Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project - Safety focus leads to 250,000 hours worked without a lost time accident
Irish Water marks the significant milestone of 250,000 hours worked without a Lost Time Injury by Ward and Burke Group Limited in over 2 years working on the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project.
What is involved?
Ward and Burke Group Limited have been working, on Irish Water’s behalf, to extend the sewer network as part of the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project since 2017. They have constructed over 14km of new sewer pipes and 6 new pumping stations in the busy roads and streets of Carrigaline, Ringaskiddy, Passage West and Monkstown and connected Ringaskiddy, Passage West and Monkstown to the Shanbally Wastewater Treatment Plant. Their focus on providing a safe work environment for all of their workers is reflected in this figure of 250,000 hours worked without a Lost Time Injury.
Promotion of safety culture
A proactive safety culture has been promoted within the Cork Lower Main Drainage Project. This culture of safety has been enthusiastically championed by the Contractor, Employers Representative and Resident Engineering team, throughout the many construction challenges of the project. This included innovations such as constructing the pumping station in the Monkstown Bosun Car Park, the largest box caisson to be constructed and then sunken underground in Ireland. The pumping station is the equivalent size of a large 2-storey house. It was constructed to full height within the carpark and then sunk underground to maintain the carpark and minimise the impact of the pumping station in the area.
"Safety is at the heart of everything that Irish Water does, the involvement and commitment of everybody working on this project has been essential to ensure that we delivered these necessary works safely" says Deaglan Healy Project Manager for the Cork Lower Harbour Project, "We have worked almost half a million hours without a reportable accident on the project to date, having constructed the Shanbally Wastewater Treatment Plant and pipelines and pumping stations on the south side of the harbour so that wastewater from Ringaskiddy, Crosshaven, Carrigaline, Passage West and Monkstown is now being treated . No job is so important that it can’t be done safely, and we bring this ethos to the other works now started in Cobh as part of the Cork Lower Harbour Project."
"Safety is at the core of our organisation.” says Padraig Burke Director of Ward and Burke Construction Limited, “We are delighted with this recognition of our commitment to safety. We are passionate about raising safety standards in the construction industry through investment in our people, our systems of work and encouraging new entrants in to the industry through traineeship programmes, apprenticeships, and third level institutions. This focus on safety allows us, as a turnkey design and build contractor with a direct labour force to manage risk and deliver projects safely for our workers, our clients and the public."
What we want to achieve
The successful completion of the connection of Ringaskiddy, Passage West and Monkstown to the Shanbally Wastewater Treatment Plant means that raw sewage from these areas will no longer discharge directly into the harbour. This means that 30,000 of the 40,000 wheelie bins of raw sewage that were discharging daily into Cork Lower Harbour when the project commenced in 2015, are now being treated before safe discharge to the harbour.
Work has commenced on the Northern side of the harbour, both on the Cobh to Monkstown Estuary Crossing and on the Cobh sewer network. When works in Cobh are complete in 2021, the raw sewage from Cobh town will be collected and transferred for treatment via the Cobh to Monkstown Estuary Crossing to Monkstown pumping station, from where it will be pumped to Shanbally Wastewater Treatment Plant for treatment before its safe discharge to the harbour.
When all the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage works are complete in 2021, the project will, in compliance with the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, treat all wastewater from the agglomerations of:
- Ringaskiddy village;
- Passage West-Monkstown;
- Cobh town.
This means 20,000 homes and businesses will be connected to the new scheme and that raw sewage from these areas will no longer be discharged into the harbour, positively impacting the local economy and greatly improving the amenity value of the Cork Lower Harbour for the surrounding communities.