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GE Awards shortlist: Health and Safety

Finalists for the Health and Safety Award demonstrated an initiative, operational process, innovation or piece of equipment that has contributed to improving health and safety on site.

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Candidates were expected to show quantifiable safety improvement; techniques used to deliver the initiative; employee acceptance or involvement in delivery; and involvement of stakeholders and others in the supply chain.

Bachy Soletanche

Bachy has identified the clear safety benefits of the driller having a better view of the drilling process.  Due to the large amount of hydraulic hoses running to the control consul it is not physically possible to make the controls remote, so the company designed an extendable arm from the present consul which housed only the key functions for safe operation of changing elements within the drill string. This extension gives the driller a far clearer view of this process. This modification was carried out on the Klemm 708. So far, Bachy has received favourable reports from its operators. As yet, there have been no reported accidents or near misses.

Bachy Soletanche

When piling rigs travel between sites on low loader lorries, the cab floor of the rig can be 2m or so above ground level. Bachy wanted to find a solution to getting the piling rigs off the low loader lorry without exposing the rig operator to risks of falling whilst trying to get in and out of the cab of the piling rig. The company’s solution involves fitting piling rigs with a remote control unit. Bachy worked closely with Soilmec to customise the piling rigs. Soilmec is now offering this solution to all of its customers as an option on new build rigs to assist in complying with EN16628.

Fhoss Technology

The Powered Light Safety Wear range, developed by Fhoss Technology, has been designed to meet all the required industry certifications for high visibility safety wear. In addition, Fhoss has integrated powered electroluminescence into the prismatic tape which is then manufactured into the clothing. The concept was initially developed following engagement with the rail sector. Fhoss found that slips, trips and falls were an ongoing issue, as well as visibility of workers around plant equipment at night. Standard high visibility safety wear relies on ambient light to reflect off it, whereas Fhoss clothing has a built-in powered light, therefore increasing the wearer’s visibility.

Hydrock Group

Hydrock launched the Safe People, Safe Site, Safe Home initiative in January 2014. The aim of the scheme was to create a workforce of safe people with the necessary tools, equipment, knowledge and processes to deliver and run safe sites. Ultimately, these safe people should be sent home safely at the end of each working day. The idea was developed as a result of an increase in Hydrock’s accident incident rate. Since launching the initiative, senior management and employee involvement has increased throughout the company, resulting in the improvement of existing and new systems alike.

Skanska Rashleigh Weatherfoil

In 2010, Skanska introduced a cultural programme to address the behavioural aspects of health and safety. The scheme, Injury Free Environment (IFE), was introduced in response to a number of behavioural issues, such as complacency and lack of diligence, that were creating dangerous occurrences. To further develop IFE, a calendar was produced for 2014 with monthly themes accompanied by a key message. Each theme was linked to an IFE Tool Box Briefing to be carried out at all sites and offices. The company says the success of the IFE programme is difficult to measure, but it is no coincidence that the number of injury-related incidents has decreased since its introduction.

Soil Engineering Geoservices

Soil Engineering’s health and safety initiative, Focus on Manual Handling, encompassed all aspects of the business from site and field activities, to those carried out in the yard and depot, the laboratory and all office facilities. Analysis of the company’s safety statistics for the previous year indicated that 30% of all accidents and incidents were related to manual handling. The initiative has resulted in an overall decrease in manual handling incidents at the company, with only eight incidents in 2014.The accident frequency rate has also reduced from 0.48 at the start of the year to 0.29 at the end of December 2014.


As part of the Crossrail project, a network of 30 self-powered wireless sensors were used to measure tunnel wall inclination and displacement in three axes, all with sub-millimetre precision, along with tunnel temperature and humidity. The sensors were deployed primarily to support an initiative to reduce operator exposure to unsafe environments through the use of autonomous wireless sensors. There were no wires to be damaged or cut, no trip hazards, no electrical shorts and no automatic total stations that required realignment due to works-related disturbances. After placement, the tunnel complex was sealed and all tunnel monitoring took place in the safety of an office.

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