Connection of the Ris-Orangis diversion: my first steps in the role of Supervisor
The connection of the Ris-Orangis (Essonne) diversion was a success! This operation was Sandrine Silva’s first project in the role of Supervisor. Interview.
Can you tell us what this project involved?
The project was launched as part of the future commissioning of the bus line between Viry-Châtillon and the Corbeil-Essonnes overland train station (so-called “Tzen4”), and development work on Moulin à Vent square in Ris-Orangis (91). One on side, there was the TZen4 which was going to cross Salvador Allende square, a site managed by the Communauté d’agglomération Grand Paris Sud (an intercommunal structure in the southern suburbs of Paris). On the other, a shopping centre being moved to the town centre, managed by the Ris-Orangis town hall. And in between all this, a DN100 GRTgaz pipeline that needed to be diverted over 300 metres.
"The project began on 1 February and was completed on 31 July 2021. So it took six months in total, including work carried out at night. The project was a great success both on a technical and safety level and in the management of planning and stakeholders (local authorities, concession holders, nearby residents)."
Superviseur à la Direction des projets et de l'ingénierie (GRTgaz)
How did the works unfold?
The project began on 1 February and was completed on 31 July 2021. So it took six months in total, including work carried out at night. It was also my first project as Supervisor. The project was a great success both on a technical and safety level and in the management of planning and stakeholders (local authorities, concession holders, nearby residents).
What was your role?
I oversaw relations between the project manager, Oumar Sanfo (who wasn’t afraid to entrust the site to a “rookie”), and the rest of the internal and external operators: The Operations Department (DO) via the Palaiseau sector, the Technical Department (DT) via the Val de Sein Integrity Department (e.g. for cathodic protection), the Val de Sein Interventions Department (DIVS), the Paris Pipelines Company (SPAC) in charge of earthworks and pipes, the Health and Safety Coordinator (CSPS), town hall technical services... and my tasks? To remind everyone of the need to stay vigilant on the worksite, to prepare the safety induction for every operator entering the site, and to check authorisations and operating procedures.
What qualities do you need to be a works supervisor?
Versatility! You have to know how to handle different topics, from safety to various techniques: checking that the earthworks and methods used are complaint; checking that the pipe coatings meet our specifications; checking the operating procedure for laying a pipe sleeve under sand; monitoring the hydraulic test file and checking e.g. on day D that the materials used are calibrated, or even taking part in preparing the connection, etc.
Exactly what training did you have?
My career path has been really non-standard, but people have shown faith in me along the way. I passed the Baccalauréat in Tertiary Sciences and Technologies in 1999. After that, I worked in a factory and in construction. In 2006, I joined the ENGIE group, where I learned about the hospitals sector. Then I changed direction and came to GRTgaz in 2014. I started out as a departmental assistant in the Operations Department - a role that I held for two and a half years. I then worked as a support technician in the Grand Paris Network Department (DRPG) for three and a half years. The Head of DRPG allowed me to spread my wings and made me feel that I could move into this field that really suited me. Without this encounter, I wouldn’t be here. The members of the Val de Seine Supervision Construction and Launch team put their trust in me and were able to look beyond my CV. So there was no way I could let them down!
How do you feel after this initial project?
At the beginning, I was really stressed. Everything was new to me. But the kindness everybody showed was a pleasant surprise. There’s a heavy workload, but it’s also very stimulating. I was delighted to find what I was looking for in the role: independence, responsibility, and interactions. What a wonderful life adventure!
What advice would you give anybody wanting to become a works supervisor?
You have to be yourself, be versatile, be aware of the risks and implement all necessary actions to ensure the safety of the site. Ladies and gentlemen, if this job is what you’re after - go for it!