Contributed by JMS Consulting Engineers
18/02/2020 - JMS Consulting Engineers
Ipswich-based JMS Group are known for being international experts in civil and structural engineering. What many people don’t realise, is that JMS is building a reputation as one of the foremost experts in the effective inspection and management of key industrial structures across the UK.
JMS helps its clients to navigate structural integrity risks and legislated industry requirements with effective inspection and engineering solutions. Thankfully, for JMS, their Ipswich office is home to none other than Jo Kingshott, who has cemented her reputation as a logistical mastermind by regularly organising this epic undertaking.
So how does she do it? Well, all it takes is a cunning plan, impeccable organisational skills, a spot of technical innovation, and an army of skilled engineers spread throughout the land….
In total, Hanson have 312 active sites dotted around Scotland, England and Wales, from Stirling to Plymouth. And each one requires a structural inspection on average every two years. Sites contain a mix of smaller PreMix concrete facilities, to purpose built plants that serve nuclear power stations. Oh, and don’t forget the several huge-scale cement works Hanson operate. Each site contains silos, railheads and conveyors, which all need to be thoroughly inspected for structural integrity. To give you an idea of the scope of this task, some of those railheads are several miles long. And just to keep JMS on their our toes, many of their sites are located near rivers or along the coast, which means they also need jetty inspections.
Now, it is easy to imagine a sleep deprived Jo Kingshott spending many late nights in the office staring at maps as she juggles all these inspections. However, Jo works part time, and still manages to ensure each inspection takes place on time so Hanson can keep their operation running smoothly and safely.
Whilst, of course, she works very hard, she also works smart, and that means employing a mix of innovative reporting technology, alongside an ability to organise our roster of talented engineers, who are based in regional offices all over the UK.
“It’s all about planning. At the start of the month I create a schedule of all inspections due over the next two months. Of course, everything is always changing, so it pays to be dynamic. I undertake the pre-inspection process with site managers, figure out which of our staff are nearby, and then figure out how to fit the inspection into their schedule so it makes best use of their time. I also arrange pre-inspections before new sites go live, and if there has been an accident or structural failure at one of the sites, I set up an ad-hoc visit. Being organised is the key to keeping things afloat.”
Jo also deals with any structural issues that are flagged up during an inspection.
“With so much infrastructure being inspected, there is always the chance that an issue may be identified. At that point, I create a report based on the inspection findings, and advise Hanson on remedial work, which might mean condemning or replacing a structure. They then use this report to appoint a contractor to carry out repairs. On several occasions we have highlighted issues before they became serious, and that means JMS have been able to prevent serious health and safety issues occurring.”
Receiving these reports enables Hanson to budget effectively for repairs and maintenance, and assists significantly with their ability to comply with health and safety regulations.
Throwing technical innovation into the mix
JMS Managing Director, Daniel Staines, believes Jo – and the engineers she organises throughout the sites – show off the company ethos of working smarter, not harder, at its best. “Jo has an amazing ability to plan ahead, and when you are working with one of the biggest companies in the UK, with huge sites all over the place, you need a military approach to organisation, and an ability to adjust plans as things change. Our engineers use a self-developed app to record inspection findings and create reports, which ensures we can be responsive, and effective. It is all about meeting the needs of our client, being in control of the situation, and having a team that are always at their best.”
And with Jo at the helm, Hanson really are getting the best.
Hanson may be one of JMS’ biggest clients, but they work just as hard to please many different sized operations around the world, including private individuals.
For more information and career opportunities visit the JMS website.
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