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On-site safety addressed in Birmingham City Centre

In early 2018, a reporter raised concern about the work the Midland Metro Alliance is undertaking whilst extending the tram system in Birmingham city centre. According to the reporter, there were multiple safety breaches in the work procedures carried out. For example, the reporter reported employees not wearing the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The reporter also said there was no banksman present for the traffic management process. The reporter also stated, on many occasions, the public were seen crossing a site, putting themselves at risk of being hit by delivery vehicles. The reporter said there was restricted access for wheel chair users. The reporter also said that the safety breaches had been going on for two months. It is believed that they were happening because of the lack of supervision on site.

The reporter asked if the Midland Metro Alliance could:

  • Investigate the current procedures followed in the city centre?
  • Coordinate all activities mentioned above in a safe manner?

Midland Metro Alliance’s response
We would like to thank the reporter for bringing this to our attention. We already have robust health and safety processes and procedures in place across all our Midland Metro Alliance sites, as do our partners and supply chain, but nevertheless we took this as an opportunity to undertake a full review of the operational procedures around the site access points within the city centre.

Additional signage and traffic management systems were put in place. All staff were re-briefed regarding the vehicle movements in and out of the sites, as well as received a safety briefing and toolbox talk regarding the wearing of the correct PPE, in compliance with the alliance, partner companies and industry standards. Site observations relating to addressing the reporter’s initial concern were observed over a one-week period to understand the pedestrian flows and access constraints. Meetings with other developers within the city centre were also held in order to improve the signage and traffic management system in place around them all.

Actions taken:

  • All site and management staff briefed on the reporter’s concern
  • Daily shift briefings on site access points and machine and plant movements
    Additional traffic management staff placed at site access points to further assist with deliveries and construction traffic movements
    Traffic management escort team increased and now in place to escort/control movements in and out, oversized or disruptive loads to and from site
    Disabled access routes reviewed and further temporary ramps installed where applicable
    All Midland Metro Alliance staff re-briefed about the full PPE standard required.

Additional measures:

  • Additional briefings carried out to supplement existing site communications
  • Increased inspections and monitoring
  • Additional supervision and works manager appointed to oversee works as the site expands
  • Increased monitoring and interface meetings with all those involved in the area to ensure successful collaboration and cooperation.