Site visit an ‘eye-opener’ for safety professionals

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Around 40 members of the IOSH South Downs Branch recently experienced an ‘enjoyable, interesting and informative site visit’ to see a flood alleviation scheme being carried out by Team Van Oord.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is the world’s leading professional body for people responsible for safety and health in the workplace. South Downs is the Institution’s local branch for members based in Sussex.

The visit was to the Clay’s Lake site, near Pease Pottage, where flood prevention works are being carried out as part of the Upper Mole Flood Alleviation Scheme which was developed by the Environment Agency after floods in the Crawley area during 2000.

The works comprise the removal of an existing dam which is being replaced with a larger dam. This will increase the lake’s capacity from 10,000 cubic metres to nearly 400,000 cubic metres, thereby reducing the risk of flood to more than 280 homes in the area, and to Gatwick Airport.

The Clay’s Lake visit on 5 April was hosted by Terry Gretton, Team Van Oord’s Site Manager for the scheme, who said: “We were asked if the IOSH South Downs Branch could hold its AGM at Clay’s Lake, to be followed by a site walk. We were only expecting a dozen or so people to turn up but we ended up with around 40!

“I delivered a presentation in the meeting room and we then went out to site and discussed the project from the viewing point (see photos).

“Although nothing was happening on site due to the winter shutdown, they all left very pleased and with a good understanding of the work we are undertaking.”

Ray Fuller, Secretary of IOSH South Downs, said: “The initial feedback from the members is that it was a very enjoyable, interesting and informative site visit and they would like to return to visit the finished structure.

Rod Thonger, the group’s Chair, added: “The scale of the operation was an eye-opener and the combination of the engineering, environmental considerations of flora and fauna and safety of the team, displayed all the skills that go into an operation of this breadth.”

26 April 2016