The UK’s leading sustainable construction solutions group, Lafarge Tarmac, has engaged Reliance Protect within its Contracting division to enhance the safety of its lone working operatives on Britain’s highways.
Approximately 80% of road workers are physically or verbally abused by motorists. Therefore, there was a critical requirement for Lafarge Tarmac to continually monitor and improve the safety of highway operatives, especially those working alone and at night. By choosing Reliance Protect, Lafarge Tarmac is now providing greater protection for lone operatives and setting the benchmark for lone worker safety in the highways industry.
Reliance Protect partnered with Lafarge Tarmac’s operatives to provide a flexible solution that suited working practices and working environments as well as improving overall 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 Protect monitors. 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 rely on Reliance staff to call the police and other emergency services if necessary, while archived recordings are available for any future legal action.
Findings from a RAC Foundation study showed that 40% 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” that previously required operatives to work in pairs, staff now feel secure operating vehicles and undertaking tasks alone while using their Reliance Protect lone worker 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.