We’re delighted to announce that last night we had the privilege of attending the National Highways Awards due to having been shortlisted for the ‘Exceptional Contribution to workforce safety’ category. In conjunction with Costain and SiteZone Safety we are committed to improving safety on site on the A30 project specifically and on all project sites across the country.

Raising the bar on safety in construction ­- Flannery, Costain and SiteZone Safety

Over the last five years, there have been 217 fatal incidents on UK construction sites, 10 per cent of which were due to the worker being struck by a moving vehicle. Identifying major hazards and managing their associated risk is a significant challenge for everyone involved in construction, and is a top priority for Costain on the A30 project especially.

To meet the growing demands for safety on the A30 project, Flannery have been working collaboratively with Costain and SiteZone Safety to trial the new Smart Bubble innovation. Fitted on a range of the Flannery excavators, this technology aims to enhance the existing SiteZone Proximity Warning System and to minimise the inherent risk of incidents caused by People Plant Interface.

The SiteZone Proximity Warning System (PWS) is an intelligent audible and visual warning system designed to reduce the risk of vehicle-personnel collisions and can be used anywhere the proximity of people and vehicles working together is of concern.

One of the most recent SiteZone developments is their Smart Bubble innovation. This intelligent technology works with existing site protocols such as the Thumbs Up procedure and significantly enhances safety performance.

What are the benefits?

  • Combining SiteZone with Smart Bubble technology provides a warning solution that creates essential awareness between the operator, pedestrians and other people working in close proximity.
  • It maximises alarm integrity and reduces the potential impact on operational performance.
  • It’s designed to complement the safe systems of work and significantly reduce the risk of accidents on site.
  • Data analytics allow monitoring of the potential high-risk spots during operational works and the ability to implement immediate decisions about reducing the injury risk on site.
  • Data collection and analysis support future decision-making and planning about safety on site.

Committed to our client’s purpose of creating an Injury-Free Environment (and to an industry-wide improvement in safety), Flannery have been raising the bar for safety in construction through exploring initiatives that deliver the most progressive safety solutions.

This intelligent technology works with existing site protocols such as the Thumbs Up procedure and significantly enhances safety performance.

How does the technology work?

The SiteZone Proximity Warning System (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 technology ultimately mitigates the risk of any tagged employee entering the exclusion zone undetected.

In many situations, people will need to be in close proximity to a machine to perform certain tasks. SiteZone currently supports this by using the ‘authorised approach’ method. This approach means that the vehicle operator can allow people into the exclusion zone of a vehicle if the correct site protocols have been followed e.g. Thumbs Up. When the correct procedures have been followed, Smart Bubble technology automatically reduces the exclusion zone to a second predefined ‘safe zone’ allowing personnel to carry out the required tasks. When the vehicle leaves its safe state and the deadman is disengaged, the exclusion zone automatically returns to its original radius.

As Alistair Melville, Costain Project Manager, says:

‘People Plant Interface is one of the top fatal risks identifiers in the construction industry. Supporting the ‘Be Safe’ culture, we are keen to enhance existing site protocols by implementing SiteZone and Smart Bubble technology across the project and train our people on how to detect any potential hazards. This smart technology is pure safety, it makes certain that performing certain tasks in close proximity to a machine causes zero harm.’

What makes this solution different?

  • There are no blind spots – pedestrians are detected even when not visible to the operator or when stationary.
  • It is designed to be task-specific – the exclusion zone can be customised depending on the size of the machine, the equipment, and the working environment.
  • The detection zone is not affected by the machine’s movement.
  • Pedestrians remain detected even in difficult environmental conditions such as heavy rain and fog.
  • There is a mutual awareness between the plant operator and pedestrians when working in close proximity.
  • The data collected from machines carrying the technology can be used to drive behavioural change on site.

What do people on site say about the innovation?

David, Banksman on the A30 project, points out:

‘This technology is really good in use, especially when, as a banksman, you are required to spend most of the time in close proximity to the machine. With the alarm signalling when you enter the exclusion zone of the machine, it notifies you of the potentially risky situation and continuously helps prevent any harm. It also works amazingly with the Thumbs Up Protocol. The alarm notifies you that the operator has engaged the deadman leaver and it is safe to approach.’

In conclusion

The SiteZone Proximity Warning System and Smart Bubble innovation raise the safety bar on how to prevent potential PPI accidents on site. Going forwards, Flannery will work collaboratively with SiteZone Safety to install the new technology across the A30 project and use the gathered data to further enhance the detection of high-risk situations. Our aim? To get everyone Home Safe – every day.

By challenging the norms and fulfilling our client’s needs, Flannery is choosing to proactively implement safety innovations across its plant fleet and change behaviours across the industry.

Watch the video to find out more about the Smart Bubble Innovation in action.