Exceptional consideration shown by Morrison Construction on its East Lothian Community Hospital project

Work began on the new £70 million East Lothian Community Hospital project in October 2016, a 132-bed facility including an additional 58 inpatient beds. Of the three general wards being provided, one has been allocated for orthopaedic rehabilitation, one for continuing care and another for mental health.

Expected to be completed by 2019, the development is being built on the site of the existing Roodlands Hospital, for clients NHS Lothian and the East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership. The facility has been developed in partnership with the Hub South East Scotland.

The site implemented the CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Community Safety) initiative as a new way of thinking about and managing work risk to cyclists, pedestrians and users who share the roads with any construction vehicles.

The timber recycling scheme is another great initiative. We established a partnership with the East Lothian Countryside Rangers with several projects developed to date. A site timber recycling scheme began in August and involves allocating timber for donation to community groups who can reuse it. ‘Bug hotels’ have been designed and created from recycled materials on site and transported to a local nursery. Community walkways are also being established around the site of the hospital.

What challenges have you faced in relation to the community, environment or the workforce on this project, and how have you overcome these?

One challenge we have faced is that works for the project are taking place on the site of a functioning hospital. The nature of construction means that in the short-term, dust and noise will occur at times. By ensuring continued engagement with stakeholders from the hospital and wider community, we have minimised the impact of the project works and deepened relationships with the public.

Here are just a few specific examples of how the site team implemented best practice in various areas of the Code of Considerate Practice

  • Progress updates were made in the local media and media presentation screens were created, one for the site and another in the canteen.
  • An initiative was set up with Blooming Haddington to install planters around the site boundary, including a donation to charity.
  • Another initiative set up with Haddington Art Hub to decorate perimeter hoarding.
  • Morrison Construction has taken an approach to showcasing the career opportunities available in the construction industry by inviting a teacher from a local high school on site for a work placement. During the summer school holidays, North Berwick High School teacher, Seonaid Hudson, joined the project team for a day at the East Lothian Community Hospital site. This teacher work placement is just one of the various initiatives implemented at the East Lothian Community Hospital project while registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme, to encourage and promote careers in the construction industry.
  • Donation of signs to a nursery for a construction-related play project, with a thank you letter received from the kids displayed on the noticeboard.
  • A site car park was set up within the site boundary, which was staffed by security guards, checking where all visitors park.
  • Drop-in afternoon tea event for neighbours in partnership with the NHS.
  • Staff are allocated volunteering days to participate in a community or charity initiative.
  • CCS-related initiatives are included in site meeting agendas.
  • A digital ‘totem pole’ has become a familiar sight for workers at the East Lothian Community Hospital project, keeping them up to date with site news, from safety information to the daily weather forecast. Standing about five feet tall and covered in red and black Morrison Construction branding, it is certainly hard for anyone to miss this digital device stationed in the communal area outside the site offices. In line with the Considerate Constructors Scheme, the totem pole improves site presentation, providing excellent information, while also having a strong corporate image. The digital device is just one of the ways the site team promote safety within their workforce, contributing to the exceptional workforce engagement procedures. The totem pole is regularly updated by the site team, allowing news to reach workers using modern methods of communication. Morrison Construction Project Manager Fraser Howat said site management decided this technology was worth investing into after researching the benefits. He said:Everyone on site likes the totem pole. People might walk past a poster on site but I think the fact that information flashes up on the screen makes you pay more attention.’’
  • Timber recycling scheme and ‘bug hotel’ construction in partnership with East Lothian Countryside Rangers.
  • Carbon footprint monitoring via security system, for workforce travel and for deliveries.
  • Regular liaison with consultant regarding protection of trees and works.
  • Waste recycling rates achieving 98 per cent.
  • Ecologists maintained an ongoing attendance during each stage of the phased demolition works.
  • Fire marshal training carried out on site for Morrison Construction and subcontractors, including live fire extinguisher training.
  • Face-fit training carried out on site for Morrison Construction staff and subcontractors; training allows staff to be face-fit testers and test the purchased equipment.
  • Online e-learning modules available for Morrison Construction staff on modern slavery, covering the procedures to adopt and aspects to be aware of.
  • Monthly operative safety reward certificate and Tesco voucher.
  • Biometric security system in place, displaying first aiders on site, fire marshals, and supervisors.
  • Participation in CECA Stand Down Day with mental health, respiratory illness, fatigue and plant safety discussed.
  • First aid box back-up in forklift for onsite response.
  • Random testing for drugs and alcohol, as well as ‘just cause’ testing.
  • Site operating to CLOCS initiatives and active steps taken to ensure movement of plant outside the site does not cause any danger to the public.
  • Health and safety workshops delivered to pupils at local schools
  • Building on the site of a functioning hospital presented an opportunity for Morrison Construction to partner with their client, NHS Lothian, and highlight health issues that may impact workers.
  • A project focusing on workforce health and wellbeing was registered with NHS Scotland’s Healthy Working Lives Scheme, promoting health topics for the duration of the build, including Diabetes Week, Cycle to Work Day and World Heart Day.
    – A Diabetes UK representative was invited to the site offices to deliver awareness sessions to all staff. Held from 11 June to 15 June, the presentation educated staff on the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes, how to treat the disease, the importance of being active and having a healthy diet.
    – Cycle to Work Day was held on 13 September encouraging the teams on site to think about using alternative transport to work. Free breakfasts were provided for workers who arrived to site on their bikes and this was such a great success that another Cycle to Work Day is planned for later in the year.
    – September 29 was World Heart Day, which was recognised by the site nurse offering appointments with blood pressure and BMI tests. The purpose of the day was to encourage workers to think more about their health and to seek medical advice, should they have any concerns. The appointments will be offered again due to their popularity with workers
  • Careers in the industry are encouraged with work placement opportunities and graduate training. The employment of apprentices by the supply chain is monitored.
  • A trained mental health first aider is available on site.
  • Local cycle routes poster displayed at front entrance.
  • Full welfare accommodation set up, catering for all abilities and genders, with a full-time cleaner.
  • Whole site stand-down for interactive toolbox talks.

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