Park Health and Safety and Duradiamond Healthcare’s pioneering occupational health strategy, which delivers a worker, workplace and wellbeing (3Ws) programme has been an integral strand in Bam Ferrovial Kier’s (BFK) approach to health and safety at its Crossrail sites.
Park Health and Safety’s occupational hygienist James Barnes works at BFK’s Farringdon site two days a week and splits the rest of his time at its Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street and Fisher Street sites.
Working closely with the site teams, Barnes anticipates, identifies and controls all occupational health risks on site, including noise, chemicals and dust, vibration, fatigue and musculoskeletal disorders.
In an exclusive interview to be featured in the August issue, Barnes told SHP that his role involves creating and reviewing procedures, risk assessments and method statements for managing these risks, which is often backed up with on-site monitoring for chemical and physical agents.
“I provide recommendations and guidance for the site teams on how to manage these risks, as well as providing reassurance to the client and the management team through auditing,” he said.
“As part of my role, I also provide training and toolbox talks for operatives on the health effects associated with their work. This also creates a close tie-in with [Duradiamond Healthcare’s] occupational health nurses, as we are both involved in promoting the general health and wellbeing programmes on site too.”
Barnes was part of the Park Health and Safety team that rolled out the 3Ws programme at the London Olympics and since joining BFK’s on-site team at Farringdon in late 2012, he’s been proactive in integrating the strategy into the Crossrail site.
The 3Ws programme focuses not only on traditional clinical intervention (worker) but also ill-health prevention (workplace) and a comprehensive health promotion (wellbeing) programme.
Barnes told SHP that the third W – wellbeing is usually the hardest to get right and traditionally tends to get bolted on.
“This is where it can go wrong with wellbeing,” he said. “What you need to do is use the workplace as a conduit to bring wellbeing to the forethought of each individual, so using both work-related and health-related topics. You can’t expect people to make changes to their lifestyles if you don’t show the same commitment to protecting their health in the workplace.”
At the Farringdon site, Barnes said that the client had successfully ran a series of wellbeing campaigns following this model.
“The overall campaign could be lung health,” he said. “That has aspects that focus on the worker and the workplace. For the worker that could be smoking cessation; the workplace could be dust; we talk about the health effects of dust and how you can control that, and how smoking can affect you in a similar way. It all fits under this broad banner of lung health.”
Another good example, he added, was a wellbeing campaign that targeted fatigue. In this case, the client used healthy eating topics and related that to fatigue to drive the message home.
“You eat well, you keep your blood sugar levels stable and you don’t feel as tired,” he explained. “Fatigue and sleep. We know workers are staying in digs, so here’s what you can do to make sure you get a good night’s sleep. On the other hand, here are the signs of fatigue when you are at work. It’s an integrated system.”
Barnes told SHP that more and more major construction projects were adopting this integrated approach where each of the three aspects related to each other.
“Once you start focusing on why am I doing this, you then really start to understand what the risks are and you can manage them,” he said.
The interview with James Barnes will appear in SHP’s August issue.
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