Occupational Safety and Health Arrangements on Crossrail – An Overview


This report is part of a project funded by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) to look at the implementation of OSH (Occupational Safety and Health) arrangements in complex projects. The main part of the IOSH project is an ongoing longitudinal study of the Tideway construction project. One of the aims of this Crossrail study is to inform that research by considering progression in OSH from previous projects such as the London 2012 Olympic Park, through Crossrail and on to the Tideway project and beyond.

OSH management at Crossrail has developed over time since the project commenced enabling works at the end of 2008. Changing demands and developments in the industry have lead to evolving OSH arrangements. Several reports and legacy documents have been written by the Crossrail Health and Safety (HandS) team about the key OSH interventions on the project in recent years. This report provides an overview of some of these interventions, and draws out lessons for the construction industry to learn from Crossrail's experience.

Interventions in the last 4-5 years have included Gateway assessments to encourage contractors to develop and share good practice; Stepping Up Week to support worker learning on OSH; and the introduction of leading indicators via the innovative Crossrail Health and Safety Performance Index.

There are many things which the industry can learn from Crossrail, particularly in relation to the operation of complex projects. These include the importance of sharing learning between contractors, the need to evolve management processes and OSH metrics, the need to balance the benefits of these against the demands they place on the contractors, and the importance of setting and enforcing clear standards in terms of clinical OH services and occupational hygiene services.

Many learning points from Crossrail have already been taken to other projects, such as Tideway, influencing for example Tideway's decision to specify a single provider of OH and occupational hygiene services; their focus on design for health from an early stage; and the introduction of leading indicators for OSH management.

This paper in conjunction with the detailed legacy papers on the various OSH interventions will be of benefit to all OSH practitioners and management teams on all major projects. The ideas and innovative approach can be developed for any industry using this as a benchmark from which to progress.

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