Major bypass project gets “Boots on the Ground” to showcase commitment to health and safety12th Nov 2019

The joint venture delivering the Caernarfon and Bontnewydd bypass welcomed partner organisations and local farmers to help improve health and safety in the construction and agricultural industries.

Balfour Beatty and Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK, which are working as part of a joint venture to deliver the £135 million bypass on behalf of the Welsh Government,  ran the ‘Boots on the Ground’ event.

‘Boots on the Ground’ events are aimed at raising awareness of health and safety issues in the industry, as well as to discuss environmental and sustainable best practices.

Balfour Beatty Jones Bros employees, alongside representatives from local companies engaged on the scheme, received close to three hours of training.

Attendees had the chance to view the latest innovative techniques being used across the sector such as proximity technology used to alert site operatives if they become too close to plant vehicles.

They also had the opportunity to network and visit supply chain stands with companies displaying the latest equipment and machinery being used on construction sites. Businesses in attendance included A-Plant, Speedy, GAP Group, Bob Francis Crane Hire, Cambrian Services, Quantum Traffic Management and ESS Safeforce.

SP Energy Networks provided live demonstrations on power line safety, which showed the correct procedures to follow in a variety of scenarios linked with an item of plant coming into contact with a live power line.

There were also a series of presentations focusing on topics including lifting operations, dropped objects and the end of British summertime.

Hefin Lloyd-Davies, project manager for the bypass, said: “This was a really successful event with an excellent turnout of more than 200 people on site and we would like to thank everyone who was involved.

“In addition to our employees, we invited farmers on the bypass route as we felt people in the agricultural industry could also benefit from the health and safety messages.

“The feedback has been very positive and the team is pleased the event has had a valuable impact on raising awareness of health and safety best practices.”

David Hunt from ESS Safeforce, which was displaying specialist equipment used on site, said: “You take contacts from these events and let people know that we try and put the systems in place to stop them getting hurt in the workplace, because unfortunately they still can.”

Dylan Herbert, head of resources and work planning for the North Wales district at SP Energy Networks, said: “Although we’ve carried out health and safety demonstrations before, this is the first time we’ve given training on a live construction site.

“Those in the construction and transport industry regularly work close to live electricity, whether its overhead lines or underground cables – as we’ve seen with the construction of the Caernarfon and Bontnewydd bypass.

“While the dangers surrounding electricity can often be overlooked, we’re hopeful our demonstration has highlighted how vital it is for workers to be power aware in order to stay safe in their working environment.”  

Alongside the invaluable health and safety demonstrations, Balfour Beatty Jones Bros also helped to raise money for British Heart Foundation by holding a fundraising cake sale on site.

Balfour Beatty is a leading international infrastructure group working in sectors including transportation, power and energy, and water.

Established in the 1950s, Jones Bros is now being run by the second and third generations of the founding family, employs more than 350 people, and has recruited more than 100 apprentices during the past three years.

This is the latest joint venture between Balfour Beatty and Jones Bros with the duo having previously delivered on work at Wylfa Newydd power station as well as the Pen y Cymoedd wind farm in South Wales.