British Steel seamless tubes Wolverhampton

The Project commissioned by British Steel Seamless Tubes called for the safe demolition of a steel manufacturing plant located on a 37 acre site at Wednesfield Rd, Wolverhampton in the West Midlands.

The scope of the works included for Asbestos Removal, Environmental Clean up, Decontamination, Demolition and Land Remediation.

Once the works were completed, the site, which had manufactured steel for the previous 90 years, would form part of the British Steel Distribution, Steelpark, comprising of warehousing, an office complex and open parkland.

British Steel Seamless Tubes took on board Safety and Environment as the two main issues at the procurement stage. A dedicated Closure Team was appointed, headed by Mr. Kelvin Skidmore (see enclosure). The Closure Team visited both Connell Brothers Manchester offices to carry out audits and a current demolition site at ICI Research Centre, Harrogate. Once the BSST Closure Team were totally satisfied with Contractor competence, Connell Brothers were appointed as Principal Contractor to carry out the works.

Due to the previous use of the site and its proposed future use, including time scales, Connell Brothers adopted an innovative approach to the demolition. Cleaning operations, asbestos removal and building separation were all executed in a planned and structured manner to enable third party contractors to proceed with the construction of a new office complex, formation of roadways and completion of warehousing for British Steel Distribution.

The project was carried out in 5 phases, consisting of;
The South Bank
This area comprised of acid neutralising plants, pump house, sub-station no. 8, water tower, 4 no. gas oil tanks, each containing 12,000 gallons of waste residue, 2 no. LPG tanks, caustic soda tanks and overhead pipe gantries with asbestos lagging.

The Upper Weldless Bay
A structure comprising of part brickwork and part clad in RPM sheeting, (hazardous material), high level crane gantries, high level and low level pipe gantries with asbestos lagging and Sulphuric Acid tanks.

Engineers Stores
A two-storey structure of brickwork construction, located adjacent to the public highway (Required the implementation of a road closure to carry out the demolition). The building also included high level pipe gantries with asbestos lagging, below ground asbestos pipework with Blue Asbestos, asbestos insulating panels to offices, cement bonded asbestos sheeting to the roof, oil storage tanks and oil interceptor tanks.

Office Complex
A two-storey L-shaped office complex with asbestos panelling throughout. Adjacent to this structure was a workshop/garage with below ground fuel storage tanks.

Continuous Mill
A structure of part brickwork and partly clad in RPM sheeting (hazardous material), sub-station, compressor house, waste heat boiler house and chimney stack, re-heat furnace and stack, primary sub-station, descaler pump house, transformer pens, scale pits, stockyards with overhead gantries, high level pipe gantries containing asbestos and high level steel gantries with an accumulation of Graphite dust built up over many years.

All the works were carried out in accordance with CDM Regulations, with Health and Safety plans being written for each phase of the work, supported by detailed Method Statements, Risk Assessments and COSHH Assessments. All supporting documentation in respect of the hazardous waste disposal was also integrated into the Health and Safety file.

Connell Brothers employed a strict regime of the site clean up in respect of all the hazardous materials.

Asbestos materials were removed in controlled conditions employing trained operatives, fully equipped with the relevant safety equipment and the latest decontamination facilities. Background monitoring was carried out as the works proceeded and clean air certificates issued at completion of every stage. All asbestos material was disposed of in lockable containers to the designated licensed tip with the appropriate documentation.

All personnel employed on site carrying out cutting operations to steelworks (hotworks), were registered with the BSST Safety Manager and attended regular medical examinations by BSST appointed independent Doctor to monitor Lead in blood levels. All operatives involved with hotworks were fully equipped with PPE and RPE.

All residues of fuels and chemicals were pumped out of the storage vessels using vacuum systems, the vessels cleaned out and certification issued prior to the substances being tankered off site to their designated licensed waste disposal site. All acid tanks were neutralised prior to any works being carried out on them.

The disposal of the Graphite dust that had accumulated on steel work supports required the employment of vacuuming techniques at high level with operatives wearing full body and respiratory protection.

The whole of the ground floor slabs to all structures were cleaned of contaminants by high pressure jetting. These included heavy deposits of oil, grease, millscale, pigeon droppings and the like, prior to the removal of the roof and exposure to the weather.All pits and voids were cleaned in the same manner to the satisfaction of the BSST Engineer. Any pits and voids not easily accessible for future filling with recycled material were grouted. The area of these voids amounted to 900 cubic metres.

Trial holes were excavated in and around the South Bank area of the site and left open for monitoring by an external third party for levels of contamination on site. Once levels had been confirmed as acceptable, the trial hole pits were backfilled as requested.

The demolition work was carried out using specialist tracked excavators with full cab protection and fitted with specialist attachments. (Steel cutting shears, concrete pulverisors, grapples etc.) The works were carried out using a Caterpillar 235D 70-tonne, long reach excavator, two Hitachi 40-tonne FH400 excavators, three Hitachi FH220’s and two Hitachi FH200’s.

All the remaining materials arising out of the demolition were recycled as part of the BSST specification. All steelwork was transported to British Steel Sheffield as part of the British Steel recycling programme. All brickwork and concrete was suitably processed on site for the filling of pits and voids including site levelling.

Throughout the 12 month contract period, the BSST Closure Team implemented a strict daily check procedure and from over 300 checks carried out, no major non-compliances were recorded.

The contract was completed on time, according to budget, without any major accidents and to the satisfaction of the Closure Team as demonstrated in the letters enclosed.

Key Facts

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