SiteZone Safety is pleased to announce that Network Rail has given approval to SiteZone proximity warning system (PWS) as a suitable safety solution to reduce collision risk between personnel and vehicles or plant on rail projects.

Workers on Network rail infrastructure can now benefit from using the SiteZone PWS, whose effectiveness has been proven across a range sectors with over 130-million man hours of use. Personnel engaging on trackside construction, civil and rail infrastructure engineering will enjoy a new level of protection from collision risk by using proximity warning.

Prior to being granted Network Rail product acceptance, the SiteZone proximity warning system has already been used within the rail industry on civil engineering projects, such as CrossRail, including the Liverpool Street Station development, Whitechapel, and Maidenhead. TFL also selected the system for use on the Four Lines modernisation program where it was installed on construction plant employed in the re-building of signalling and control system infrastructure. Network Rail already uses the PWS themselves on their material recycling sites.

How it works

SiteZone PWS produces a detection zone around a vehicle, machine or even a restricted area. When the detection zone is breached by personnel wearing a SiteZone tag the machine operator is alerted to their presence and can take the appropriate action. The SiteZone PWS has a range of options which make the product application specific. These include the BucketZone sensor which creates a detection zone around the working equipment of vehicles like excavators, the patent pending SmartBubble technology which can reduce unnecessary alerts when a piece of plant is in a “safe state”, and the OverSite telematics system which can be used for data driven performance improvement.

Future rail sector applications

One of the most exciting potential uses of the proximity warning system is on the HS2 rail project; it has already been used successfully on the HS2 Enabling Works. In keeping with the objectives of the HS2 Personnel / Vehicle Interface Working Group, the use of SiteZone is an effective solution to help meet their best safety practice objectives, through innovation and continuous improvement. All of which, SiteZone can facilitate and deliver, from proximity warning on site to continuous monitoring, data capture and targeted benchmarking capability by using SiteZone’s telematic option, OverSite.

SiteZone Safety has ensured its proximity warning solutions, are fully accessible. They are, therefore, available to purchase and for hire, with technical support, through ESS Safeforce. Its parent company VP plc was awarded a six year contract worth up to £257m for the hire, supply and maintenance of all small plant powered by external means in 2020.

Gary Escott, Managing Director of SiteZone Safety comments: “The SiteZone Safety team is delighted that SiteZone has met the exacting standards of Network Rail product acceptance. It is already a trusted safety solution across many industries and we are looking forward to bringing these same benefits to the rail industry. SiteZone has a solid performance record, with a growing clientèle entrusting their workers’ safety to the system and protecting them from personnel/vehicle collision risk.”

As part of the Network Rail approval process, a site-based behavioural study using SiteZone was undertaken by the University of Nottingham and 2020 SHE Solutions. The results showed that SiteZone “made people more aware of the risks associated with working around plant and had therefore made the site safer.” As well as this, it made workers feel safer because there was an extra element of alerting and protection; likewise, for plant operators using machines with blind spots.