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Fabshop exterior

Fabshop created to reduce occupational health risk at Project Anchor

Galliford Try have trialled Fabshop – a new on-site fabrication workshop to reduce occupational health risks, on the £13.7m redevelopment of the former Scunthorpe market site, in the town centre.

Project Anchor was procured through the YORbuild Major works framework and the contractor was appointed by North Lincolnshire Council.

Project Anchor will deliver Elizabeth Row, a 46-bed Accommodation Block and Elizabeth Quarter, an Enterprise and Innovation Hub that offers flexible, agile and dynamic workspaces, as part of a long-term plan to transform the heart of the town centre.

The FabShop removes activity such as cutting, drilling, threading, grinding, and associated waste from the live site environment, instead concentrating this type of work into a single area designed especially for this purpose – isolating work activities that produce noise, dust, or vibrations and thereby reducing risk.

Made from a flame-retardant material, the FabShop is equipped with dust extraction, extensive lighting, heating, ventilation and sound absorption. It also has cutting stations and work benches to create a factory-like environment on the project.

The risks associated with these tasks are then isolated to involve only the actual individuals doing this work, instead of the wider site personnel.

General efficiency is also improved, with full-size lengths of material delivered directly to FabShop to be cut, so that ‘right-sized’ material is then onward distributed and handled into the building, reducing manual handling and waste operations.

Suppliers Speedy and Reactec worked with the site team to help launch the shop, demonstrating a range of intuitive wearable tech to monitor vibration, dust, noise and proximity to hazards.

The site team are running trials of the equipment, which will provide a dataset to demonstrate just how much of each hazard has been removed from the general site environment and better managed with FabShop.

Roger Morton, Operations Manager, said: “I’ve wanted to create a FabShop for a while now and it’s great to finally get the opportunity to do so. The concept is simple but helps to significantly reduce risk.”

“To make it successful we’ve had to encourage subcontractors to plan what materials they need in advance of their work. It’s a change in mindset that we’re communicating using our Challenging Beliefs toolkit and will help us realise several benefits when adopted.”

The Considerate Constructors Scheme has recently awarded Project Anchor 45/45 and was complementary about the FabShop and overall approach to HS&E.

Project Anchor is scheduled to be complete in July 2024.