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Thames Water Alliance Praise McAllister Morson Contractors In Rescue Drill

  • Publish Date: Posted about 2 years ago
  • Author: James Kenealey

  • Morson contractors react to drill situation in London sewers.

  • Client McAllister praises response to 'communications failure'.

Thames Waters’ Eight20 alliance has praised the actions of Morson contractors working on the King’s Scholars’ Pond project in London for client McAllister during an impromptu rescue drill.

The Eight20 alliance is the largest alliance in the water sector. The partners involved are Thames Water and two design and build joining ventures made up of Costain, Atkins, Black & Veatch (CABV); and Skanska, MWH and Balfour Beatty (SMB). The alliance has been carrying out £1.75billion of capital investment work between 2015 and 2020.

The rescue drill was a surprise ‘communications failure’. Whilst working down in the sewer the entry team were instructed not to respond to radio communications from the topman, and at a regular gas check and having received no response from the entry team, the topman immediately began shouting down the ladder to the entry team, who again did not respond. After about a minute the topman had informed the Confined Space Manager and within approximately three minutes the rescue teams were mobilised and entered the sewer under full BA to investigate, concluding the exercise. To keep the drill as realistic as possible, site teams were not briefed prior as a test of their response to an emergency situation.

The Site Agent commended the efficiency of the drill, stating that the contractors produced, under considerable pressure, a sequence of responses that were exactly in line with the management team’s expectations for the correct course of action.

Rob Kirby, Project Manager at McAllister, said “For the last year McAllister Group have been using Morson to provide safety-critical resource and rescue teams in support of rehabilitation works on Thames Water’s critical infrastructure. This has involved working around the clock, conducting confined space entries into various live sewers. We have found them to be a very pro-active company providing a prompt service supplying labour that has worked in safety-critical roles alongside our own direct labour. The administrative support provided by Morson has been responsive and efficient in responding to the changing needs of our business.”

“The operatives provided have conducted themselves with the highest level of professionalism in the performance of their duties, particularly under some very challenging circumstances.”

Additional Training

McAllister initially had a need for the 20 confined space operatives back in April 2018. Morson identified that there were very few confined space operatives with the higher-level City & Guilds Confined Space Training that is specifically designed for high-risk environments such as those they would be working in.

In order to provide a solution, we identified 20 operatives with relevant lower-level qualifications and put them through the City & Guilds training before starting them at the Baker Street site:

6150-02: Working in Medium Risk Confined Spaces (Top Man/Persons)(Entrant): Water
6150-03: Working in High-Risk Confined Spaces: Water
6150-05: Emergency Rescue and Recovery of Casualties from Confined Spaces (Water)
6150-61  Manage Work in Confined Spaces

The success of this unannounced drill is a testament to the high level of training that the operatives undertook and we are pleased to be working with the industry to help provide solutions to skills shortages and client requirements