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Safe Record At Heathrow

28 August 2012

Costain’s extensive operations at London Heathrow Airport have recorded a year without any lost time accidents (LTAs).

Heathrow remains the world’s busiest airport in terms of the number of international passengers.  Ensuring that health and safety standards are kept at high levels is Costain’s focus whilst managing the complexities of having to manoeuvre around arriving and departing aircraft, plus some 80,000 airport personnel, passengers and their vehicles.

Over the past year, Costain has tackled a multitude of projects at Heathrow, ranging from the demolition of old buildings and renewing baggage handling facilities to replacing boilers and upgrading and resurfacing perimeter roads.

Operations Director, Joe Kemm commented: “To not have a single RIDDOR incident and a year without an LTA is a remarkable achievement for the team, especially when you consider the number of separate sites that have been in operation, the nature of the construction and commissioning activities and the diverse engineering project requirements that have been carried out.  I am very proud of the efforts that have been put in by all members of the team in ensuring that everyone went home safely at the end of their shift throughout the year.”

“We’ve worked in every one of the terminals except Terminal 2, which is currently being rebuilt,” said Costain’s SHE Manager at Heathrow, Neal Kennedy.

At any given time, Costain has a workforce of around 160 people there, often working unsocial hours in order not to disrupt the airport’s work.

“The way we have to work is not like a normal construction site with hoardings erected permanently around the job,” said Kennedy. “A lot of ours are night jobs that start at 11pm when the airport is closing and end at 4am, before it re-opens. We have to be almost invisible during the day.”

He put the lack of LTAs over the past year down to a multi-layered system of safety briefings.

“I think we have become very good at engaging with the workforce.  Like any job, we have an overall induction, but we also do specific inductions for every specific works undertaken.  These, along with daily briefings, ensure engagement at all levels and promotes our safety philosophy from the very start.”

Kemm added: “The design, engineering, construction, assurance and process teams work closely with all members of the BAA team and the supply chain in ensuring there is full engagement with the workforce.  We have based a good deal of our safety philosophy in engaging with the supervisors and operatives on the ground and our supply chain, which we have done through a variety of mechanisms, but all based around the Costain Cares and behavioural-based safety approach.”

“We have tried very hard to embed safety into the way we do things at Heathrow.”

Commenting on this achievement Lisa Lewis, a Capital Safety Manager for BAA, expressed her gratitude: “Congratulations to Costain on working over one year at Heathrow without an LTA.  This level of commitment and compliance to health and safety shown by Costain has helped BAA maintain its high level of safety on sites across the airport”.