Bullet Break up Assisted by Health & Safety Expertise

Dale Potts
Faithful+Gould's North East office has further boosted its Health & Safety portfolio with its strategic involvement in an enormous project to break up six high pressure gas storage ‘bullets’ using the power of water.

Building on a well established relationship with United Utilities Operations Limited, Faithful+Gould's role on the complex project has encompassed the preparation of tender documentation from both a commercial and Health & Safety point of view. This includes assistance in the selection of the preferred contractor and the management of the commercial and Health & Safety post contract services to ensure the delivery of the scheme on time and to budget.

Purged of gas, the project will see the bullets being cut up using a high powered jet of water which cuts neatly through the 3cm thick welded steel plates. Each 58 metre long bullet, weighing 160 tonnes, has been used to store gas at high pressure since 1969 and will be cut into eight pieces before being removed off-site where the steel will be recycled.

The bullets which have kept the gas supply in Yorkshire topped up for almost 40 years are being dismantled and removed to make way for a new retail and leisure development to be called Trinity Walk.

Recent and substantial revisions have been made to Health & Safety guidelines, namely amendments to the complex and bureaucratic Construction, Design and Management (CDM) Regulations 1994, and one of the key changes includes the appointment of a CDM Co-ordinator on projects such as this. The Co-ordinator is commissioned to advise clients on discharging their duties as well as managing the co-ordination of the safe design and planning of a project.

Graham Tyerman, associate director of Faithful+Gould, said:

"Faithful+Gould has an excellent relationship with United Utilities Operations Limited having worked with its team for two and a half years and this latest project sees us drawing heavily upon our Health & Safety resource which has undergone a sustained and impressive period of growth over the past 10 years.

"Our team has delivered real added value to its operation, assisting in the procurement and management of £4.5 million of work, and we have worked closely with United Utilities Operations Limited to ensure that projects are delivered within budget and on time. In addition, we provide a dedicated team which can deliver very challenging schemes safely."

United Utilities Operations Limited Design and Construction Manager, Anton Ridsdill, is overseeing the project on behalf of Northern Gas Networks. He said:

"The Faithful+Gould team is extremely well placed to provide commercial and Health & Safety services on this demanding project which is one of the largest demolition operations we have ever undertaken."

Graham continues:

"Following the changes to the CDM regulations, we are currently experiencing market turmoil as people don’t fully understand the new role of the CDM Co-ordinator and the influence they should have on projects. In our view, they should be absolutely central to assisting clients on compliance, however, clients need to be much better informed to the added value they bring to projects, as this new role is very different from planning supervisory services.

"We take our responsibilities in this area very seriously and are currently holding seminars for our clients and partner organisations to familiarise themselves with the key changes that directly affect them.

"Faithful+Gould is at the forefront of safety, with a nation-wide resource of over 60 full-time Health & Safety professional staff working on live projects within the transport, property and industry sectors. In addition, we have 12 Health & Safety staff at our disposal within the Northern region which will enable us to take full advantage of the strong predicted market outlook for Health & Safety provision for the coming year."