Engineering Assurance for Station Scaffold Designs

Project value:
Project Commenced:
October 2020
Project completed:
December 2020
Network Rail

About the project

As part of the CAPEX framework, Enable Infrastructure (formerly BCM Construction) were engaged by Network Rail to undertake refurbishment works of various station buildings in the South East region. These works included repointing and painting of facades, works to existing gutters and works to canopy roofs and dagger boards. To undertake these works in a safe manner for both operatives and the general public, scaffold access platforms were proposed, wrapping around the station buildings.

Enable Infrastructure looked to Enable Design (formerly known as Equate Design) to provide the Design Assurance and ensure that the specialist scaffold designs were safe and complied with Network Rail Standards, particularly where erected on open platforms.

Within this remit, Enable Design undertook the role of Civils Design CRE, liaising between the scaffold designers and construction teams, and coordinating and compiling the F002 and F003 Temporary Works submissions in accordance with NR/L2/CIV/003.

The challenge

Whilst a competent scaffold designer is capable of producing a design for a scaffold that is fit for purpose in terms of access provision, unless the designer has  a detailed knowledge of Network Rail standards, there are multiple ways that a scaffold can interfere with the safe passage of trains or impede passengers using the station, potentially putting them in a dangerous situation.

The solution

Engaging Enable Design to fulfil the Civils Design CRE role gave Enable Infrastructure the confidence that the design submission process would flow smoothly in a timely fashion, and that the final design would present a safe and practicable solution. The review process focused on several areas, including: ensuring that railway vehicle gauging was not compromised; signal obscuration; passenger access and useable platform widths; DDA (Disability Discrimination Act-compliant) access to the platforms, and the interface with moving vehicles outside the station.

Most design issues were resolved, and, importantly,  significant alteration was required to the original proposals for several of the schemes to achieve full compliance.

The Team

  • Engineering Manager
  • Responsible Engineers

The deliverables

  • Design Assurance – Enable Design undertook the Civils Design CRE role to ensure Temporary Works F002 and F003 submissions were compliant with Network Rail standards, and the design process was managed in accordance with NR/L2/CIV/003.
  • Designs that included scaffolding on platforms were reviewed to ensure there were no gauging or signal obscuration issues, and pedestrians could safely use the platform. The process included checks that scaffold legs were the requisite distance back from the platform edge.
  • Checks were undertaken to ensure that staff and passengers had clear visibility of signage, notices and information boards.
  • Platform construction was reviewed to ensure it was capable of supporting the scaffold leg loads, and any below ground structures (such as subways) were identified and assessed for the proposed loading.
  • Scaffolding located near vehicular access routes was assessed to determine if additional vehicle impact barriers were required and whether a safe pedestrian route was maintained, and to ensure that all areas were accessible to wheelchair users.
  • Full Designers’ Risk Assessments and Design Decision Logs were undertaken to ensure compliance with the CDM Regulations.
  • Scaffolding designs were reviewed, and areas for additional structural assessment were identified, such as existing roofs which were to support scaffolds providing access to chimney stacks.

Outputs & Benefits

Compliance: Whilst specialist scaffold designers should be capable of providing a safe scaffold, they frequently do not have sufficient knowledge of the various Network Rail Standards that relate to stations, station platforms and the safe operation of the railway. Enable Design were able to provide this specialist knowledge, coordinating the design, ensuring compliance with the relevant standards, and enabling a smooth transition through the design approval process.

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