Liverpool Waters

The Liverpool Waters development consists of 16 development plots, construction of link
roads, installation of a site-wide domestic heat network and ongoing public events all placed alongside the River Mersey. Currently, there are 6 live sites placed between Prince’s dock and Central dock, with the Prince’s dock being open to the public. Due to the interest in Liverpool Waters and ongoing land sales, ongoing surveys are also being undertaken alongside development works and public events. Liverpool Waters is located within the historic docklands area of Liverpool City Centre which over the years has led to ground contamination and a high risk of unexploded ordnance which must both be dealt with to allow further development. This combined with a number of heritage assets located throughout the development area has led to
challenging designs. All developments are accessed from two entry points, with one being shared with the public and local businesses. To ensure the safety of the public and workers, alongside limiting impact on ongoing projects, site-wide traffic management must be under regular review and regular coordination meetings held with all parties. Due to the vast expanses of open land, public events are often held in the area, such events must be sufficiently planned to ensure the safety of the public, whilst surrounded by open dockland, construction work and the canal network. Finally, the site attracts constant attention from members of the public, leading to several trespassers attempting to access the closed off-site areas. Ongoing monitoring of security requirements is required.

As Liverpool Waters is such a large scale project it was important for us to implement a good health and safety culture that took into consideration workers wellbeing from the outset. To that end, we decided that collaboration would be at the heart of Liverpool Waters. A development of this scale benefits greatly from the sharing of knowledge and understanding learned from other parts of the site, at different stages of the process. During all stages of design, from initial concept to the detail design, project teams have engaged with Peel L&P, their strategic team, Liverpool City Council and several external contributors. Project teams are given consistent comment and feedback on proposals to ensure any issues or conflicts are resolved early in the design process before any formal review process. It was equally as important for us to look after the project teams wellbeing as well as health and safety and sharing our knowledge on this was also key to the project. We encouraged a culture change around leadership to create a safe environment. We also worked with team leaders to understand their employee’s skills and knowledge and helped where needed to identify any gaps. Lack of knowledge can not only lead to health and safety issues but can also have an impact on mental health if not supported. We also encouraged peer support through discussions and collaboration. Communication is key to worker wellbeing and site safety and this is something we encouraged upon appointment.

The development is constantly evolving, with associated hazards changing daily. As part of our appointment to Peel L&P, we were required to do introduce methods of ensuring the safety of members of the public and workers, communicating any risks to the project team. On a project of this scale, meetings alone would not be sufficient to communicate and address the level of risk. To address this, we initiated a two-part process. We first looked to provide a clear path of communication between developers, clients and the project team to allow efficient passage of information to reduce risk and eliminate hazards during the design stages. We utilised Safer Sphere’s internal online design risk management system HARM Zero to give access to a live risk register, allowing for instant reporting that would give complete visibility to any potential hazards. The system helps to eliminate hazards, manage risks and avoid harm from the construction stage of the project right through to a buildings end-use. This register is then reviewed at fortnightly coordination meetings and actions provided to the relevant team members. To review ongoing physical boundaries, site operations and potential hazards we also carry out regular site inspections alongside Peel L&P’s team and incorporate any findings into the risk register. These issues are then either addressed on-site or within an allocated time frame.
We use the summary aspect of the system to communicate high-level statistics to the Peel board, offering reassurance to our client that any hazard identified is being suitably controlled.

Key achievements

  • The coordinated approach between Peel L&P, Safer Sphere and 5 Principal contractors On a project of this scale keeping, every party in the loop can be extremely difficult but our strategy of communication, the use of our online platform HARM Zero and approach to accident monitoring with lessons learned is a significant achievement. The entire project team are briefed through every stage and we have worked together so that everyone is on the same page.
  • HARM Zero As we have stated previously, the implementation of our safety innovation HARM Zero has helped the entire project team to monitor and manage safety risks throughout the project. As the risk register is live and can be updated at any time, anywhere, on any device by any member of the project team, it means that everyone can see where the hazards are and what we can do to eliminate them. As the register is also live it can show hazards that have already been eliminated as they are found which is a massive improvement on spreadsheet-style risk registers.
  • Contractor Handbook Whilst we have not mentioned this throughout the submission to keep responses to the questions relevant but Safer Sphere has developed and written an extensive Contractor Handbook for the entire Liverpool Waters project. The handbook was produced to assist the various Developers and their supply chain with safe construction working procedures that need to be followed. The main purpose of the handbook was to ensure the health and safety of all construction personnel and all co-workers, pedestrians, vehicles and developers living and
    working around Liverpool Waters. As a key priority to our client Peel L&P, they insist on health and safety being an absolute priority and this ensures that all parties comply with all current legislation. The handbook is updated and issued to all parties upon any legislation change and in our opinion, this safety implementation deserves our third key achievement. Our contribution to
    this and other developments has led us to be an industry leader and winning this award would help us stand out from the crowd and further solidify our claim. As our name suggests we truly believe that we can operate within a ‘Safer Sphere’.