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HSE HIGHLIGHT CROSSRAIL H&S INNOVATION

Drilling rig improved control of three key health hazards

HSE has shared a case study on how Crossrail’s used an innovative approach to provide a safe and healthy working environment for drill operatives.

The Crossrail team recognised early on in the project that innovation and the use and development of new technology had the potential to manage the risks posed by such a project.

Championing innovation from the top of the organisation was instrumental to the changes they wanted to make and funding was provided. Everyone was involved and encouraged to bring forward new and innovative ideas.

See the Crossrail Learning Legacy Website for further details health and safety innovation on the project.

Vibration, manual handling and silica dust reduced

Crossrail faced the challenge of fitting of supporting bracketry for the electrical cable management systems, overhead power and firefighting systems within the railway tunnel environment which required the drilling of some 250,000 holes.

A bespoke automated drilling rig was developed, which provided multiple drilling points to create service connection holes. The rig improved productivity and reduced the risk from hand arm vibration, manual handling and exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) dust.

The rig was designed and constructed to be capable of drilling 16 holes at a time, working through 250 metres of tunnel on each shift. Supporting data suggests that undertaking the same operation manually would complete some 30 metres a shift.

HSE commented that:

“This equipment was a wonderful example of collaborative working across the Crossrail project environment, linking client, designers and contractor’s delivery teams, who contributed valuable time and resources into making the rig a success.

There is no doubt that the process and schedule benefits will provide some element of commercial saving but the relevance in terms of improving health and safety in the workplace provided the inspiration for engineers on the project and we hope can inspire others in the future to demonstrate that innovative thinking can effectively align health, safety, cost and schedule benefits.”

 

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