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Providing added value rescue cover for National Grid's Humber tunnel project

Project progress tracker

National Grid initiated a project to design and build a replacement high-pressure gas pipeline within a 5km tunnel, underneath the River Humber from Paull to Goxhill. The pipeline lies under the river bed and is part of the national transmission system delivering gas to millions of customers throughout the UK.

Over time, the tidal patterns of the River Humber had eroded the river bed covering the existing pipeline, leading to parts becoming exposed. A short-term engineering solution was put in place in 2010 to protect the pipeline. This was done by covering the exposed areas, but a more long-term solution needed to be applied.

To make sure the project was carried out correctly and with as little environmental disruption as possible, National Grid appointed HPTJV, a consortium of Skanska, PORR and A.Hak as the principal contractors.

MRS team providing emergency rescue planning trainingWhat We Did

As we had already worked with both National Grid and the contractors, MRS Knottingley was approached for their advice and expertise in working in confined spaces. Our initial advice covered the identification of confined space within the tunnel, as well as providing an emergency rescue plan in the event of an incident.

Our Operations Manager, Billy Gundry, along with his team of trainers, then delivered confined space training to the rescue teams. The training included preparation for confined space entry and how to use BG4s (long duration breathing apparatus). Our BG4 closed-circuit regenerative breathing apparatus provides the wearer with breathable air for up to 4 hours; this is an essential piece of equipment for those working in such a long confined space tunnel. First aid, tunneling and fire training was also provided in order to equip project workers with the necessary skills required to stay safe.

The Long Term Benefits

Since the initial consultancy and training, we have continued to support the teams with extra training and rescue practice. This has included several mock emergency response exercises which take place as the tunnel build progresses.

Steve Ellison, National Grid’s project manager said: “This pipeline will be the longest gas pipeline in a tunnel, inserted in a single string in the world. To do this we need partners with experience and a proven track record. MRS has demonstrated their expertise and knowledge of both confined spaces and health and safety best practice in general, giving us the confidence that this was the right company to provide this essential support to our project during the construction phase.”
MRS’ Yorkshire Operations Manager, Billy Gundry says: “We are delighted to be working with National Grid and their contractors on this vital project which will provide a vital service to millions of people. We specialise in offering practical advice and solutions and the mock emergencies we have created specifically for this project are a good example of this.

The Importance of Confined Space Training An MRS training in BG4s – long duration breathing apparatus

Work in confined spaces has resulted in many fatalities and injuries to workers across a wide range of industries. Our aim is to reduce the risk of these accidents by educating those working in low, medium and high risk confined spaces.

We are able to provide first class, practical training from our state-of-the-art facilities across the UK, including our training centre in Yorkshire. Our mobile confined space training unit allows us to teach our courses at your office, site or factory and can replicate conditions found within real confined spaces. Find out more about our confined space training courses.

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