Richard Alden, Head of Commercial Property, describes the positive safety culture he experienced during a visit to a site where National Grid employees are working alongside contractors.
For my safety leadership day visit, I went to our Wimbledon sub-station, where Capital Delivery are constructing a new 400KV substation. This will link up to the Kensal Green substation via a new 400KV cable. It’s part of the London Power Tunnels project.
The work is being undertaken through Laing O’Rourke, our principal contractor on site. However, there are a number of interfaces with other parties at the site, with Costain working on land adjacent for London Power Tunnels, UKPN accessing the existing substation adjacent, and a waste aggregates operator immediately next door.
This was a very busy site, with lots of mobile plant movements, in a tight site area. There was a clear and visible commitment to safety at the site, both from National Grid and Laing’s workforce. There were plenty of safety messages around the site and everyone had an awareness of, and were managing, the key risks on site.
With so many parties working in close proximity together, Laing had worked hard to make sure everyone was clear of their roles and responsibilities, and which areas they were responsible for. Furthermore, our own employees understood their roles, and had a sensible monitoring programme in place to give us the assurance we needed.
There were other positives, such as an occupational health visitor on site, providing medical checks and opportunities to talk about mental health. Staff had also received a number of briefings on mental wellbeing to raise awareness on site. There were also some innovations, such as the use of a 3D digital model of the site, used to produce and amend RAMs.
All in all, it felt like a positive safety culture was in place, with Laing matching National Grid’s own commitment to safety. There are still challenges at the site, with so many vehicular movements in close proximity to the workforce, but these risks are identified with mitigation in place, and I wish everyone on the project a safe conclusion to the works in the years ahead.
Thanks to Ian Lammin from Capital Delivery for hosting the visit.
What are Safety Leadership Days?
Safety leadership days are held twice a year and help our leaders to demonstrate their commitment to safety.
Last year saw our lowest-ever injury frequency rate (0.1) – but we shouldn’t get complacent.
Recently 115 leaders visited a number of our sites for tours and to hear about behavioural safety, contractor safety and mental wellbeing in particular.
Did you see the previous Safety Leadership Day news story?