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Transport & Logistics

Zero Harm

For any company, a “Zero Harm” policy to safeguard the wellbeing of employees and the general public is both commendable and daunting. But it’s all the more daunting if your company employs 7,000 rail specialists operating in more than 30 countries, with as many as half a million workers on their combined global sites. But that is the challenge seized by Balfour Beatty back in 2008 when the company made a commitment to zero deaths and serious injuries by 2012. For Pirtek to be part of this admirable project reflects well on the company’s own working practices.

Neil Tilley, head of plant at the busy Woking 07M rail depot explains how this is implemented at a local level. “Safety is paramount on every rail project. Every piece of kit must be fit for purpose, working properly and safely used by the staff and contractors. We run a well-maintained fleet of rail units from tamping units to converted 'rubber ducks' that must work all the time, every time. As they work under demanding conditions and in hostile environments, they have to be looked after and maintained to the highest standards. Many of the units are custom built and carry hydraulic systems to suit a myriad of attachments. Every unit is inspected daily with rigorous planned maintenance programmes implemented at regular set periods of 50 hours. With Pirtek we have a partner who understands the importance of the H&S aspects of our work. On top of this we use

Pirtek because of the fast, impeccable service they give, particularly Guildford's Scott Armstrong." Neil asserts that all rail work has to be done in very controlled conditions and to tight time schedules. "It's no good starting on a project and over-running because something fails. There are not only steep financial penalties but huge safety implications. If work is hurried, something is bound to go wrong or get over looked - it's simply not an option,” he says. “We have Scott on site to make instant repairs and replacements. We allow him to make additional visual inspections and follow up his recommendations if he isn't happy with the condition of a hose or fitting. He has become our dedicated contact, down to supplying a personal contact for our use. Scott is an engineer we are pleased to have on site because he knows what he is doing and gets on with the job. He respects our reputation as much as Pirtek's and consequently does an excellent job for both companies."

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