Performance and innovation marks Year One of rail FM contract

Lanes Rail has completed more than 30,000 repairs and introduced multiple innovations to improve efficiency, safety, and cost control in the first year of a major new maintenance contract for London Underground.

The five-year 1 FM contract, which went live in June 2017, covers all building maintenance work along underground lines, and at depots, train crew accommodation, engineering works, and power sites.

Transport for London (TfL) awarded the contract to Lanes Rail, part of Lanes Group plc, under a new streamlined approach to facilities management designed to deliver financial savings, while supporting the Mayor of London’s plans for improving transport.

Lanes Rail Commercial Director Matthew Todd said: “Mobilising an FM contract that redefines how rail maintenance is delivered while meeting such ambitious performance targets has been a challenge.

“Under 1 FM, 50 contracts have been consolidated into just six. We have worked hard, operationally and commercially, to embed TfL’s philosophy and goals in this first year, and I believe the traveling public in London will see the benefits as the contract progresses.

“By the beginning of June, we had completed 31,192 repairs. Of those, 25 per cent were classified urgent, requiring attendance within four hours.

“Lanes Rail has consistently performed above the 95% timely completion key performance score. We also completed the 15,363 planned maintenance activities per year on schedule.

“Our aim has been to combine the deep knowledge and experience of our highly-motivated in-house team and specialist supply chain with a can-do spirit and innovative approach that seeks to always extend what is possible in rail maintenance.”

Services delivered under 1 FM include maintenance of roofing, internal wall and floor surfaces, doors, locks, gates and barriers, sanitary ware, drainage, safety markings, and pest and vegetation control.

During the first year, Lanes Rail has introduced a new approach to FM maintenance based on analysing data to identity risk areas, and target planned interventions to prevent faults.

In the long-term, Lanes will reduce the risk of faults adversely affecting customer experience through better targeting of planned maintenance, which will reduce the cost of more expensive reactive maintenance.

The objective is to use this ‘smart programme’ approach to reduce faults by 25%.

For example, Lanes Rail teams has a programme of planned inspections of platform nosing stones and tactile surfacing, followed up by planned corrective maintenance.

This is reducing reactive call-outs to loose nosing and paving stones, which pose serious slip and trip risks and could fall inside a rail line’s ‘kinetic envelope’ – the area where they could be struck by a train.

There has been a 26% reduction in reported vegetation faults, and the implementation of a drainage planned and preventative maintenance programme has reduced station closures.

Lanes Rail is pioneering the use of aerial drones to survey buildings and track drainage, which improves the speed and quality of surveying, is safer, and has less impact on day-to-day operations.

New technology is also being introduced to track pest activities to improve partnership working with stakeholders to control pests coming in from outside TfL properties.

The operational success of the 1 FM contract has played a part in TfL instructing Lanes Rail to prepare a similar maintenance programme for six stations along the underground section of the new east-west Elizabeth Line through central London.

Lanes Group:


Beyond Expectations: Bam Ritchies and Cassella

The collective movement for solving issues surrounding work related ill health continues to gain momentum, highlighted in the HSE Help GB Work Well Scheme calling for “greater awareness of the harm, costs and preventability of the issue” which should “drive collective action to improve health outcomes”. In an effort to raise awareness of dangerous substances in the workplace, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OHSA) has recently launched a ‘Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances campaign’ to promote a culture of risk prevention. The campaign is intended to heighten awareness of risks linked to exposure, targeting workers with specific needs.

Each year, there are 12,000 lung disease deaths estimated to be linked to previous exposures at work. A 2017 HSE report highlighted 18,000 annual incidences of self-reported work-related breathing or lung problems in the previous 3-year period up from the 10,000 per year actually estimated. Although Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics show that work related deafness incidents have generally gone down since 2008, 20,000 people a year still suffer with work-related hearing problems.


BAM Ritchies prides itself on being one of the first geotechnical contactors to carry out extensive hygiene monitoring of its workplaces. The company is a division of BAM Nuttall, a £60 million business with 400 employees throughout the UK providing ground engineering services for government, local authority, utilities and public/private companies.

Mark Sherwood has been an occupational hygienist at the company for 3 years, responsible for dust, noise fumes and vibration monitoring nationally for BAM Ritchies as well as supporting BAM Nuttall. A typical day includes a range of dust assessments, from wood, welding fumes, quarry dust, and respirable crystalline silica. He undertakes personal exposure monitoring across the workforce to control exposure levels and where necessary, provides recommendations with preventative health measures to control any hazards from dust, noise and vibration. Options such as elimination, substitution and engineering controls are explored, or PPE/RPE is recommended from the accurate exposure measurements.

When Mark first started as an occupational hygienist, the workers were curious, asking questions about the equipment, and the reason for it being used. Individuals were interested to learn the results from the monitoring equipment and what the data meant. To ensure Mark was able to establish accurate measurements for dust, noise and vibration exposure, working closely with regulatory limits, he used Casella’s equipment, and still does today.

To adhere to compliance with EH40 2005 workplace exposure limits (WELS) Mark uses 8 Casella lightweight, rugged bodily worn Apex2 personal air sampling pumps to monitor contaminants that may pose a health risk, including hazardous dusts like silica in quarrying or fumes during welding or dust created during evacuation. Noise exposure is measured with the 620 Sound Level Meter and a Noise kit which includes 6 dBadge2 dosimeters for noise at work applications, recording the audio of noisy operations, storing noise dose and performing octave band analysis, as well as general environmental measurement. This ensures regulatory compliance and encourages improvement initiatives to protect worker hearing. This thorough method ensures exposure levels are assessed with the wireless capability via Casella’s Airwave app meaning monitoring does not need to disturb worker operations and data can be transmitted for assessment and alerting purposes direct to inboxes of nominated personnel.


BAM Ritchies prioritises protecting their people. Mark had previously used Casella’s HAVex meter to measure the vibration levels of the tools employers were using to ensure they weren’t over exposed to hand arm vibration during their daily routine. However, a proactive initiative by senior management has since removed vibration tools and the need for monitoring. In the event of there being no alternative method, a request to use a vibration tool requires a Permit to Work system authorised by the appropriate/nominated person.

There are instances where Casella’s noise and dust monitoring equipment has resulted in positive changes across sites around the country. This has included an additional dust extraction system at a material testing laboratory in Scotland to further eliminate risk of substance exposure. Results from noise monitoring at quarries fortified the introduction of filter 3 hearing protection to ensure workers have the upmost protection, as a precautionary method rather than an essential one. Other sites have also decided to upgrade RPE with the same sentiment of protecting workers as much as possible with the current and future exposure levels being carefully considered.

Through Casella’s equipment, Mark is also able combat one of his biggest issues – time. He praises the equipment for providing information that a hygienist is able to interpret and feedback to management in a summary/reporting format. “My work involves me travelling around the country to ensure I meet as many employees as possible and that their working environment does not impact their long-term health. Casella’s equipment enables me to work quickly and efficiently, with the confidence that all appropriate data is being accurately captured.”

The very nature of how Mark’s role is perceived by staff has also completely shifted. Now, individuals instantly understand the value behind what Mark is doing, knowing how the equipment works and the role it plays in protecting them from potential hazards. “I make it a priority to understand different working patterns and movements in a working day so that my role can slot neatly into this. Workers appreciate this as it’s clear their time and tasks are being valued”.

Bam Ritchies prides itself on being a company that achieves extraordinary things, pushing boundaries and providing ground engineering solutions that bring engineering to life. Without a healthy workforce this vision cannot be realised. “Casella site monitoring equipment is a crucial part of my everyday kit that I carry everywhere, without fail” said Mark. The company is an industry leader for its effort to monitor and protect its workforce, and this process has now come full circle, with the workers completely in tune with the benefits and process, collectively working towards a healthy working environment.

About Casella

Casella is dedicated to reducing occupational health and environmental impact risks through effective monitoring solutions. Casella prides itself on providing precision instrumentation since 1799, supplying eminent figures including David Livingstone and Charles Darwin with instrumentation for their exploration and scientific work.

Casella has changed significantly over these 200 plus years but remains perfectly placed to offer reliable, trust worthy and credible solutions for Occupational and Environmental monitoring of noise and dust, with over 40 years of innovation in noise and 60 years in dust measurement.

Casella’s aim is to enhance the long-term health and quality of life for workers in high risk occupational sectors and to monitor the impact on the environment through innovative technology, easy to use products and expertise that can be trusted.

Offices in China, India, Australia and the USA, as well as a host of global distributors, provide both service and support to those searching out solutions for risk reductions.,59292239

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