Major transport infrastructure projects often require periods of working around the clock during planned closures (e.g. on the rail network, motorways).
This contractor recently executed a 9 day period of 24 hour working during a ‘blockade’ closure of the Network Rail East Coast Mainline.
Various blockade specific controls were introduced around fatigue to protect workforce safety and wellbeing, including the following:
- All staff were given a day off work in the week leading up to the blockade.
- A 3 x 9 hour shift pattern was implemented to reduce fatigue and to provide overlap time to allow for sufficient handovers.
- Local lodgings were arranged for anyone that required them to reduce travel times if working the unsociable, out of hours shift pattern.
- A canteen marquee area and 24 hour food van were positioned as close as safely possible to the work face.
- A specialist access control company were contracted to monitor fatigue and access. All personnel had to sign in and out of site and state travel times to and from their place of rest. This was monitored in real time and alerts were sent to senior management if any member of the team was approaching their maximum hours. Targeted action could then be taken to mitigate and prevent dangerous exceedances.
- Modes of travel and rest locations logged at the site induction.
- Personnel with particularly long travel times (> 1.5 hours) informed at induction that their maximum working time on site will be reduced, or accommodation provided by the employer, in order to comply with the overall hours limit.