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Padma Bridge Rail Link Project

Caring for health, safety and environment

Health, safety and environment lie at the centre of the core idea of China Railway Group Limited (CREC) in Padma Bridge Rail Link Project

July 10, 2024 00:00:00

China's largest railway company CREC is the contractor for the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project (PBRLP). The Bangladesh Railway is implementing the project. The Dhaka-Bhanga portion of the project has already been inaugurated and the remaining part from Bhanga to Jashore will be opened very soon.

While working for the project, the China Railway Group Limited (CREC) has looked beyond the mere physical infrastructure. It is caring for the project area's environment, rehabilitation of the affected people in the neighbourhood as well as health and safety of the workers working for the project.

Health and safety issues

In the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project (PBRLP), the CREC has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to health and safety through the implementation of a robust Health and Safety Management Plan. This plan encompasses various initiatives aimed at safeguarding the well-being of workers, including the regular distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), comprehensive training programmes, and emergency response drills. Workers are equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools to safely undertake tasks, such as work at height and fire safety measures. Additionally, CREC ensures proper management of heavy equipment and implements traffic management protocols to prevent accidents. The Health and Safety Management Plan also includes protocols for hazard identification, risk assessment, and emergency response, ensuring adherence to safety protocols and regulatory compliance at all times.

Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the CREC has maintained uninterrupted environmental monitoring, ensuring adherence to standards and prompt response to emerging issues. By upholding high standards of health, safety, and environmental protection, CREC not only ensures the smooth completion of the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project but also fosters a culture of responsibility and care towards workers and the environment.

Safety and Health Management Practice in PBRLP

Safety training

Adequate training and sessions are arranged for the workers at all levels to improve their knowledge, skills, competency and attitudes that enable them to perform their duties in a safe and efficient manner, and reduce injury. The training also helps improve their awareness about specific hazards and dangers involving construction work and care for health and safety at a good working site. There are special training and Daily TBT meeting before starting a task. The safety engineers conduct training to educate construction workers, point out the key point of safety hazards, take precautionary measures, provide them with essential safety information about general health and safety matters and specific hazards involving their work to improve the safety awareness and skills, as well as avoid the work risk.

Working at Height

All the safety-related precautionary measures such as the required number of safety harnesses with double lanyard, safety belts, safety net, safe working platform, and other safety facilities are ensured to avoid the risk of falling from unprotected areas at height.

Safety Supervision

Regularly safety inspections are conducted at different levels from the head office to the site safety team to verify that safety plans, risk mitigation measures are implemented, especially with an eye on the at-risk behaviors and safety facility prior-to-work and during work to ensure that all works are done in a safe manner and that all unsafe conditions and acts are discovered and rectified accordingly, as well as the follow-up re-check safety inspections conducted to make sure the observed issues are rectified properly.

Fire Safety

Adequate and necessary fire equipment is there at the camp, work place, storage area, and monthly inspection on the fire equipment is conducted to make sure it is valid. All fire extinguishers are inspected and tagged monthly by safety officers, and inspection details are recorded on the fire extinguishers. If any, the faulty or defective fire extinguishers are tagged OUT OF SERVICE, and they are replaced timely.

Working near the Existing Line

A communication and coordination system for working near the existing railway line has been set up. Spotters have been employed round the clock at important points and stations and the required number of walkie-talkies are available there for regular communication to inform the concerned supervisor about the arrival and departure of the running train and the current condition of the railway track.

Emergency Drill

Numerous necessary emergency drills have been conducted during the execution of the project, such as fire emergency drills, flood emergency drills, anti-riot and evacuation emergency drills, fall-from-high emergency drills, electric shock emergency drills, typhoon emergency drills, heat stroke emergency drills, etc., to improve the safety awareness of employees and self-rescue ability and ensure that in case of emergencies, emergency disposal can be carried out orderly and timely.

HIV Awareness

A dedicated team has organised an HIV prevention and awareness special training programme, including distribution of leaflets and condoms and imparting training to the workers and locals during the construction period to make them aware of the health and hygiene issues.

Occupational Health

Mitigation and prevention actions have been taken to monitor, manage and address the occupational health risks to advance the occupational health management, especially in view of the extreme hot and humid weather and noise hazard at the sleeper factory, such as providing the saline, drinking water, professional earmuff, etc., to make sure the consequence of a harmful workplace exposure can be reduced, eliminated, or dismissed.

With support from the Chinese government, the Exim Bank of China and the Chinese Embassy in Bangladesh, the CREC and the Bangladesh Railway signed the contract on PBRLP on August 8 in 2016. Later on April 27 in 2018, the Exim Bank of China and the Ministry of Finance of Bangladesh signed a loan agreement and thus the contract came into effect. The project work officially started on July 3 in 2018.

With the first phase of the project already inaugurated, the CREC successfully conducted the completion test and commissioning for the remaining section between Bhanga and Jashore on March 30-31 last.

Source: China Railway Group Limited (CREC)

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