SOCOTEC’s Ground Investigation team has won the Safety Initiative Award at the British Drilling Association (BDA) Awards for the fourth year running.
SOCOTEC won the award as a result of its ‘Coping with COVID’ initiative, a joint collaboration with Geotechnics Ltd and Macklin Geotech (with the support of Terroroc Ltd). This was developed in response to the need to devise a safe system of work that allowed for the execution of ground investigation activities while adhering to two metre social distancing guidelines.
Having reviewed drilling and associated operations where social distancing could not be maintained and concluding that Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) was not a viable option given that both were in such high demand by the NHS, SOCOTEC and its collaborators adopted a variety of alternative engineering and behavioural practices that allowed staff to work two metres apart, including:
- Creating acrylic screen guards when working in close proximity
- Using manual handling aids to create a socially distanced two-person lift
- Segregating working areas into clearly defined work zones for operators and support operatives
- Conducting Point of Work risk assessments and using RPE when all other methods are exhausted
- Creating interactive videos and toolbox talks to educate and familiarise staff with these procedures.
In addition to the Safety Initiative award win, a member of SOCOTEC’s Ground Investigation team was also highly commended in the Lead Driller of the Year category. Daniel Perrett, drilling supervisor based at SOCOTEC’s new central facility in Coventry, achieved this commendation having won the award outright back in 2017.
During his time with the business, Daniel has been promoted from his original role of lead driller to trainer driller and is now a drilling supervisor, where he is responsible for attending sites in a troubleshooting and advisory capacity to ensure SOCOTEC projects are delivered safely and to a consistently high standard. He is also in the process of becoming a qualified assessor to support SOCOTEC’s internal Drilling Academy.
“We are delighted to have won the Safety Initiative Award four years in a row, an achievement which is testament to SOCOTEC’s commitment to placing the health and safety of our staff and clients at the heart of everything we do,” said Clare Chapman, operations director, Ground Investigation, SOCOTEC UK. “I would like to thank all of the Ground Investigation team for the dedication and diligence they have displayed throughout the pandemic, and look forward to seeing what we can achieve in 2021.”