Editor, UBM

August 21, 2015

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Bond Street Station Upgrade – Women in Safety and Health


L – R Louise Ellary, Roz Sanderson, Heather Beach and Rhaynukaa Soni

This year, UBM launched the Women in Safety & Health network as part of Health & Safety Week 2015.

These forums were established to give women in the profession the opportunity to come together, network and hear from successful women from different areas of health and safety.

As part of these forums, Rhaynukaa Soni, HSE manager at Transport for London (TfL), had the idea of organising visits to various Transport for London and Crossrail projects in order to give women who work in different sectors an opportunity to see how health and safety works in the construction and rail sectors and the challenges that are faced.

Over the course of two weeks, 16 women working in health and safety across a broad range of sectors visited three TfL station upgrades at Bond Street, Victoria and Tottenham Court Road.

Bond Street Station Upgrade

On Monday morning a small, select group of us were shown the upgrade taking place at Bond Street station – myself, Heather Beach, director OSH UBM, and Rhaynukaa Soni, HSE manager, TfL.

The principal contractor on the Bond Street Station upgrade is a joint venture between Costain and Laing O’Rourke.

Before we made our way into the subterranean passageways we heard from Louise Ellary, SHE manager and Paul Brooks, construction superintendent, both at Bond Street Station Upgrade who gave us an overview of the changes being made at Bond Street station.

Currently 175,000 journeys are made through Bond Street station every day. Once Crossrail opens in 2018, this number is expected to rise to 225,000. In its current state, the station is not suited to dealing with that volume of people.

The station is being upgraded to increase its capacity and to add step-free access from platform to street level. The works involved include a new station entrance, ticket hall, escalators, lifts, an additional access route and an improved interchange between the Central and Jubilee lines. It will also allow for the station to connect to the new Crossrail matrix.


‘Gardener’s Corner’

Going underground

Following their introductions, it was on with the hi-viz gear, hard hat, steel-toed boots and armed with a gas mask, we made our way across Oxford Street to Stratford Place where London Underground compulsory purchased a building, demolished it and re-built a temporary structure to house the welfare facilities for the 230 workers involved in the tunneling works.

Before going underground we stopped off at ‘Gardener’s Corner’ where strawberries, kale and spring onions were growing out of old, spray-painted steel toe capped boots.


Doing calculations where escalators will eventually sit

Then it was down into the tunnels – it was like going into a rabbit’s warren, with the ground a soft dirt path underfoot. New spray concrete lined tunnels have been constructed, with the walls and ceiling seemingly providing the only solid evidence of what will eventually be a series of passageways with hundreds of thousands of people walking down them every day.

Paul made each area come to life by informing us of what each area of the tunnels would become – a steep decline (where three escalators will eventually sit) led down to an open area with four passageways leading off it to existing Jubilee line north and southbound platforms.

Three miners were hand digging a passage between the two Central line Tube trains – we could see the curve of the existing Tubes as they worked incredibly fast to dig, shovel and remove the London clay from between the two lines.

The health and safety challenges of this project are extensive as the entire project is being conducted alongside a ‘live’ station. At one point, Paul and Louise took us into a little room that had one door that led to the base of the existing station escalators, and another that took you back to the warren of tunnels being excavated.

We spent two and a half hours underground, meeting the miners, engineers, slingers and supervisors who are working tirelessly to get the upgrade delivered on time. When we came back up we were exhausted but exhilarated, it was a real eye-opening experience.

Following our visit to Bond Street Station Upgrade, we also visited Victoria Station Upgrade and Tottenham Court Road Tube Station Upgrade – a write up will be available next Monday.

Roz-Black-and-WhiteRoz Sanderson is digital editor for SHP online and Health and Safety Week, and organises the Women in Safety and Health forum.

Ensuring a safe return to face-to-face events

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we speak to an events venue, London’s ExCeL, and an events business, Informa Markets, to discover how they have worked alongside industry associations and government to secure a swift and safe return to face-to-face events, in a post-pandemic world.

Click here to listen to this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast.

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