Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT October 2019

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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The Knowledge www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | OCTOBER 2019 | 19 Safe handling When a member of the @One Alliance team suffered serious injuries while installing a section of coiled pipe, the company worked with a range of partners to develop a Water Industry Award-winning initiative that has minimised the chances of a repeat By Robin Hackett I nstalling polyethylene (PE) pipe coils can be a dangerous business. The amount of stored energy in the pipes can be substantial, and carries the potential to cause serious injuries. Anglian Water's @One Al- liance found that out the hard way. While installing a section of PE pipe into a trench, an excavator with a bucket at- tachment was used to keep the pipe in position so the jointing could be completed. However, the pipe slipped from under- neath the bucket and struck a member of the team. "He thought he was in a position of safety but, unfor- tunately, when the guys doing the installation lost control of the pipe, the stored energy meant it whipped round in a direction he wasn't expecting and he was hit in the face," Michael Justice, @one Alli- ance's head of safety, health, environment & assurance. "He's OK but it was quite a se- rious incident and it was quite a big wake-up call for us." The @One Alliance had been using significant quanti- ties of large-diameter PE pipe coils but, despite a general awareness that they could pose problems, nobody ap- peared to have appreciated the full extent of the risk and, as such, working methods had not evolved. "There was probably a lack of understanding about the potential amount of stored energy in those types of pipes during installation as you try to straighten them out, particularly when you're trying to make fixed connections," Justice adds. "You have to exert a considerable amount of force into the pipe sometimes to make the connection." While the injuries result- ing from the incident were not life-changing, its seriousness demanded an investigation to prevent a repeat. An internal team trawled the data and found that, while there had not been anything on that scale previously, there had

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