April saw the first meeting for 2015 of the Scottish Regional Group – ten of us making a visit to the Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC) in Rosyth, Fife. A full agenda had been devised by FCBC for the morning with a presentation about the design of the bridge as a starter. The bridge, after public poll, is to be called The Queensferry Crossing.
Construction started in 2011 and is due to be finished late 2016. It is at the boundaries of bridge design with the longest cantilevers of any bridge in the world and overlapping cables for stability. As well as the design challenges, there have been other unexpected challenges such as the need to re-home a badger colony and constant monitoring of local reed beds.
The variety of skilled labour needed has required recruitment from all over the world resulting in 14 languages being spoken around the sites. This of course has presented its own challenges and makes the results of the behavioural safety programme introduced all the more impressive. The FCBC have exceeded world class statistics and felt the key was in keeping the message simple.
We would like to thank Joe, Mike and the team from FCBC for the opportunity not only to learn the background but also to see the progress from vantage points both on the North and South sides of the Forth. Their enthusiasm and dedication to safety was obvious and has been a key to their success.