The Mersey Gateway Project is a major civil engineering scheme to build a new six-lane toll bridge over the River Mersey and a 9.2 kilometre road network connecting the new bridge to the main motorway network in the North West of England.
At a local level, the project will provide a much needed new link between the towns of Runcorn and Widnes and will relieve the congested and ageing Silver Jubilee Bridge. Work started on the Mersey Gateway in May 2014 and the new toll bridge is on track to open in Autumn 2017. Up to 1,000 people are working on-site at any one time and A-Plant is supplying a wide range of non-operated plant equipment and all small tools for use on the project, including Drills, Breakers, Vibrating Plates, Grinders, Floor Saws and more.
Use of HAVWEAR Monitors and Docking Stations:
Work on the site is being carried out by Merseylink CCJV, a joint venture comprising FCC Construcción, Kier Infrastructure & Overseas Limited and Samsung C&T Corporation. To complement the provision of non-operated plant and small tools for work being carried out on the site, A-Plant has also supplied a total of 45 x Reactec HAVWEAR Monitors and 3 x Docking Stations to enable Merseylink CCJV to effectively assess and manage hand-arm vibration (HAV) risks on-site.
Project Challenges and Solution Offered:
When the project first started, Merseylink CCJV initially operated a manual system of recording HAV exposure to operatives using tools, but this was extremely time intensive and a laborious process, especially as the project expanded over time. Merseylink CCJV approached A-Plant to provide a more viable solution to accurately record, manage and mitigate HAV risk.
Through its supplier Reactec, A-Plant provided a total of 45 x HAVWEAR wrist mounted monitors which advise workers of tool vibration risk. The HAVWEAR informs the wearer of their exposure by calculating and displaying in real-time their HSE HAV risk assessment exposure points. Sound and vibration alerts inform the wearer if their personalised exposure thresholds have been exceeded.
Each operator uses a personalised RFID card containing their exposure action level thresholds to sign out a HAVWEAR at the start of their shift. The HAVWEAR is worn similar to a wristwatch and each time an operator uses a tool, they place it over the tool tag until a beep sounds to connect with each tool before use. At the end of a shift, the HAVWEAR is placed on a docking station to be recharged and transmit data. Through the cloud-based Reactec Analytics Platform which Merseylink CCJV subscribes to through Reactec, reports can be e-mailed or viewed online to assess individual and collective HAV exposure data and the source of risk. The HAVWEAR system has provided a cost-effective and practical means of supporting HAVS risk reduction activities on the Mersey Gateway Project. Merseylink CCJV are able to assess exposure risk at all times, whilst maintaining online data which can be referred to now and in the future.