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NETWORK RAIL EMBRACE THE BENEFITS OF SAFETY BY DESIGN

Culture change and safety through design linked together on rail infrastructure

An article published in the Rail Engineer contains the views of  Keith Miller Head of Safety and Sustainable Development (Scotland and North East) for Network Rail Infrastructure Projects who is leading a Safety by Design” initiative.

He believes that risks to those working on rail infrastructure will only be effectively addressed “if designers proactively seek to identify and manage such risks by engaging with those who will work on the assets they design”.

Read the full article

Strategy for success

Keith is leading the promotion of the Safe by Design philosophy to improve design safety. This includes awareness training on the responsibilities of the designer under CDM 2007 with training given to all those working on Infrastructure Projects.

Since February 2012 investment panels have been required to confirm that project design considers maintenance prior to granting investment authority. In March Network Rail held a Safe by Design conference attended by 40 design suppliers.

A programme has now been agreed by the Network Rail Project Safety Leadership Group which addresses the following issues:

  1. Design risk assessment
  2. Early focus on buildability and temporary works
  3. CDM roles and responsibilities
  4. Lessons learnt
  5. Procurement and programme

Keith recognises that a systematic programme is required to embed the required processes into the Network Rail design and procurement processes and secure the commitment of designers. 

Safety improvements with cost savings

Keith is supported by Paul Clark, Head of Engineering who has been actively involved in workshops to develop the Safe by Design programme. Examples of design safety improvements that offer construction and maintenance cost savings include:

  • removing drilling, grinding and cutting processes;
  • off-site assembly;
  • increased use of mechanisation;
  • providing structures with scaffolding fixture points for future maintenance;
  • locating equipment cabinets greater than three metres from the line with no requirement to go “on or near the line”;
  • indentifying access route for heavy materials within a building at the design stage to enable use of mechanised plant;
  • using products such as lightweight TroTred troughing (the rail engineer issue 83 September 2011) to provide a combined cable route and safe cess.

Lee Parlett Heath and Safety Manager Network Rail Infrastructure Projects has experience of the benefits of design changes made early in the project lifecycle. A recent Crossrail project review took two hours, involved 15 people and identified 30 risk reduction measures to be incorporated into the design including integrated reinforcing wall edge protection, lifting lugs for pre-fabricated panels, emergency egress and water run off mitigation.

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