Communications infrastructure connects lives, enhances productivity and makes travelling more efficient. But getting infrastructure in place can be challenging, particularly in confined, underground spaces. This is the environment in which BAI Communications specialises with its strong record in health and safety.
BAI successfully designs, builds and operates communications infrastructure on public transport in Canada, Hong Kong, and the US, delivering connectivity for millions of people daily. Ensuring health and safety in every project is critically important to BAI, our customers and our partners around the world. Keeping people safe is central to our work. Robust safety practices also enable the business to improve efficiency and deliver projects on time and on budget.
Tony Jessop, health and safety manager at BAI Communications UK, explains how the business has achieved its strong safety record. Tony, who brings over 20 years of experience, reveals that his ethos is to ‘put every effort into injury-free working’. Teams must be properly equipped to cope with challenging environments and be supported by technology enabling them to streamline processes and improve the workplace. This is underpinned by an unequivocal commitment to safety by the senior leadership team and an active programme delivered globally.
Health and safety in infrastructure: at the heart of everything we do
At BAI, health and safety is at the heart of our strategy and decision-making. From understanding our risks to ensuring people have the correct equipment and machinery to fulfil their role, training and coaching so they have the skills and knowledge to operate safely.
‘For me, the aim of health and safety is to drive outcomes where people don’t get hurt and the environment doesn’t get damaged,’ Tony explains. ‘We have to help make sure that every team has the right resources, the right project management and the right partners to work with so that it can operate safely in challenging workplaces. Beyond that, we are also taking steps to improve people’s wellbeing and leave a positive legacy for future generations.’
BAI leaders continually work to ensure that an uncompromising commitment to health and safety practice flows through the organisation. This top-down approach ensures maximum safety.
Avoiding risk using technology
In recent years, technology has certainly played an increasingly important role in improving safety in the workplace.
‘We use technology to mitigate risk for our employees and contractors by preventing or reducing their exposure to hazards,’ Tony adds. ‘A big step forward has been the ability to work remotely. You have more control about when and where you work, and it reduces the need to enter a high-risk situation.’
He cites remote monitoring of equipment as an example of how technology has enabled a change in approach. Now, there are automatic checks for the equipment’s electricity use, temperature and performance outputs. In-built parameters ensure that performance is maintained within a safe limit, and if breached a remote alarm alerts the person monitoring the equipment.
Remote monitoring consequently removes the need for workers to repeatedly visit a site to maintain equipment. By monitoring equipment from a distance, we can plan better and only go into that environment as needed.
Minimising human intervention is even more critical when working in tough, confined environments. On public transport projects, it reduces risk to workers on the tracks and helps prevent disruption to passenger journeys. Furthermore, managing fewer employees on the tracks contributes to BAI achieving optimal efficiency across all projects and therefore delivering on time and on budget.
Investing in the future
BAI constantly invests in the latest equipment to help keep our people safe. Through BAI’s initiative in Australia, one team is trialling Optalert’s anti-fatigue glasses. These glasses measure the wearer’s eyelid movements 500 times a second, with a tiny invisible LED light built into the frame, using wireless connectivity. The results then translate into an alarm that first alerts the driver if they become drowsy. Then, their manager is notified if the driver hasn’t taken a break and starts showing increasing signs of tiredness. Consequently, the wearer can avoid the dangerous risk of driver fatigue.
A unique approach
So, what makes BAI different to other businesses? ‘BAI is a proactive organisation,’ Tony says. ‘We work closely together, and we are accountable. We also have a leadership team who believe in health and safety. Those are the three conditions we must have to ensure we make safety a personal priority, and everyone goes home safe every day.’
To learn more about BAI’s safety culture, read Malcolm Keys’ interview here.