July 2012 in Network Rail and Suppliers
Insufficient lighting:The reporter states that on the walkway leading to the site there is no lighting at all and staff are only provided with handheld halogen lamps. This is particularly a problem after dusk and at night.
Testing lead levels:According to the reporter, staff should be tested on a regular basis for the amount of lead in their bloodstream. The reporter states that large numbers of agency staff remain untested despite working in close proximity to lead. Also, no measures are being taken to determine the amount of lead being released into the immediate environment during the works.
Insufficient personal protective equipment:Staff are not being provided with the correct type of mask for working in an environment where lead could be released into the atmosphere. They are only provided with dust masks, and this only occurs when they ask for them. Also, staff carrying out grinding and welding do not have the correct overalls, which could create a fire hazard.
Inadequate welfare facilities: Staff are not provided with sufficient space and chairs to sit down on during their breaks, there is no running hot water on site and the washing facilities do not have soap that is effective at removing the materials used on site.
Inadequate competencies:Several staff on site do not hold the correct competencies to be able to carry out the work they are undertaking.
Work carried out in unsafe conditions:The removal of plates from the end beams is occurring without a possession being taken. This, according to the reporter, is not supposed to happen as it could be unsafe.
Could Taziker Industrial Ltd:
Response from Taziker Industrial Ltd
Taziker Industrial Ltd would like to thank the reporter for raising their concerns. Below, Taziker Industrial Ltd have addressed the specific concerns put forward.
Improve the lighting on site, to reduce the risk to those working after dusk or at night?
All walkways are sufficiently illuminated using Light-Emitting Diode (LED) link lighting throughout the work site. Task lighting is supplied through Halogen tower lights. No one is issued with handheld lamps to navigate around site. We also installed dual-bulb fluorescent lighting where required throughout the structure and compound to ensure that particularly dark and often travelled areas are adequately lit whatever the time of day.
Test the lead levels of all staff, both permanent and agency, on a regular basis during the length of the works to ensure safe working?
Under theControl of Lead at Work Regulations 2002, those exposed to lead are required to be tested every 12 months. At Taziker Industrial we test all of our staff, both permanent and agency workers, every three months as a minimum; this includes those who are not significantly exposed to lead, such as the Steelworkers.
They also undertake medical examinations pre-start and annually thereafter, to ensure they remain fit to work with lead, this assessment also includes biological monitoring, lung function testing, dermatitis checks, audiometry analysis and a one-to-one consultation with an appointed Doctor.
The appointed Doctor reviews all lead level results for all staff to ensure their exposure is correctly controlled using engineering controls, Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) and hygiene/welfare facilities. If there was an issue with our assessment regime this would quite rightly be raised by the Doctor and investigated by the Health Safety Executive (HSE)/Office of Rail Regulation (ORR).
Provide staff with the correct masks and overalls for the work they are undertaking?
We have undertaken extensive investigations into the composition of airborne dust, to identify the particle sizes generated during our works; this data has driven the selection of our Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) and RPE to ensure that whatever we supply is fit for the prescribed task. All staff are face fit tested and inspected for clean shaven faces prior to commencing work.
There is a dedicated PPE and RPE store available on site and all issued consumables are recorded and used to drive the re-ordering process. This system ensures that there is always a constant supply of the correct PPE and RPE available on site to all those who require it.
There is an extensive supply of fire retardant overalls available onsite within the PPE store, to those who require them, in line with the controls recommended within the risk assessment. Task briefings are conducted prior to work commencing, where task specific PPE and RPE is briefed out and staff inspected to ensure they are appropriately attired.
Improve the welfare facilities on site by providing more chairs and tables for staff to sit at, running hot water and better washing facilities?
We have provided sufficient welfare facilities onsite with heated cabins, chairs, tables, microwaves, fridges and kettles with hot running water in each. There are also sufficient washing facilities available including toilet blocks with sinks, soap, Swarfiga [a heavy-duty hand cleaner], hand gels and paper towels. In addition we have constructed a specially designed decontamination unit with sinks large enough to fit a forearm up to the elbow and showers with shower gel, shampoo, towels and nail brushes available.
Since receiving this report we have surveyed sites about the welfare facilities available and we have received universally positive feedback, accompanied by the request for an improved outdoor seating/eating area for the summer months, which we have implemented.
Check the competencies held by staff on site to ensure that they are qualified to do the work?
All competencies are checked for all new employees/existing operatives, with their details entered onto a skills and competency matrix. This ensures that current competencies are maintained and gaps are identified where additional training can be effective.
Each member of staff is issued with a company ID card which states their competency level and the tasks they are authorised to undertake. These are auditable by our Site Managers and Network Rail to verify the staff sent to site are competent to undertake the programmed work.
Ensure that all work that is required to be undertaken in a possession is actually carried out in a possession?
The end plate repair to the main cross girders, as referred to in the report is permissible during operational periods when conducted to a detailed prescribed methodology, which is agreed with Network Rail's Engineers, the Designers and our own engineering staff. The process is supervised on site by all parties to ensure it is conducted to the methodology, and the structural capacity of the girder is not diminished whilst the work is undertaken. The plates are never removed from the end beams, instead they are overplated and connected with Tension Control Bolts (TCB) on a one-out one-in system. Finally these are fully tightened using a TCB gun upon wheels-free possessions.