Implementing and promoting best practice on CNIM Lagan JV (South London) Ltd’s energy recycling facility in Croydon

CNIM Lagan JV (South London) Ltd’s Beddington ERF Project in Croydon has been praised for its excellent and exceptional practice.

The project is a £205m energy recycling facility on an existing landfill site that will process 300,000 tonnes of waste per annum.

Explaining the unique nature of the project, Lagan Construction Group’s SHE Site Manager & JV Crane Co-ordinator, Phil Gahegan said:

“The overall site is home to a number of rare birds (over 170 different species), with certain areas within the site classified as popular nature reserves which attract regular visits from local bird watching groups.

“As part of the pre-start planning, a tree sparrow management plan was established to help protect the existing wildlife. The project also benefited from stringent environmental planning which included the planting of grasses, as well as aquatic planting and landscaped bunds.

“This was to encourage wildlife growth as well as screening the new ERF from its surroundings, particularly in terms of noise reduction. The main drainage outfall from the new facility will also feed a new wetlands area to the western side of the plant. Tilting weirs will be installed to control water levels which will promote and maintain existing habitats.”

Reduced carbon footprint

Outlining the team’s eco-friendly approach to construction, Phil said:

“During the construction stage of the ERF, all materials arising from the site are being used to cap the adjacent landfill site. No material is therefore being taken off site which has reduced our carbon footprint significantly. This has also impacted on reduced traffic congestion on the already busy Beddington Lane and surrounding routes to site.

“As this site is subject to London’s Low Emissions rules, all plant on site is recorded on the NRMM register which keeps emissions as low as required. We encourage all of our supply chain to be FORS and CLOCS-registered and our gatekeeper maintains a record of this on a daily basis.

“Access to the site is through the existing landfill facility which is controlled by a gateman. Access onto the construction site is via a fingerprint controlled turnstile, which is also used for the emergency evacuation head-count system.”

Safety was another important consideration on site and co-ordination meetings were held with all of the contractors on a daily basis, of which the first 30 minutes are dedicated to safety issues. There was also an observation feedback procedure that consisted of a card system, as well as a smart phone app, where all site personnel were encouraged to leave feedback on good and bad practice observed on site. This could be anonymous if the user did not wish to reveal their identity.

To encourage participation, the site team also offered a monthly draw for the best two observations which were then posted in the welfare area.

The project was striving towards 1,000,000 man hours without a RIDDOR reportable accident. When 250,000 man hours were achieved the JV, along with the client, contributed a donation to local charities such as CCFS (Croydon Churches Floating Shelter) – a local homeless charity.

Commenting on this charitable work, Phil said:

“The charities are chosen by the site personnel through a voting system. We have also contributed to the local community by providing new hoardings at the Culvers Lodge site in Wandle Valley.

“We have promoted civil engineering careers through our in-house apprenticeship scheme and employ one civil engineering apprentice at Beddington. We have also invited local civil engineering students on site to see how the ERF is being constructed and have given guided tours along with ‘question and answer’ sessions.”

You can read about just a few of the CNIM Lagan JV (South London) Ltd’s many examples of best practice below:

  • Access was via a common access to the landfill site from which vehicle access to a very large parking area was obtained.
  • The access road was maintained and had a heavy usage into the landfill site, with traffic control in place on the access road, which was newly constructed.
  • Five point PPE was in place with long trousers required.
  • Housekeeping and cleanliness was included in the induction and cleaners were employed on a daily basis with supervision by managers.
  • A traffic management plan was in place with a specific route to site required, avoiding a nearby village.
  • The company had a CSR policy and USA exchange students visited the project.
  • As a goodwill gesture, a timber hoarding to a nearby heritage site was replaced and decorated in conjunction with the local authority.
  • A donation was made to a local hospice and observation cards were provided, with 50p donated to a charity for each completed card received.
  • Liaison/activities with educational establishments and the community were organised.
  • Charities and organisations were supported with votes taking place to decide which good causes should be chosen.
  • From the commencement of the project a time-lapse camera was operating, the results of which could be seen on the client website.
  • The local grammar school was approached and various options were offered for presentation/activities.
  • An open day was held in conjunction with the client, with site tours given and explanations about the future of the proposed wetlands and bird sanctuary.
  • The site chose various charities including a local hospice and a local church association.
  • Green transport policyThe project team’s green transport policy encouraged the use of minivan transport to reduce car numbers, as well as using bicycles and the local tram system which was in close proximity to the site entrance.
  • Environmental issues were very well covered on this environmental project, with site-specific plans in place and relevant issues discussed at induction.
  • Demolition materials were retained on site for later use and a further building was due to be demolished, with materials retained on site for use or recycled with the demolition contractor.
  • Excavated soil was provided to the landfill site for capping and recycling feedback reports were received on the site.
  • The Environment Agency had a monitoring programme in place and regularly visited the site for audit purposes. An in-house team also carried out environmental audits.
  • Pollution was monitored by meters and also by ‘ears and eyes’, with procedures in place to minimise and reduce impact.
  • Wildlife and trees were considered and appropriate action taken at the commencement of the works, acting on advice from an ecologist who was on site daily to advise.
  • Environmental information was published within the newsletter and also published by the client.
  • ISO accreditation was in place, as well as energy-saving measures such as rainwater harvesting, monitoring and recording of energy/fuel usage – all set against targets.
  • Steel and equipment was prefabricated offsite and materials were obtained from sustainable sources through a green purchasing plan.
  • A Sustainability Manager was in post and data was collated to enable the site’s carbon footprint to be established.
  • Efforts were made to reduce carbon emissions by use of closely located suppliers/contractors and vehicle sharing where possible.
  • Safety audits were undertaken by an in-house team on a weekly basis and a client-led audit was also carried out. Company Directors also audited on a three-monthly basis.
  • A five-point PPE requirement was in place.
  • Access to the work area was controlled by a biometric turnstile access point, while access through the landfill site was overseen by client operatives.
  • The site was working to the requirements of the CLOCS Standard.
  • Workers with an insufficient understanding of English worked with an interpreter and inductions could be translated.
  • Any workers with disabilities or impairments could be employed, provided it was safe to do so.
  • A drug and alcohol policy was in place with random test sessions carried out.
  • The site engaged in toolbox talks, safety bulletins, a monthly incentive award and an observation campaign.
  • Attitude surveys were collated with the aim of improving onsite safety and behaviour.
  • Operational cards were made available via a mobile phone app.
  • Behavioural safety training courses were held with further sessions planned.
  • A Safety Climate Survey was carried out and feedback was obtained from operatives regarding real-life situations.
  • A ‘You Said, We Did’ system was in place and rescue training was carried out using with ‘real life’ scenarios. These were videoed for future reference.
  • Squat toilets were introduced on site for a large subcontractor who employed mostly Asian personnel, as well as carrying out health screening of workers on site.
  • Random drug and alcohol testing was also conducted on site to discourage the use of illegal drugs and alcohol.
  • The company’s diversity and inclusion policy was in place and managers operated an ‘open door’ policy, responding appropriately to any welfare issues as they arose, with the aim of respect and understanding for all personnel.
  • Occupational health assessments were held on the site, posters on health and lifestyle issues were displayed and contact details and medical conditions recorded.
  • Extensive welfare facilities were provided which included male and female toilets, changing/drying room with lockers, shower facilities and a serviced canteen providing hot food and a healthy option menu.
  • CSCS and appropriate skills cards were required and the company offered an apprenticeship scheme, with 22 employed throughout the company and one on site.
  • Work experience requests were considered and a graduate training program was also in place.
  • Legitimacy of the workforce is checked via passports and other documentation. Cleaners were employed to maintain site and welfare accommodation which was seen in a very clean and tidy condition.
  • To aid the site health programme, fresh fruit and water were provided and a step counter was worn by some to measure the distance travelled. Prizes were given to encourage participation and a league table was established.
  • Equality and diversity training was carried out with champions appointed to take forward the requirements of the training and company policy.
  • Managers were registered users of the Scheme’s Best Practice Hub.

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