the day; but a ripple effect of many situations, circumstances and occurrences – many avoidable and preventable. The immersive training brings the incident alive, making you really open your eyes and pay attention, and also strikes some very raw nerves as the familiarity of work pressures, communication errors and simple mistakes, hits home.

Once you have spent your morning involved in every part of Michael’s life, and tragic death – the training gives you a chance to think about how this learning journey will translate on site – while being a part of the team building the tunnel under the Thames. Every participant is told of Tideway’s vision to be the safest, cleanest construction project, with top welfare facilities, catering, health, safety and wellbeing. But it can’t all happen from the top.

Thames Tideway Induction

EPIC attendees, current and future Tideway workers are asked to enter into an agreement for their own health, safety and welfare and that of their colleagues. It is a real chance to understand that when you are part of a project that truly invests in you – you have to actively invest in yourself.

And, with this sort of training, it really is only effective if you throw yourself into it, use your imagination and demonstrate some willingness to look a bit foolish. Some people really gave it their ‘all’ while I think others, especially those without English as their first language, found the roleplay a little awkward and the session on communication got slightly lost in translation.

Thames Tideway Induction

Talking about the unique induction, Steve Hails, director of health, safety and wellbeing said: “At Tideway we are aspiring to reach transformational health and safety standards.  This starts at the very beginning with every person attending our EPIC induction programme.

“Traditionally, inductions have been rather dull, transactional affairs – generally via PowerPoint presentations and the continual repetition of site requirements or industry standards.  EPIC is different.

“Every attendee is immediately immersed in the experience and all play an active part throughout the day.  EPIC focuses on behaviours and our expectations for every individual working on Tideway – starting on day one.

“Active involvement and participation is a key part of successful completion of the induction day.  EPIC is unique and sets a new benchmark for industry. It is our intention that EPIC becomes the basis of future induction programmes.”

What training such as this does, is make us stand up and be counted – recognising that health and safety is part of everyone’s job and it’s everyone’s responsibility. Through drama, participation, workshops and discussion people become involved at a much deeper level then they would sitting in front of a two dimensional presentation, or being told formulaically what is wrong or right.

I wish I could say so much more, but don’t want to give away everything about this training, as the ATT actors performing this scenario six days a week over the six year Tideway project deserve to keep much of their incredible experience a secret. What I can say for sure is that I have never left a health and safety training day with a real sense that I will always do things differently in the future.

To find out more about us and the system then please click here. Working with Thames Tideway to support delivery of this project through Competency Management Systems and more….

Source: Lauren Applebey, SHPonline

A14 represents a huge Joint Venture projects in the constrction sector

A14 Extension – Online Competency & Site Management Systems making this more than just a road

A14 represents a huge Joint Venture projects in the constrction sector
A14 represents a huge Joint Venture project that will entail complex management processes between its partners

The government has now committed up to £1.5 billion investment to improve the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon and Mosaic Management Systems is at the heart of this project with its integrated site management software. This vital road upgrade will eventually relieve congestion, unlock growth and help to connect communities.

The project includes a major new bypass to the south of Huntingdon, widening part of the existing A14 between Swavesey and Girton, widening part of the A14 Cambridge northern bypass, widening a section of the A1 between Brampton and Alconbury and demolition of the A14 viaduct at Huntingdon.

The Joint Venture consortium that was awarded the contract comprises of Costain, Skanska, Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Atkins and CH2M. The Integrated Delivery Team (IDT) represented by Highways England and the six major contractors wanted to use the services of a single online platform to manage its site access, working practises and employee training, whereby contractors were issued with site cards working in conjunction with Smart Phone Apps and PDA hand held devices.

The IDT have stated from the outset that their aims is to deliver an exemplar project across the board for its client. Following on from a rigorous tender process that was seeking an innovative solution for site management, the Mosaic suite of products was chosen. The system was favoured over other solutions because it provides the client with a flexible and unique online platform to record all contractor activity on site encompassing Induction Management, CMS/Skill Gap analysis, fatigue & risk management, access integration, assessment & training, and stock & asset control via issued smart cards.

Mosaic Management Systems Managing Director John Micciche commented by saying:

snip_20161010124456 about us“We are extremely pleased to win this tender on such a prestigious project, as it will showcase how our online system can provide an end to end solution, while delivering across a dynamic working environment for the life of the project.”

 To find out more about us and the system then please click here



Paddington underground station - Costain Skanska JV

Costain Skanska JV wins £40m Paddington underground link contract – Mosaic goes along for the ride!

Costain, the engineering solutions provider, in joint venture (JV) with Skanska UK, has won the contract to create an underground link between Paddington Station’s Crossrail and Bakerloo Line platforms for London Underground Limited (LUL). The contract is worth approximately £20m to the Costain Group.

The 125m-long tunnelled link will also incorporate two escalators and a lift and will alleviate congestion, whilst minimising the interchange time between Crossrail and Bakerloo Line.

The link is scheduled to be handed over in August 2018, and final completion in December 2018. A spokeswoman for Network Rail said the work will “significantly improve the station’s facilities and provide passengers with a better travelling experience”.

Costain and Skanska have utilised Mosaics core competency management systems once again on this project. Centrally controlled inductions where contractors book themselves onto the course is something in the offing for this innovative project. John Micciche MD of Mosaic “We are always happy to listen to the client’s desired specification and deliver bespoke solutions where possible.”

Key US construction study concludes that a health & safety culture really does affect the bottom line

Worker using a still saw with no PPE gloves, googles and dust mask
US Worker using a still saw with no PPE gloves, googles and dust mask

Construction contractors who take safety seriously and invest more in worker safety really do achieve better profitability than contractors who spend less on safety, according to the results of a recent US survey.

More than 250 contractors participated in the survey, which was conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics (in partnership with the Center for Construction Research and Training and United Rentals).

The study measured contractors on 33 leading indicators to determine their place on the spectrum of safety culture. Thirty-two percent of contractors scored on the high end of the spectrum, 35 percent scored in the moderate level and 33 percent scored on the low end.

The key finding were that contractors who scored higher on the safety culture spectrum reported greater business benefits from their safety investments than contractors who scored on the lower end of the spectrum.

  • Improved project quality: 88 percent (upper end) versus 56 percent (lower end)
  • Improved staff retention: 79 percent (upper end) versus 45 percent (lower end)
  • Increased project return on investment: 75 percent (upper end) versus 38 percent (lower end)
  • Greater ability to attract new staff: 67 percent (upper end) versus 27 percent (lower end)

competent personIn addition the researchers compared these results to those of a similar survey conducted in 2012 and found that more contractors are recognising the role of workers in increasing project safety. Jobsite worker involvement scored as the most widely recognised aspect of a world-class safety program: 85 percent, an increase of 19 percentage points from the 2012 survey. Involve your workers in the process of safety on site and they will deliver.

Mosaic Management Systems provides health and safety site management software that offers you an online and flexible solution to on boarding, competency management, access control, asset management, stock control, fatigue management and toolbox talks.

To find out more about the company please follow the link.

snip_20161010124456 about us

Building Safety Group says Construction Workers Health Standards Concerning

Serious concerns have been raised over the health standards of construction workers after a series of independent inspections of construction sites found that dust masks were not being used correctly. The findings of the 10,000 visits made to sites throughout the country by the Building Safety Group (BSG – not for profit building consultancy) earlier in the year found that a significant number of workers had not fitted their masks correctly.

The BSG said that most of the breaches uncovered related to the way firms use “face fit” dust masks, which the group said was particularly concerning as these masks cut down on the risk of workers inhaling dangerous chemicals from the dust they are working with.

The substances can lead to fatal diseases such as silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and lung cancer.

Overall, the inspections carried out by the BSG discovered that occupational health non-compliance concerns went up by 28% between the first and second quarters of 2016. Furthermore, there was a 43% increase in violations concerning the control of substances hazardous to health and a 13% rise in dust fume infringements.

The findings of the research has led Paul Kimpton, BSG Managing Director, to call for construction companies to review their health and safety protocol on a regular basis to make sure that they comply with the latest legislation.

Kimpton commented: “Everyone involved in construction has a responsibility in managing risks to health, and all parties must take ownership of their part of the process. Construction dust is not just a nuisance. It can seriously damage your health and cause life-changing lung diseases.”

The findings come at a time when the construction industry is taking big steps as a whole to cut down on the risks to health and safety.

Mosaic Management Systems provide industry safety critical online software to aid on boarding of a workforce, competency checking and to record briefings and toolbox talks. By communicating health and safety expectations effectively about site procedures and standards from the outset and thereafter followed up by briefings and toolbox talks will improve site management considerably. To contact us and find out more about the services we offer please click the link.

To read the article in full please follow the link


Top 8 Health & Safety risks found on construction sites

The construction industry accident fatality rate stands at twice that of other sectors. Construction sites are therefore callenging places from a health and safety perspective – almost every conceivable hazard exists within this constantly changing working environment.

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However the hazards associated with construction sites are well known and luckily most responsible employers are aware of their duty of care to employees, visitors, and those that may be affected by their activities, and will manage the site effectively, implementing appropriate accident prevention measures.

Listed below are just a few of the main hazards that are encountered on a typical construction site:

1. Working at Height

The construction of buildings invariably requires tradesmen to work at height. Fatalities and injuries involving height relating factors account for many accidents each year. The risks associated with working at a height are often increased by additional access and mobility restrictions.

2. Moving Objects

A construction site is always on the move; hazards are inherent to this industry and only increase as a construction project progress. Construction sites are busy places what with the shear volume of constantly moving vehicles and trades people – overhead lifting equipment shifting heavy loads, supply vehicles, dumper trucks everywhere, manoeuvring around a usually uneven terrain. Site layout is crucial to ensure a smooth flow or goods, materials and the workforce around it to ensure all remain safe. Correct access controls that accurately record entry and exit along with a comprehensive induction go a long way to maintaining safety on site.

4. Slips, Trips, & Falls

When you consider all the activities going on around the site at any one time it is unsurprising that slips, trips, and falls happen frequently. Construction sites are place of holes in the ground, buildings at various stages of completion, scaffolding, stored materials and equipment: you really do need to have your wits about you at all times. Proper training in the form of briefings and tool box talks can be carried out by site managers to ensure workers are made aware of these dangers in general and that can be unique to each site. These should be recorded in a useable format to ensure everyone has been briefed and the message has been tailored to different workers as well.

5. Noise

Noise is a major hazard on site. Excessive noise causes over a period can cause long term hearing problems and can be a dangerous distraction, the cause of accidents. Employers are required to carry out and document a comprehensive noise risk assessment – and issue appropriate PPE (Protective Protection Equipment).

6. Material & Manual Handling

Materials and equipment is being constantly lifted and moved around on a construction site, whether manually or by the use of lifting equipment. Different trades will involve greater demands, but all may involve some degree of risk. Where employee’s duties involve manual handling, then adequate training must be carried out. Where lifting equipment is used, then adequate training must also be carried out, but may involve some form of test, to confirm competency. Records of training must be maintained for verification and kept up to date.

7. Airborne Fibres & Materials – Respiratory Diseases

Construction sites cause a lot of dust, some of which can be toxic mix of hazardous materials and fibres that can damage the lungs. Often the dust is invisible and fine. Just issuing PPE is not enough…employers have a duty to ensure protective equipment is actually used. Failure to do so could render an employee to disciplinary action and in hot water with the health and safety executive. All this activity needs to be logged in a central location for future reference.

8. Electricity

On average, three construction industry workers are electrocuted each year during refurbishment work on commercial and domestic buildings. People working near overhead power lines and cables are also at risk. There are also a growing number of electrocutions involving workers who are not qualified electricians but who are carrying electrical work, such as plumbers and joiners and decorators. Competencies need to be checked prior to contractors coming on site and off limit areas need to be highlighted as part of the induction process.

Mosaic Software – Making Site Management Easier

Behind every construction project there is a need to successfully induct workers, monitor site access and check competencies. Mosaic does all of this and more via an online Network Passport and Smart Card system. With this system one card really does open up a world of innovative site management possibilities.

Please click here to read more about how we can help you manage your projects

Contruction site workers

Construction industry deaths rise by almost a quarter from last years figures, says the Health & Safety Executive

The number of workers killed while performing their jobs in the UK construction industry grew by almost 23 per cent during last year, according to new data.

Figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) shows 43 workers died onsite in 2015/16 – up from 35 worker deaths in 2014/15 – This equals the average for the previous five years.

However, the annual Health and Safety Statistics report, due for release in November, is expected to outline that the rate of fatal injury in the sector has dropped from a five-year average of 2.04 per 100,000 workers to 1.94.

The long-term trend has seen the rate of fatalities more than halve over the past 20 years. However, the figures show that a total of 144 people were killed while at work in 2015/2016 – up from 142 in 2014/15.

The Health and Safety Executive has called on all sectors in industry to learn lessons to ensure workers return home safe from work.

Mosaic is used by the biggest names in the construction industry to manage a range of safety critical and competency issues on major infrastructure sites and projects.  Indeed, Mosaic is sometimes mandated by companies due to the significant role it plays in reducing site health and safety issues, security, improved productivity and time saved.

To read more about us and the services we offer to the construction industry please click here