Site investigation services contractor Structural Soils (an RSK company with teams based in Bristol, Glasgow, Castleford and Hemel Hempstead) was last night named the winner of two awards: Ground Investigation Project with a Geotechnical Value of over £500k and the Health and Safety Award at the 2017 Ground Engineering Awards. The former was a joint win with design, engineering and project management consultancy Atkins; management consulting services company Arup; and client Horizon Nuclear Power.
The Ground Investigation Project with a Geotechnical Value of over £500k was presented to the collaborative team for its work on the Wylfa Newydd South Site onshore ground investigation for the new nuclear power station in Anglesey, North Wales.
The investigation aimed to provide more detailed ground information for the extended platform area. The findings of the seismic hazard assessment confirmed the geological and seismic ground models for the site of the proposed nuclear new build. The work included 16 inclined rotary-cored boreholes up to 150m deep and eight vertical boreholes up to 100m depth, which were started using cable percussion drilling techniques. Over 2800m of drilling was completed, which produced 500m of rock core and involved five drilling rigs on-site at the peak of activity. Structural Soils and partners also won Project of the Year for the scheme’s detailed onshore ground investigation with Atkins and Horizon Nuclear Power in 2015.
Structural Soils’ Health and Safety Award win was for its manual handling solution, a one-piece plastic, lightweight, adaptive, one-size-fits-all tool. The technology enables operators to lift any dimension and length of metal casing without having to place their hands or forearms in the hollow steel tube. It enables two people to lift the casing securely, thereby removing the risk of contact with potentially sharp threads, and with correct posture while walking across uneven ground. The tool is made out of one piece of plastic without moving parts, so is simple to use and has little to go wrong. The way the tool is lifted causes its jaws to tilt thereby locking the casing in place while being carried.
“We identified the need to find a solution to a long-term manual handling issue in the drilling part of the business,” commented Structural Soils drilling manager for the south Nick Reichelt. “Carrying casing was responsible for most minor and occasionally more serious hand injuries. Staff engagement was critical in designing and evolving the optimum tool for the job, which all our crews now use. An additional benefit of using the tool is that it naturally imparts a better posture for carrying, thereby helping to alleviate another cause of injuries on-site.”
RSK companies were shortlisted for five categories, the others being Geoenvironmental Project of the Year; Ground Investigation Specialist of the Year; and Award for Equipment Innovation.
As the flagship event for the geotechnical profession, the Ground Engineering Awards offer the industry a chance to come together as a community, celebrate their achievements and network with the best in the business. Held at the luxurious Hilton Hotel on Park Lane in the heart of London’s West End, the annual awards ceremony is a focal point of the geotechnical calendar.
This year saw a record number of companies entering. The finalists were announced in March 2017. Those shortlisted were required to present their entries to the judging panel.
“The entries to the Ground Engineering Awards never cease to amaze me in terms of the innovation and challenges successfully overcome by the UK’s geotechnical sector – and this year is no exception,” commented Ground Engineering editor Claire Smith. “The number and quality of entries this year mean that just getting onto the shortlist is a real achievement in itself.”