The UK’s leading sustainable construction solutions group, Lafarge Tarmac, has rolled out Reliance Protect within its Contracting division to enhance the safety of its lone working operatives on Britain’s highways
With around 80 per cent of road workers physically or verbally abused by motorists, there was a critical desire for Lafarge Tarmac to continually improve the safety of highway operatives, especially those working alone and under the veil of nightfall. By choosing Reliance Protect, Lafarge Tarmac is providing greater protection for lone operatives and setting a benchmark for lone worker safety in the highways industry.
Flexible protection for highway workers
Reliance Protect collaborated with Lafarge Tarmac’s operatives to provide a flexible solution that suited working practices and the environments staff work in, as well as improving safety and protection. The GPS-enabled Identicom™ lone worker device, integrated into the armband of high visibility jackets, incorporates man-down motion detection and locates workers in the event of an emergency.
When arriving on site, operatives leave an Amber Alert, advising the Reliance Monitoring Centre (RMC) of their location and the time they expect to spend on site. If their Identicom recognises a man-down situation, the device vibrates continuously and if not acknowledged, raises an alert to Reliance staff.
If an operative feels threatened, they can also discreetly activate the Red Alert alarm. Upon activation, the RMC monitors and records everything that takes place and Reliance staff respond appropriately. Should the threat begin to escalate to violence, Lafarge Tarmac workers know that Reliance staff will call the police and other emergency services, while archived recordings are available for any legal action.
Dave Milner, Plant & Services Co-ordinater at Lafarge Tarmac was instrumental in implementing Reliance Protect and commented, “We trialled a variety of lone worker systems and the Reliance Protect solution ticked the right boxes. Now operatives can get on with their work, and by collaborating with the Reliance Protect team during an extensive testing period, we demonstrated assurance that help, including the emergency services, is there when they need it.”
Unlocking savings and setting new standards
With findings from an RAC Foundation study in 2007, showing that 40 per cent of highway workers are abused on a daily or weekly basis, Lafarge Tarmac has enhanced the safety and security of its lone worker operatives as well as unlocking significant efficiency savings. By eliminating an “accompanied worker scheme,” which previously required operatives to work in pairs, staff now feel secure operating vehicles and undertaking tasks alone while using their Reliance Protect device.
In addition, with sub-contractors contractually obliged to comply with the Lafarge Tarmac lone worker policy, haulage companies were also operating vehicles in pairs, adding significant costs to each 10-hour shift. In order to phase out two-person shift charges, Reliance Protect is now available to all Lafarge Tarmac contractors using the same pricing and service levels.
As well as setting a new benchmark for highway safety, Lafarge Tarmac has improved health and safety compliance and real-time monitoring has increased awareness of senior management. Through comprehensive face-to-face Reliance Protect training, operatives feel safer, while the use of devices as part of every-day working routines engenders a culture of personal risk assessment.
Commenting on the Reliance Protect solution, Paul Fleetham, Managing Director for Lafarge Tarmac Contracting, added, “By equipping our lone workers with this new innovative device, we can access real-time information from site, helping us to further improve the safety of our employees. This technology sets a new benchmark for lone worker safety and through a central control centre ensures that we are in constant communication with our employees and can immediately deploy support if necessary.”