A Senior Construction H&S Consultant on our team has the experience of a £150m cladding investigation, in this instance on a Residential Tower blocks in North Lanarkshire for North Lanarkshire Council. Our PD was part of this project for 3 years, with the investigation ongoing.
The work involved removing cladding panels at various heights and all elevations as a representative sample of the 48 tower blocks concerned. The focus was on fire compartmentalising and structural integrity.
This ambitious project has its share of challenges such as, if the findings recommended major repairs were needed, then the decision had to be made in some instances to demolish blocks. This meant that the project team had to adapt often and making sure H&S considerations were at the top of concerns when the scope changes. Lessons learnt include the need for constant and inclusive communication. Detailed planning and the use of templates, checklists and a robust auditing and site safety inspection regime were essential, carried out by companies and personnel with proven competence and capability.
Throughout their involvement, our personnel:
- Assisted in developing a system of completing the Investigative works safely, this involved installing Crash Decks, Exclusion Zones and Project/ Site Specific elements such as Escape Plans.
- Made effective use of resources and capabilities
- Considered the climate as a large factor in relation to completing Investigations . Systems were put in place to safely manage the work as the weather conditions changed, avoiding high winds, gusting, extremes of temperature and precipitation
- Identified vandalism and arson as risks which were taken into account, as well as security and privacy
- Ensured Stakeholder Engagement from an early stage. Internal Stakeholders included Councilors, Senior Council Officers, the Media, Contractors and Residents/ Residents Associations
- Assisted in developing of strategy sharing Information gathered with relevant Stakeholders
- Helped to develop a clear strategy in relation to mid to longer term repairs
- Assisted in the investigative findings informing and driving the local housing strategy