Amey Case Study
PROJECT NAME: Earthworks Examinations (Supporting Amey on the CEFA contract & LNW Earthworks)
NETWORK RAIL ROUTE(S): Wales, LNW, LNE, Western, Wessex, Southeast, Anglia
SERVICES: Earthwork inspections to NR_L3_CIV_065 [Issue 6] 2017
Since the start of CP5 our Company has supported the delivery of earthworks inspections for Amey as part of the CEFA & LNW earthworks contracts. Our Company has built a loyal work force of geologists, civil engineers and engineering geologists all with between 5 to 10 years’ experience of earthwork inspections.
Each examiner has been assessed as part of NR/SP/CTM/017-Competence & Training in Civil Engineering and are all competent to EWE3.
Over the last 5 years our Company has successfully delivered over 4000 inspections across all Network Rail routes meeting the requirements of NR_L3_CIV_065 [Issue 6] 2017, with each inspection going through the rigorous approval and evaluation process via Amey and Network Rail.
All examination staff have completed the RSHI (Rock Slope Hazard Index) course and come equipped with Dynamic Risk Assessment training to complement their Emergency at Work First Aid certificates.
Our Company senior management team also have multiple years of experience throughout CP4 and CP5 from both an Earthworks Examining Engineer (EWE2) and Earthworks Manager (EWE1) level working on the Civil Engineering Framework Agreement contract.
We have recentlty appointed a new Operations Director, who is the former Amey earthworks national CRE (Contractors Responsible Engineer) who brings with him more than 10 years of experience in the successful delivery of over 300,000 earthwork examinations for Network Rail. This role also included being part of the EWE1 (Earthworks Manager) assessment team, the national technical/operational lead, and the former Earthworks Examining Engineer for multiple routes including Wales.
The safety of our staff and others around us is always at the forefront of what we do. On receipt of a new work bank we bring all associated staff together for a pre-season start up meeting. We use this opportunity to re-brief the operational risks and control measures associated with navigating steep slopes and working at height.
We also look back on any relevant safety bulletins and re-brief where needed. Throughout a working season we hold regular toolbox talks and carry out site audits on a regular basis. Before any site works commence, we carry out a desk study to highlight any areas requiring a reconnaissance in order to create an efficient robust programme built around non-compliance.
We will identify any areas that may have additional blockers and communicate these early in order to collaboratively work with the client to avoid any delays. We are fully practiced in working in this dynamic environment and appreciate late changes can occur. Our knowledge and experience of this work means we can re-programme works quickly and efficiently without compromising safety. Over the last 5 years our Company has successfully programmed and delivered on all our work banks issued by the client.
Our examiners will work to their individual task lists throughout the season, generally working as IWA (Individual Working Alone) utilising our internal ‘lone worker app’ where we keep regular updates of their locations and wellbeing.
Our programme uses the work bank and compliance dates to ensure zero non-compliance, with our resource utilised to maximise productivity based on each worker’s geographic location and their anticipated output. We always build in contingency to our programme for any seasonal bad weather or unforeseen circumstances.
The examiner will upload their work to the Network Rail database daily, ready for synchronisation. On a weekly basis we will update the client representative with planned versus actual and show any reforecasting where needed before delivering a monthly/period report showing progress against the baseline plan.
Earthwork examinations in the rail environment is a highly specialised skill and every one of our earthwork examiners has between 5 to 10 years’ experience in earthwork inspections. We review their EWE3 competency annually in accordance with ‘NR SP CTM 017 Competence & Training in Civil Engineering’.
We continually monitor our examiners for quality and accuracy and provide further training and/or mentoring where required.
During CP5, our Company has built the technical capability to meet the peaks in national work banks to ensure our client always stays compliant and has the data it needs to make informed decisions to manage budgets effectively.
Over the years our Company has built and maintained a close relationship with the Network Rail database provider which enables quick and easy collaborative solutions to both hardware and software issues throughout the examinations seasons.
Any new staff will be trained in both soil and rock inspections and in the use of the handheld device and GISmo software. They will only be certified once our Operations Director is confident in their ability and understanding. If refresher training is required, this will be delivered ahead of any new season.
Our examiners have attended multiple earthworks rapid responses over the last 5 years and where needed have supported Amey by providing a national on call management role liaising directly with the call centre and relevant Network Rail Control. We have provided where needed the on-site support, failure identification, risk assessment for the safe running of the railway and specifying any recommendations and conclusions back to the route asset management team and Network Rail control.
Earthworks failures generally occur during periods of inclement weather, so we make sure the safety of the responding examiner is paramount by providing them with as much information about the incident, track layout, line speeds and site contact numbers. We also ensure appropriate lighting is made available should the incident occur at night.
If during a shift one of our examiners comes across something that requires immediate attention, then we will raise this with the client representative within the required timescales as an ‘urgent defect’ and give as much information as possible together with photographs of the issue.
This could be an earthworks related issue identified during an inspection but could also be anything we feel could compromise the safe running of the railway.
Our examiners will also use the Close Call system and upload any unsafe conditions or acts to a relevant safety reporting portal.
All examination staff and senior management within our Company have a minimum trackside competence of IWA or COSS. All have multiple years of experience working on Network Rail managed infrastructure and are fully compliant to NR/L2/OHS/019.
We provide our own Safe Work Packs which follow the process of creation by the Planner, verification by the Person in Charge (PIC) and authorisation by the Responsible Manager (RM). All senior management can carry out the responsible manager role in this process.