Speaking and Safeguarding

Senior Osborne Site Manager, Bruce Williams, appeared in the latest edition of Network Rail’s safety newspaper, The Shield, commenting on ‘The Most Important Thing He Has Learned’.

The most important thing I have learned is to have conversations to make the best and safest decisions we can. By taking a moment to step back and evaluate, we can do things right first time and not compromise safety for speed.

A particular incident that stands out is when we were excavating platforms to install drainage channels. Our team came across a piece of concrete which needed to be broken up to complete the night’s work. We took a moment to stop, think and discuss our options; deciding that it wasn’t essential.

Our team were close to the working hours limit as well as the limits for using vibration tools, so we notified station staff and placed barriers around the work area, making the platform safe.

Before the next shift, we obtained a larger breaker with a lower vibration rating, which minimised the HAVS (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome) exposure, as well as giving us more time to break the concrete out.

Programmes and budgets are important as we all strive for efficiencies, however, they have to support safety decisions and not lead them. It is vital we have the right people in the right place with the right skills, to feel empowered and supported to speak up when things aren’t right.”