Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Keep up the safety progress

This year MGF completed 35 years of trading as a specialist supplier of temporary works solutions using modular excavation support systems.

Steve Hesketh

Steve Hesketh

Steve Hesketh

A lot has changed in 35 years making this an appropriate time to reflect.

First and foremost, as Heath & Safety Executive records show, construction deaths have significantly reduced.

It is hard to believe that back in 1981/82, 116 construction workers were killed working on projects around the UK.

Contrast this with the first half of 2016/17 when, sadly, 9 deaths were recorded.                                                                   

That figure is still unacceptable, but it demonstrates the focus, care and attention our industry now dedicates to putting safety first.

In 1981 temporary works designs were extremely rare despite numerous high profile disasters in the industry.

I can remember starting at university that year, and a few years later as a graduate engineer, being given the “menial” task of preparing temporary works designs with minimal supervision.

Thank goodness for the simple-to-use BS 449 and BSC Piling Handbook.

Today we employ 30 full-time temporary works design engineers and provide over 4,500 temporary works designs per year.

Oh, and of course the design standards, processes and software have also moved on significantly.

There is very little difference now in the approaches to permanent and temporary works designs.

Temporary works enjoys a high profile within the industry and continues to attract graduates of the highest calibre.

Back in 1981 the UK was starting to import steel trench boxes from Germany and UK companies were starting to develop hydraulic bracing systems. Peculiarly, the Germans have never favoured the use of hydraulics.

The products were very much in demand from specialist groundworks contractors who needed the products purely for constructability - to prevent earth collapsing into excavations.

Safety was just an added bonus. Today the UK offers the most advanced and widest range of modular shoring systems in the world. Anything from massive 46m long 250t hydraulic struts with built-in load monitoring to GRP trench systems that can be installed and removed by hand.

We’ve got a lot to be proud of.

Here’s to a continuing improvement in the health and safety stats.

● Steve Hesketh is MGF’s engineering director

In association with

Mgf excavation safety solutions white logo

Mgf excavation safety solutions white logo

Tags

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.