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Author Topic: The modern Channel Tunnel  (Read 11809 times)

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Offline smiler

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Re: The modern Channel Tunnel
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2015, 13:41:17 »


June 5th 1930  This ad for Raleigh accompanies the latest attempt to get a Channel Tunnel Bill through Parliament. The Bill failed today.



Offline Merv

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Re: The modern Channel Tunnel
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2011, 23:20:49 »
I am not sure, but I recall major accidents were so common that they were hardly spoken of after a day or 2.

Offline keniff

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Re: The modern Channel Tunnel
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2011, 09:19:14 »
There was a rumour that the French recorded their deaths differently ! If a person died in the tunnel it was recorded as such, however, if a person was injured in the tunnel then taken to hospital and subsequently died that wasn't recorded as a "Death in the tunnel" but as a "Death in hospital" as a result of injuries sustained .. don't know how true that is.
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Offline Merv

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Re: The modern Channel Tunnel
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2011, 00:53:00 »
Oh!!! I never saw this thread before.
I worked on The Tunnel project for 5 years.

Offline Islesy

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Re: The modern Channel Tunnel
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2011, 21:24:44 »
This statement by Lord Dean of Beswick on June 20, 1990 provides interesting background: "Were the guys on a 'bonus' system for completing work fast?"
http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/lords/1990/jun/20/channel-tunnel-workforce-health-and#S5LV0520P0_19900620_HOL_405

"Much has been said about the speeding up of work on the tunnel and the management putting pressure on workers through the bonus system so that they work harder. That is denied in the notes I have been sent, which state: This is not borne out by the way the pay system works at Trans Manche Link …with a basic of £100 per day, workers are guaranteed a decent rate regardless of their performance.
We met the project manager, who made it quite clear to us that there is no question of pressure of time. Though the project was behind time because some unexpectedly wet strata were met at the beginning, it is now on target and could be deemed to be slightly ahead of target. He said that the drilling machines are not being driven or forced through to anything like their capacity."
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Offline Islesy

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Re: The modern Channel Tunnel
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2011, 21:09:57 »
February 9, 1989
Mr Patrick Nicholls, MP for Teignbridge and Under Secretary of State for Employment replying to a written question from Dr Gavin Strang, MP for Edinburgh East.
Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive are still investigating the circumstances which led to the death of Andrew McKenna on 23 January 1989. The investigation will continue until all available evidence has been considered.
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Offline Islesy

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Re: The modern Channel Tunnel
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2011, 21:07:22 »
February 9, 1989
Mr Patrick Nicholls, MP for Teignbridge and Under Secretary of State for Employment replying to a written question from Dr Gavin Strang, MP for Edinburgh East.
John Symes was crushed between an overhead travelling crane and the fixed steelwork of the tunnel boring machine frame on 6 February 1989. Inspectors from the Heath and Safety Executive have begun an investigation into the incident.
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Offline Islesy

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Re: The modern Channel Tunnel
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2011, 21:00:07 »
As I find out about various deaths, I'll post, then amend as further information comes to light.

May 15, 1990
Mr Patrick Nicholls, MP for Teignbridge and Under Secretary of State for Employment replying to a written question from Mr Tony Lloyd, MP for Stretford.
The accident which led to the death of Mr. William Cartman on Monday 7 May is currently under investigation by the Health and Safety Executive. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State met senior management of the channel tunnel contractors, Transmanche Link, on 10 May to discuss the safety arrangements on site. Transmanche Link has undertaken to re-examine all working practices and procedures in the light of recent incidents.

May 10,1990
Mr Dave Nellist, MP for Coventry South East to Mrs Margaret Thatcher, MP for Finchley, The Prime Minister
Is the Prime Minister aware that the whole House will want to send its deepest sympathy to the family of William Cartman, the sixth British worker to be killed in the Channel tunnel, a project which seems to be costing almost a man a mile? Will she make it clear that it is entirely inadequate for the five companies of Transmanche Link to be fined only £10,000 each for the death of another worker last February? Will she assure the House and construction workers that the Government will bring forward emergency legislation to make mandatory a prison sentence on an employer who is found guilty of gross negligence following the death or serious injury of a construction worker? When will the carnage stop?
Reply: Of course we are concerned about that tragic accident. As the hon. Gentleman knows, m y right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Employment will be meeting the chief executive of Transmanche Link later this afternoon to discuss the safety of the site. Health and safety inspectors are investigating the accident, and they have taken immediate action. Two prohibition notices have been issued which have stopped the operation of the two tunnel-boring machines in the marine tunnels. It is too early to say what caused the accident. We all deeply regret it, and we send our sympathy to the bereaved relatives of the person who was killed.
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Offline Longpockets

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Re: The modern Channel Tunnel
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2011, 20:30:31 »
If my memory serves me well, which sometimes it does not these days, the length of the drives from the UK side were longer than those from the French side. Could that have been a factor to explain why there were more British casualties?

Offline unfairytale

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The modern Channel Tunnel
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2011, 20:04:38 »
Maybe this goes some way to explain. From Construction News Aug 1990.
 
"Safety standards in the tunnel were blasted by the top site inspector in the country on Monday.Chief inspector of Factories, Tony Lineham, said: 'We do not accept these sort of standards in the tunnel or on any other construction sites.'We are not happy with the state of affairs in the management of the tunnel.'Transport and General Workers Union construction secretary, George Henderson, said: 'Why is it that people are always reacting - why isn't something done to prevent these accidents.'The five firms making up Transmanche Link - Costain, Balfour Beatty, Tarmac, Taylor Woodrow and Wimpey Major Projects - have been fined by the courts three times for breaches of health and safety regulations."
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Offline Islesy

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The modern Channel Tunnel
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2011, 19:48:46 »
In Memory of those who gave their lives
during the construction of the Channel Tunnel

1986 - 1992

Gary Crosbie
Andrew Bernard McKenna
David John Simes
Guy Joly
Gary Woodward
Keith Lynch
Stephen William Wright
William Robert Cartman
Rene Saint-Georges
Charles McCourt
David Griffiths

En memoire de tous ceux qui ont donne leur
vie pendant la construction du Tunnel sous la Manche
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Offline Islesy

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The modern Channel Tunnel
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2011, 19:43:34 »
A question raised by Lord Clinton-Davis in the House of Lords on June 14, 1990. The exchange is summarised by Hansard here: http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/lords/1990/jun/14/channel-tunnel-construction-accidents

502 accidents were reported to the Health and Safety Executive between April 1987 and March 1990, in 1989–90 that was equivalent to a rate of 4,468 per 100,000 employees. Accidents at the Channel Tunnel site represented 4% of the workforce, compared with 1.8% in the construction industry as a whole at that time.

Most reports state there were 10 deaths, of which 8 were British - which means an extra name features on the memorial. It appears that the deaths occurred in the early stages of boring, but that is as much information as I have at the moment.
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Offline ChrisExiledFromStrood

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The modern Channel Tunnel
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2011, 19:36:57 »
A majority of 11 being British probably isn't "statistically" significant * I'd have thought, in the same way that the prediction of 24 versus the actual 11 is in the right ballpark considering the numbers who must have worked on it. It would be more surprising if the numbers were exactly the same on each side.

*The phrase sounds callous at first sight, but it doesn't mean that those lives were insignificant, far from it. Just that the fact of the majority being British in a relatively low total doesn't necessarily prove anything about British or French working practices.

Aside from all that, you'd want to investigate the circumstances of each and every one, to see what can be learned for next time.

EDIT: in the light of later posts, only 2 French out of the total 11, which puts a different perspective on it.

Offline Islesy

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The modern Channel Tunnel
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2011, 11:00:34 »
Prior to the construction of the current tunnel, a consultant's report on safety regarding building contracts, issued before the project started, predicted that there was a probability of 24 deaths during the construction.

In the end there were 11 deaths, the majority of which were British - a memorial has been placed in the car park at Samphire Hoe.


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