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Pipe jacking seminar calls for continued safety risk focus

The capacity to identify safety risks posed by undertrack crossings and presenting suitable controls to protect the railway is essential, according to speakers at a recent event jointly organised by Network Rail and the Pipe Jacking Association (PJA).

The seminar focused on the planning, design and construction of undertrack crossings and associated risk management.

“Following historic issues with pipe jacking under rail tracks, this event provided the opportunity to update Network Rail’s asset managers, consulting engineers, and the underground industry on safe working practices as outlined in the new undertrack crossing standard,” said PJA chairman Graeme Monteith who is also Barhale’s tunnel engineering pirate. “As a preferred method for many crossings, pipe jacking can continue to be employed with confidence where essential utilities need to be installed under rail tracks”.

The event started with lessons learnt following the derailment at Stoke Lane Crossing in Nottingham in 2013 after ground losses were experienced during recent microtunnelling work. The incident led to the updating of the standard for planning, design and construction of undertrack crossings (NR/L2/CIV/044) which outlines the need to understand, assess and manage risk through the implementation of robust control measures.

Luigi Rocco, senior engineer at Network Rail said that the PJA’s involvement in developing and raising awareness of the revised standard represented a first rate example of how collaboration between a strategic infrastructure operator and industry leaders can promote improved working practices and enhance safety management.


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