Challenging project for Colas-SIAC team

Following the success and recent completion of the Humber Bank Link Road in North East Lincolnshire, our Colas-SIAC joint venture team have recently been engaged by Sheffield City Council to facilitate the construction of a new access road and 100 space car-park for a country park. The new contract is part of the YORcivil2 Framework, which helps local authorities and other public and third sector organisations procure high-quality civil engineering services.

The project involves the design and construction of a new 1.2km road, including the upgrading of existing private highways to adoptable standards and the construction of a car park. The works will facilitate access to the countryside park area of Parkwood Springs and be an enabler for future development works.

Our Colas-SIAC team are currently working within the ECI (Early Contractor Involvement) stage of the contract, procuring surveys works, ground investigation and site clearance. With the ECI stage completing in August, we’ll then submit our formal tender submission with a view to starting the contract a month later and completing in March 2022.

Commenting on the new contract, Projects Director (North), Alan Hicks said: “Our client approached us regarding the project due to the challenging nature and timeframes associated with the scheme. It is testament to our team and performance on the framework that a new client has selected us for this direct award”.

Learn more about the Social Value Portal

In 2020, Colas agreed a three-year partnership with The Social Value Portal (SVP), an online platform, which enables organisations to measure and manage the contributions they make to society. The SVP, which is underpinned by the National Themes, Outcomes & Measures (TOMs) framework, attributes monetary ‘proxy values’ to different forms of Social Value and this enables contractors and clients to quantify the positive impacts of their activities.

As Social Value Manager, Rachael Atkin explains, our teams have been using the SVP very effectively. “Whenever one of our teams has secured a project that is likely to generate significant Social Value, they have created a project-specific sub-page on the SVP and this has enabled us to quantify our impacts. As the project progresses, they’ve successfully gathered data and evidence about our activities, which have been checked and validated by the portal’s team. The SVP automatically generates high-quality dashboards demonstrating performance-to-date, which we then use to demonstrate impacts to clients and stakeholders and it’s enabled us to prepare detailed mid and post project reports, which have been hugely valuable for marketing, bidding, and stakeholder engagement.”

Awareness across the organisation is obviously key to the success of the SVP, as Social Value Lead, South, Shazad Ahmad, explains: “Our Social Value SIP team have mobilised TOMs reporting on a number of our projects and are working hard to drive awareness and up-take across the business. We’ve recently launched a dedicated page on Connex, with tools and guidance documents and we’re currently in the process of finalising standardised processes using Triaster. However, we wanted to provide wider coverages, so we’ve arranged interactive Q&A sessions with our SIP team, and our SVP Account Manager, Tanya Goode. Delivered via Teams, these sessions will take place on Tuesday 18 May at 10am and then a week later on Tuesday 25 May at 3:30pm. Anyone can join, simply contact Rachael - rachael.atkin@colas.co.uk - for an invite.”

Dash cam installation set to improve fleet safety

We’re always looking to implement innovative new products and initiatives which improve safety within our business, and following a successful trial last year, we’re now installing 200 Samsara dash cams to our vehicle fleet. These new dash cams use AI technology and g-force accelerometer technology data, which improves driver behaviour through audible instant alerts to drivers highlighting high-risk behaviours and events in real-time.

Alongside the existing Colas SAID+ programme of annual driving behaviour training, Samsara's AI dash cams and driver coaching tools will reduce accidents, prevent false claims, and lower running costs. The AI dash cams have real-time incident detection and in-cab coaching which are proven to protect drivers and improve driver behaviour through the intelligent technology with a combination of in-cab voice alerts, driver rankings, and HD video-based coaching tools. The touchscreen driver app applies elements of game design to promote safer behaviour and enable rewards-based safety programmes.

The implementation of this new platform ensures we gain real-time visibility across the fleet, giving greater productivity through fuel and maintenance planning, asset and equipment monitoring, cost reduction including the ability to defend legal and insurance claims protecting both our employees and the business, and driver and public safety.

Having been a major driver of the implementation of this new technology, Executive Director, Faical Lahmamsi, is looking forward to the roll-out. He said: “It’s an exciting development for Colas and forms part of our wider business strategy to implement digital transformation across the business. This new platform enables the company to focus on next level safety behaviour for drivers, and the technology will be used to coach and support drivers to further improve behaviour.”

Looking forward to returning to our fixed locations

As the national COVID-19 data continues to improve across the UK, it is reassuring to see economic activity picking up and activity in the construction sector returning to pre-pandemic levels, with further growth expected this year. We can certainly look forward with optimism to society opening up fully, and employees returning to our fixed locations and offices. There is no doubt that face to face conversations with colleagues, customers and suppliers is something we have all missed and cannot be fully replaced by technology all the time.

In line with the next step in our return to work plan, employees will be returning to our fixed locations and offices effective from 17th May. Managers will be in contact to confirm arrangements with individuals regarding returning to the office.

Throughout the pandemic Colas has put in place extensive measures to ensure that our fixed locations are COVID-19 secure including temperature checks, lateral flow testing and extensive sanitisation measures. These are all still working effectively and should provide reassurance that safety measures prevail from May 17th, and that our sites are COVID-19 secure. As you will also know, the vaccination programme has been progressing very well across the UK and many of our employees will have received at least their first vaccine dose, providing another layer of protection.

Given the improving situation that the national data is indicating, we are also returning our mask guidance to the previous level. Masks are required when moving about our sites and in communal areas, but not required whilst stationary at a desk in a shared space or in meetings where social distancing can be maintained. Individuals can of course continue to wear masks at all times should they wish to.

You can also now take the NHS lateral flow test at home if you prefer. You will need to bring the negative NHS text or email notification with you and show this to the COVID-19 supervisor in order to gain site access. Alternatively, you may prefer to take the lateral flow test at work. Only one test per week is required on your first working day of the week and is applicable to all Colas sites.

We would like to remind you that even with the improving national data, it is important that we all remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions through regular testing, temperature checks, washing of hands, observing social distancing and wearing a mask when appropriate. Ensuring the health and safety of all our colleagues across all sites and projects remains our priority.

As other aspects of life begin to open up, we are looking forward to welcoming you all back to our fixed locations in the coming weeks.

Hazel Boniface is retiring from Colas

After nearly nineteen years of working for the Rowfant Products Depot, Hazel says her fondest memories are of “the amazing colleagues I have worked with and the support I have received over the years. I will miss them all.” As for the future, Hazel is looking forward to volunteering for the Riding for the Disabled, spending time with her grand-daughter and French bulldog, Duke, and growing a carrot or two!

60 Seconds Interview

This week we meet Katy Bowmer who is our part-time Stakeholder Liaison Officer on the soon to be completed Durham University Infrastructure Improvement Project.
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Praise from local resident

Mark Lloyd and his Microsurfacing team have received some praise for their work this week in Crock Lane, Bridport. According to the local resident the team have been working on some awkward lanes and have been “very accommodating, pleasant and a credit to Colas. Brilliant.”

Register your steps

As we approach the end of the first week of our 10 Week Walking Challenge, we’d like to remind all of our ‘steppers’ to log onto this registration page (or use the QR code on the posters) on Monday and record their step count. Our top tip for new walkers - wear two pairs of socks. Thick ones on the bottom, thin ones on the top as this will stop the rubbing!

Welcome to our new starters

David Ogden - Operations Director
Jake McFatter – Regional Ops North
Jamie Brookes – Regional Ops North
Jake Price – Regional Ops South
Nikki Ryding – Regional Ops South
Ken Campbell – ITS

Mental Health Awareness Week

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from 10-16 May 2021. With ‘Nature’ the theme for this year, we’re encouraging colleagues to get outside and enjoy a walk in their local park. Not only will the fresh air clear your mind, but a good walk has a number of excellent health benefits.

April winner

Congratulations to Rob Clegg and his ‘Oh Wabba!’ team, who picked up April’s Fantasy Premier League Manager of the Month. Shane Filleul and his ‘Shane’s not Athletic team collected second prize. With only a handful of games remaining the big question is whether Arran Weddle can hang on to top spot or will Mike Taylor pip him to the post!

April's most popular image

Thanks to everyone for sending photos into InstaColas. Our April winner is Grantham based Business Manager, Scott Pettit, who took his winning photo whilst visiting the Retread team in North Lincolnshire. Scott collected the most votes and wins a £20 Amazon voucher. For your chance to win, simply take a photo and send it to insta@colas.co.uk

Picture Gallery