Monday, 21 October 2013

Establishing ISO 22301 in Europe’s largest construction project

Katie Collison

Crossrail is the biggest construction project currently in Europe and is one of the largest single infrastructure investments ever undertaken in the UK. It is a rail link that will run 118km from Maidenhead and Heathrow airport to the West of London, through new twin bore 21 km tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood, east of London. Crossrail will increase London’s rail based transport network capacity by 10% and bring an additional 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes of commuting time to London’s key business districts, supporting regeneration across the capital. It represents construction on a staggering scale.

Presently in the tunnel boring phase, Crossrail is managing a multiple worksite programme with construction works running concurrently across the entire route with:

  • Over 10,000 people working on the project
  • Over 35 million working hours completed on the project so far
  • 40 construction sites

For the first train to roll in 2018, the schedule must be adhered to so the next stage of the programme, the stations fit out, can commence on time.

So where does ISO 22301 fit in and why is business continuity important to Crossrail? In part this question is answered by the statistics above. The Crossrail construction programme is being delivered at an astonishing pace with any delays to construction works on one site, big or small, having the potential to impact the time and budgetary constraints of the entire programme. As with any major construction project Crossrail recognises the inevitable risks. Health and safety is taken extremely seriously, and a zero harm target is promoted with an incident response philosophy of ‘prudent overreaction’.

In line with all of the work that has already been achieved by Crossrail in this area, a comprehensive business continuity management system (BCMS) to manage and minimise the impact of disruptions was both an identified gap and an obvious addition to the organisation’s resilience portfolio. The decision to establish a BCMS in line with ISO 22301 was driven by Crossrail’s desire to deliver a world class railway that genuinely improves standards within the construction industry and meets best practice in all areas.

The challenges and route to success

However, the rate at which the project is being delivered and the finite existence of Crossrail Ltd in its current form meant that any business continuity programme needed to be pragmatic, simple to update, and easy to maintain. Something which typically contradicts management system standards, but which is achievable under ISO 22301.

Steve Hails, Crossrail Health and Safety Director, and Katie Collison, Steelhenge Senior Manager; will be discussing this topic and the path to ISO22301 success within the ‘BC in Action’ stream at the BCM World Conference on Thursday 7th November, starting at 13.05.


  1. Good to find that the quality companies are planning to establish their site from where they can deliver the best construction facility to their new consumers.

    Sanola Jerry

    Plos Constructions

  2. The full name of this standard is ISO 22301:2012 Societal security – Business progression administration frameworks – Requirements. This standard is composed by heading business progression masters and gives the best schema to overseeing business congruity in an associate..