HRS Raise the Bar with Smart Safety Technology

Highways England’s recent released ‘Raising the Bar 27 Guidelines’ (Managing Temporary Traffic Management Incursions) highlights the important contribution of smart safety technology in helping to prevent and mitigate vehicle incursions into roadworks. As a direct response to these requirements, HRS’s Smart Closure system is now widely available for use across the Strategic Road Network.

The revised guidance for industry best practice is based on the outcome of a recent Highways England study which concluded that “the warning functionality of Intellicone will provide a much faster and more reliable means of informing road workers of a vehicle incursion than traditional methods (e.g. mobile phone/text-based broadcast message to others working in the area). The benefits of this type of system can provide significant benefit to the mitigation of all types of incursion risks”.

 

Vehicle incursions are one of the highest risks that road workers are exposed to. Over the past 10 years several fatalities have been recorded and more 1,700 vehicle incursions were reported during 2018.

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Smart Closure System Benefits:

  • A real time incursion warning system that instantly alerts the workforce in of an errant vehicle incursion
  • Electronically monitored & alarmed road closure points, removing Traffic Management personnel from areas of potential confrontation
  • Alerts the workforce to non-works vehicles passing through the works area (i.e. emergency vehicles, gritters, escorted vehicles etc), enhancing safety and improving efficiency
  • Remote two-way communication with local residents requiring access via Smart Portable Intercom, enabling road users to communicate Traffic Management personnel Smart Closure System Benefits:
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Highways England’s recent released ‘Raising the Bar 27 Guidelines’ (Managing Temporary Traffic Management Incursions) highlights the important contribution of smart safety technology in helping to prevent and mitigate vehicle incursions into roadworks. As a direct response to these requirements, HRS’s Smart Closure system is now widely available for use across the Strategic Road Network.

‘We have worked closely with the industry and Highways England to demonstrate the benefits of embracing intuitive technology to help reduce and where this is not possible safely manage errant vehicle incursions. Our systems are easy to use and have a proven track record in enabling safer sites whilst also helping to improve efficiency and road user experience’
– Roger Poeth, Managing Director

For information email: Info@HighwayResource.com

HRS Win Prestigious CIHT Innovation Award 2018

Unauthorised vehicles entering a vehicle incursion zone are extremely dangerous to road workers and other road users. Smart Taper monitors temporary traffic management enabling an instant and informed response to taper strikes. it reports strikes immediately allowing for the speedy removal of the hazard.

CIHT/Ringway Innovation Award
This award is for innovative problem solving within highways and transportation that encourages imaginative concepts and excellence.

SMART TAPER
Kier Highways Ltd & Highway Resource Solutions Ltd (HRS)

Kier and HRS collaborated on a pilot to develop an innovative digital service – Smart Taper – with the potential to revolutionise how industry manages traffic management (TM).
Taper Strikes pose a serious risk to road users and road workers, with current industry practice to inspect the integrity of TM on a routine basis (normally every two hours), meaning that unsafe tapers can be left exposed for unacceptable lengths of time.
Smart Taper monitors the integrity of cone tapers and immediately reports strikes directly to TM crews.
For the first time, this technology can also interface with Highways England’s Schedule of Roadworks (SRW/NOMS) system. In addition, TM controllers and designers can view deployments on live mapping interfaces and use automated reports about on/off times and working windows, which provides intelligence-led decisions and delivers more efficient schemes of work. Smart Taper has been deployed more than 2,000 times in Area 9 and is fully embraced by the Area 9 TM team. Due to the success of the pilot, it is being rolled out across Kier contracts.
Smart Taper is under development to allow autonomous vehicles to navigate road works safely, based upon the exact locations of cone barriers and the first/last roadworks signs.

‘The Judges were impressed by the entry’s well thought through, proven practical applications – enhancing safety for road users and road workers, especially through early alert systems. it addresses the riskiest elements of working on the highway, by reducing the risk of human error throughout the traffic management cycle – deployment, operations and removal. it also potentially automates notifications, enabling rapid response to changing situations. There is clear potential for much wider application across highway related works. it also provides auditable assurance to clients, CDM holders and management. ” – Judges Comments

Smart Taper reduces potential harm to road users

“As the foreman knew it had been struck in real-time, he was able to react immediately. This was imperative in this situation as a strike of such severity could have caused vehicles to not know there was a lane closure and strike the remaining equipment or even enter the lane closure and endanger the workforce. If we were not using the smart taper, we would have just relied on someone contacting the HE or the police.”

As part of the Area 9 TM Partnership, Chevron TM were dispatched to install a lane closure for a barrier repair on the M6 N/B. At 3.36am the closure was in place and the Smart Taper system was activated to remotely monitor the taper.

At 5.39am, the TMF received a strike alert. The TM crew responded to the alert and found that 3 cones had been moved out of alignment bu a passing vehicle. 23 minutes later, the taper had been fully repaired.

Within minutes of leaving the closure,  the TMF received a second strike alert at 6.15am, telling him that the taper had been struck again. This resulted in a total wipe out of the taper with 36 damaged cones and 14 sequential lamps being scattered across the carriageway.

The Tm crew immediately returned to the closure to respond to the taper strike allowing them to control the situation and prevent any further dangers to the public.

‘The TM crew were able to instantly respond to the alert and were on the scene in minutes” – Supervisor

“This is the first time I had used the system and it’s good to be alerted so we can react quickly” – Traffic Management Foreman

‘’The software is an amazing tool as I know what times the closures are getting installed and removed’’ – Area 9 Night Supervisor

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Smart Safety Technology Proves Its Value


The Intellicone® Safelane real time incursion warning system is celebrating its second anniversary this month. Since its launch it has been used on over 4,000 sites demonstrating significant safety and efficiency benefits to contractors & highway authorities across the UK and internationally.  The value of such a real time warning system has now been formally recognised and underlined by Highways England in their latest (July 2016) Raising the Bar document (Managing Temporary Traffic Management Incursions).

Primarily designed to instantly warn the workforce of a temporary traffic management breach regardless of location and distance, the system has also demonstrated that it is possible to deploy fewer traffic management operatives (TMO) whilst enhancing safety. The latter has resulted in significant net cost savings on some road closures. Not only is this a major financial benefit, it also takes TMOs out of harm’s way, the primary objective. The safety benefits are profound with one Site Supervisor claiming it almost certainly prevented serious harm to his workforce during a dangerous errant vehicle incursion on the A14 in November 2015. A Traffic Management Foreman on the M25 J30 A13 Widening Project claims it is life saving technology and has helped safeguard workers inside the closure on multiple occasions, “Safelane has proved its worth on two separate occasions now, without it who knows what would have happened with regards to injuries or even fatalities”. To put this in perspective, on this particular scheme there were over 40 cases where motorists deliberately ignored road closure signs in 2015 alone.

Safelane is easy to deploy and comes with Wearable Panic Alarms for TMOs manning works access points alongside an integrated incident triggered camera. If an errant vehicle were to forcefully enter the site or even by mistake, the TMOs are able to alert the workforce instantly with the simple press of a button regardless of distance whilst incident footage is recorded. Despite best efforts in reducing the risk of incursions to an absolute minimum it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk of an errant vehicle entering a temporary worksite. Enabling TMOs to instantly alert the workforce is therefore a major safety enhancement and important tool. 

A second part of the system is the electronically alarmed full closure point which detects any unauthorised entry remotely. It consists of Intellicone® Dorman cone lamps which can detect motion and Portable Site Alarm technology. This brings an added deterrent effect to people attempting unauthorised access at full closure points. This has proven on dozens of occasions to significantly reduce incursions by opportunistic road users both on the Strategic Road Network and in rural settings. Deterring incursions in this way also significantly reduced the potential for TMOs to be the subject of abuse or even violence, an increasing problem.  If an errant driver were to proceed to enter site a manned internal checkpoint can be installed ahead of the work area which will receive an alert and can act as a secondary barrier to stop the errant vehicle from getting to the work area.  If this is not the case the alarm can be instantly escalated to the workforce. Such a checkpoint could potentially manage multiple closure points in a safe and efficient manner.  Being primarily a tool for TMOs to enhance safety for themselves and the workforce operating within the closure it is therefore no surprise that workers are feeling safer working inside road closure with a real time warning system in place:

“The work crews feel safer on site thanks to the Safelane system, as they know that there are some drivers who just don’t care!”, Local Authority Contracts Manager.  The analogy is simple: ‘it is pretty much a smoke alarm, you may even forget it is there but you definitively don’t want to go without it!’

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Exclusion Zone Technology Proves its Value on the M5

Dawson Wam – M5 J4A-6 Smart Motorway Project

Dawson Wam was awarded the contract for the installation of permanent sheet piled retaining walls and king post walls for the M5 J4a-6 Smart Motorway project.

Piles are generally installed to significant depths into mudstone, and into sandstones in the northern quarter of the site. To ensure the site was kept safe, Dawson Wam  used Highway Resource Solutions “Dual Sentry Beams”.

The Dual Sentry Beams were adopted as part of a quest for a continual improvements. The beams were trialled on the project alongside conventional systems . 

Having been designed to work in a similar method to the Portable Site Alarm, when the beam is broken,  the alarm on the Dual Sentry is activated which alerts operatives of a workzone breach.

As the Dual Sentry beam is so loud, it is ideal for operatives working in on-site heavy machinery, such as cranes and piling rigs.

The trials were so successful, the client’s team wish to employ the Dual Sentry Beams site wide on future projects

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Safelane Deters Incursion

Wiggington Heath Cross Roads – Edge Strengthening

Safelane was used by Skanska (the principle contractor) in the village of Wiggington Heath, enabling them to safely perform edge strengthening on the kerbs and apply 100 mm inlay.

Skanska used Safelane to provide them with a full road closure at all four entry points to the worksite.

A Red PSA with Camera and Panic Alarm was deployed on the entry point to the East, whilst the North, South and West entry points were unmanned with Yellow PSAs and Intellicone enabled lamps. The works crew, who were positioned at the cross roads had a Blue workforce PSA beside them to alert them in the instance of any incursions.

Quite a lot of people tried to move the cones, but, as soon as they did, the alarm went off. It was a great deterrent

From the data collected, it was logged that on a number of occasions, members of the public had attempted to breach the site, activating the alarms. Drivers were observed returning to their vehicles, turning around and driving away from the site.

On the one occasion that a driver did enter the site, the crew alarm was activated (the incursion was captured by CCTV) and the crew had time to move to safety.

Traffic Safety and Control Officer, Doug Whitford commented:

Once the crew understood the set up and how easy it was to use, the equipment was placed correctly and there were no problems at all

The Site Supervisor also commented;

The lads appreciated that they had a warning system and if the alarms went off the closure had been breached

Safelane used on the M25

Case Study: M25 Newhall Joint Replacement Scheme

Jacksons used Safelane on the M25 for the Newhall Joint Replacement Scheme. The scheme was to replace a multi-element expansion joint between junctions 10 and 11 on M25 clockwise and anti-clockwise.

They were surprised by how easy it was it install.

As the main contractor, Jacksons asked Highway Resource Solutions to design a Safelane system for a full carriageway closure on the M25 anti clockwise. Jacksons crews were surprised by how easy Safelane was to install, having been weary of it to begin with, they soon had a complete change of heart.

Karen Doherty, Systems Engineer commented:

The TM crew felt that the training course they undertook before using Safelane was really good and it gave them the knowledge they needed to go out and install it

Safelane was a good deterrent

A1 Coalhouse to Metro Centre  (A1CH2MC)

Balfour Beatty were the main contractor to widen the A1 western bypass from junctions 67-71. The task in hand was to increase the size of the roads from two lanes to three, with the addition of two distributor roads between junctions 68 and 69.

Prior to A1CH2MC project commencing, Safelane’s requirements were discussed with Highway Resource Solutions. A layout was then agreed and  utilised on site. The added site safety was instigated due to a vehicle incursion which occurred on 14th February 2015, when a vehicle accessed a works site at speed, and  proceeded to travel down the length of the closed carriageway whilst under the influence of alcohol.

The system was installed when the carriageway had been closed, the system was used at all carriageway closure locations and additional equipment was supplied by HRS which provided arm mounted panic alarms for the gate marshals. The carriageway closure locations changed  regularly, the equipment supplied was easy to   assemble and deploy through the work site and similarly easy to collect when the work site was clear.

The equipment had a positive effect with the work force allowing contact to be made over the length of the closed section of carriageway at short notice.

On a number of occasions, the alarms were triggered by vehicles attempting to enter the site, once the alarm sounded, the flashing light was triggered and this then deterred the vehicle from accessing the site.

The work force found the equipment effective and easy to use.

Efficient Safety on the A46

Between 12 May 2016 and 9 June 2016, High friction surfacing (HFS) was laid on a one kilometre stretch of the A46 near Bath. HW Martin was responsible for the temporary traffic management deployed during this scheme on behalf of Highways England Area 2 (operated by Skanska). As part of HW Martin’s drive to continuously improve safety and operational efficiency they investigated the use of the Intellicone® Safelane system as a means to reduce the impact of incursions into the closure whilst minimising resource requirements.

“When we first looked at the A46 Hartley Bends scheme for Skanska in Area 2 we were looking at using up to 18 gatemen and around 9 vehicles to control the access points that run along the A46, with the assistance of Intellicone Safelane we were able to reduce this to 8 men and 4 vehicles” – Sam Clarke (Contracts Coordinator,

HW Martin used the Safelane system which enables Traffic Management Operatives to instantly warn the workforce of an incursion without any limitation in distance. At the same time, electronically alarmed closure points remove operatives from potential conflict areas.

“All of the equipment was easy to use and could be kept in a small contained space, charging was never a problem and all systems were self-explanatory when charging and installing”.

“I have had excellent feedback from the crews on site as they were made aware of any gate breaches before the vehicle reached their check point, this also made a safe working environment for the contractors as the alarm would give them warning to remove personnel from the carriageway in the case of an emergency. The alarm for the contractors would only sound if the panic button was pressed at the last check point, thus allowing the TM Foreman not to disturb the workforce unless it was absolutely necessary”.

“Skanska carried out a drive through on the scheme and recorded all the check points whilst they were in operation. All parties were very happy with the outcome of the scheme and were very impressed with the equipment which was used and how it had been developed to suit the individual scheme” – Sam Clarke (Contracts Coordinator, HW Martin).

“HW Martin have been very pro-active and helpful in deploying the Safelane equipment on the A46 scheme in Area 2. They made key staff available for training to ensure that the deployment would be as smooth as possible” – Dale Courtman (Highway Resource Solutions)

HRS launched as IoT Showcase by Digital Catapult

HRS Intellicone will be on display at the Digital Catapult Internet of Things (IoT) Showcase near St Pancras Station in London for the next 3 months. Having been selected out of a large number of entrants nationally, HRS will be showcasing the life saving potential of its IoT platform.

Part of showcasing at IoT means we are helping take action to help solve first world problems that are either too complex, financially risky, or too time intensive for market forces alone to deliver.

So, if you’re in London over the next three months come down and visit our showcase.

For more information visit http://iotuk.org.uk/highway-resource-solutions-ltd-hrs/