Aveng Grinaker-LTA’s Majuba Rail Project reaches a record safety milestone

In February 2016, Aveng Grinaker-LTA’s Majuba Rail Project in Ermelo, Mpumalanga, achieved a significant safety milestone of 3 million man-hours without a single Lost Time Injury (LTI). This translates into a Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) of zero.

This achievement preceded another significant milestone of one year without a LTI on 14 February 2016. Previously, the project was struggling with a LTIFR of 0.44, recorded in February 2015 after seven lost time injuries over a 10 month period (from May 2014).

This milestone was achieved through the implementation of several pro-active initiatives including a refocus on the ownership of safety by the supervisors, Visible Felt Leadership involving all the senior management team members and executives, the implementation of the Action Notice System and trend analysis together with the Near Miss/Stokvel System.

“Our successful safety record is testament to what can be achieved with a focused and collective effort by the team and a stringent adherence to safety procedures,” explains Allan McCormack, Contract Director at Aveng Grinaker-LTA. He adds: “Aveng encourages behaviour and practices that entrench our safety vision across all our operations ensuring that ‘Home without Harm, Everyone, Everyday’ is realised across all our operations.”

The Majuba Rail Project is a component of the Eskom Road to Rail Initiative with the construction of a railway line that links the Majuba Power Station to the main coal railway hub in the town of Ermelo in Mpumalanga. The 68km corridor is the first large greenfield freight-rail infrastructure project to be carried out in South Africa since 1986 and will be operated by State-owned Transnet Freight Rail (TFR).

Aveng Grinaker-LTA’s Civil Engineering Division was awarded the project in January 2013 with construction activities commencing in March 2013. The scope of work includes construction of the bulk earthworks, layer works, bridges and culverts with Aveng Rail accountable for the construction of the railway line and the overhead power lines. Furthermore, Aveng Grinaker-LTA is responsible for all construction activities required to get the formation ready for the laying of sleepers and track, comprising of earthworks, layer works, drainage and concrete structures. These include 1 064 000 m3 of layer works, 1 200 000 m3 of blasting in cuttings, 2 400 000 m3 unsuitable material spoiled and 2 800 000 m3 of bulk fill.

The structures and earthworks are 98% and 96% complete with 55% of formation ready for track laying. The majority of the site is handed over to Aveng Rail, who is installing the rail, with IRCON installing the overhead traction equipment lines and signalling. “We expect to complete the project in August 2016,” explains McCormack. “Once the rail is commissioned, coal supply to the Majuba and Tutuka power stations will be secured at a rate of 21-million tonnes per year.”

Aveng Grinaker-LTA, together with Aveng Rail, have an established track record in the rail and freight sector with the completion of similar projects including the Kgalagadi Railway Line in the Northern Cape from 2013 to 2015 and the Nacala Railway Line in Mozambique from 2013 to 2015.