Tunnel Boring Machine at Lee Tunnel - Thames Tideway Project

Longitudinal health and safety project is a first for UK construction – Thames Tideway project will be used for the fieldwork

Researchers at Loughborough University are embarking on a unique project that will track and inform health and safety leadership, policies, and practices at Tideway.

The project, commissioned by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), is the first of its kind to study the impact and process of occupational health and safety (OSH) in real time on such a large, multi-site construction programme.

Tideway is the company building the Thames Tideway Tunnel, a major new sewer urgently needed to protect the tidal River Thames from sewage pollution. The 7.2m diameter tunnel, which is due for completion in 2023, is 25km long and runs up to 65m below the River Thames.

Loughborough researchers will be embedded into each of the joint venture teams and will monitor key health and safety processes, personnel, documents, events and activities to provide robust evidence of what does and doesn’t work.

Because of their unique positions within the teams, the researchers will be able to witness how OSH policies and practices intersect with other organisational agendas, and review their effectiveness in real-time. Ultimately, it is intended that findings and best practice will be shared across the wider construction industry and will influence future OSH management and practice.

Project lead Alistair Gibb, Professor of Complex Project Management in Loughborough University’s School of Civil and Building Engineering, said: “This is one of the first studies employing longitudinal research methods on a major infrastructure project of this type, providing an exciting opportunity for researchers to be involved at the very early stages of a major project and follow it through to completion.

“Almost all previous health and safety research comes from a snapshot approach. This project gives us a unique opportunity to monitor OSH within a living lab, and to provide real-time feedback that will enable managers to make changes and improvements – and evaluate their effectiveness – during construction. It promises to provide a completely fresh perspective on the ways in which OSH policies are enacted and implemented. ”

Steve Hails, Director of Health, Safety and Wellbeing at Tideway, said: “Taking part in this hugely important research with Loughborough University is one way we are working towards achieving transformational health, safety and wellbeing standards at Tideway.”

IOSH Head of Information and Intelligence Kate Field said: “IOSH is pleased to be funding this innovative research programme, with the opportunities it presents to examine transformational OSH practices over an extended period. It has the potential to provide new insights into key OSH issues that will be of real value to our members and business.”

We, at Mosaic, are understandably very excited about this piece of research, as our system will be deployed across the 3 joint venture consortium’s building the project. Mosaic will be providing a variety of services across the project over its lifetime:

• Electronic Onboarding / Induction
• Competency Management System
• Safety critical real time skill gap analysis
• Recording of Safety messages / toolbox talks using Smart Cards and Mobile devices
• Access integration for safe movement though zones based on skills
• Perception Assessments – Measures Knowledge vs Confidence to highlight high Risk workers (Situational Based Assessments)
• Fatigue Risk Management Systems
• ‘Network Passport’ embracing all Joint Venture (JV) stakeholders

We wish them well with their research endeavours and look forward to hearing the interim findings. John Micciche, Managing Director of Mosaic said “I am particularly thrilled about this piece of research, as it represents an opportunity to gather robust & statistically significant data on a sizeable project where our system is used as a platform to deliver health & safety excellence.”

To find out more about our involvement in this project click here

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