JPW Road and Bridge has won this year’s Deputy Minister’s Contractor of the Year Award in the category of safety innovation for their development of a Fall Arrest System for the Mara Bridge Stringer Replacement project.
For this project, the contractor devised a unique solution to protect their crews and meet WorkSafe BC regulations. JPW Road and Bridge designed and built a portable overhead superstructure that accommodated up to four workers at a time, was high enough to allow ambulances and smaller vehicles to pass through, and was portable enough to be assembled and disassembled each day in order to move to the next span and to allow transport trucks and other larger vehicles to use the bridge on evenings and weekends.
This fall arrest device proved to be a success, with no incidents or injuries to the construction crew while still allowing the passage of emergency vehicles and local traffic as required. JPW Road and Bridge plans to continue to use this system to complete the second half of the Mara Bridge Stringer Replacement project next year, and feels it will be useful in similar situations in the future.
The Mara Bridge Stringer Replacement project involves replacing a series of six-metre spans including the stringers, cross ties, deck, curb and railing on a 185-metre-long bridge across the Shuswap River which joins Rosemond Lake Rd. and Riverside Rd. in Mara.
The safety challenge for JPW Road and Bridge was that the bridge has no superstructure and, with the span elements removed, there is a six-metre drop to the river from the bridge deck.
Traditional fall arrest systems were assessed but determined to be impractical:
- a horizontal lifeline would not work given the bridge’s length and low load limit;
- the use of an overhead crane was prevented due to the single lane width as well as the length of the bridge; and
- a safety net was not feasible because of the need to move to the next span each day.
The Deputy Minister’s Contractor of the Year Awards recognize construction and maintenance companies demonstrating excellence in the categories of grading, paving, bridges and structures, and highway maintenance work throughout the province, along with a special award for safety innovation.
This award for excellence in safety innovation recognizes all types of health and safety innovations, including those which address or highlight:
- the management of workplace impairment issues;
- planning for safety at the design stage of projects;
- engineering controls that replace personal protective equipment;
- site practices which improve awareness and reduce public/worker risk;
- use of innovative practices or tools; and,
- programs or techniques which help prevent workplace incidents, injuries and illness.
The 12th annual awards were hosted by the B.C. Road Builders & Heavy Construction Association on Friday, Dec. 5 in Victoria.
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone -
“This is an excellent demonstration of creativity which has provided a safe and practical solution to replacing wooden bridge decks where there is no overhead infrastructure. Congratulations to JPW Road and Bridge for this exceptional accomplishment.”
Okanagan-Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo -
“It is great to see a local company with a home-grown solution to a potential safety issue. This new device will improve on-the-job protection for those who work hard to make roads and bridges safer for everyone, and should serve as inspiration to the industry.”
Photographs of the Deputy Minister’s Contractor of the Year Award winners and finalists can be viewed at: http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/celebratingexcellence/contractors.htm
Follow the work of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure online at: www.tranbc.ca
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Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure