Demonstrating a track record as a considerate railway contractor – Balfour Beatty Rail Projects Ltd

Balfour Beatty Rail Projects Ltd have embarked upon an infrastructure project to upgrade the track and platforms along a 12 mile stretch of the Network Rail line between West Drayton in Middlesex and Maidenhead in Berkshire.

The project to the ‘west outer’ track infrastructure included the detailed design, installation and commissioning of new upgraded tracks and track lowering under a number of bridges to enable clearance for the overhead lines.

It also involved civic works related to bridge strengthening and drainage, provision of a new stabling sidings area for Crossrail trains at Maidenhead and minor overhead line equipment and electrical upgrade works.

Here are some examples of best practice initiatives carried out by Balfour Beatty Rail Projects Ltd, to comply with the Considerate Constructors Scheme:

  • A system of branded coloured helmets highlights each individual’s training and experience working on rail projects.
  • In addition to hosting community meetings and communications at the site, the site compound was located in a sensitive area and feedback from residents was listened to over historical issues of noise from within the depot.
  • Instead of the palisade fencing that was going to be implemented, a proposal to build a permanent acoustic fence to mitigate noise was agreed.
  • The site had both a formal Community Liaison Plan and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Action Plan in place, with three local charities being supported through fundraising and regular public meetings.
  • Plant was used to reduce the amount of waste by composting all food waste on site, reducing waste going off site, and carbon associated with vehicle movements.
  • Noise and dust was reduced during demolition through the use of hydraulic bursting rather than traditional breaking, which resulted in zero complaints relating to these issues. This was monitored with no recorded breaches in pre-agreed threshold levels.
  • The use of hydrocarbon remediation products to proactively deal with any spillages; rather than the industry norm of spill pads and granules were adopted, this remediates spillages creating little waste and ensuring land is not contaminated.
  • Great emphasis was placed on safety including a Behavioural Safety Programme for staff, operatives and subcontractors, which resulted in an excellent AFR (Accident Frequency Rate) for the project.
  • Three defibrillators were procured for the project, which were received positively and massively increased the chances of survival for anyone under cardiac arrest.
  • Various H&S stand downs and behaviour change workshops were held and feedback acted upon, for example comments from the workplace included that people were not aware of the issues of working around plant. A day was held allowing people to get into pieces of plant to see what the visibility in these machines was like and highlighting the importance of exclusion around plant.
  • To get the CCS message out to all people working on the project, sections of the code were included in the induction.
  • In order to meet the higher targets, Balfour Beatty introduced measures with the potential of scoring 9 or 10 out of 10 in the Scheme’s five-point Code of Considerate Practice, indicating ‘exceptional’ or ‘innovative’ practice.
  • A ‘Mission Room’ was installed meaning that people could look at all aspects of the project from the office, rather than having to go out on site. This saved time and avoided the risk of people going out onto the track.
  • The site establishment was a high quality air conditioned temporary accommodation that included a disabled access ramp and toilet, extensive car parking and dedicated pedestrian access routes. Material unloading and storage areas were clearly defined.


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