Training for installation of traffic survey equipment

Training for installation of traffic survey equipment

Tracsis have recently conducted a systemic safety review of our methodologies for the installation of Automatic Traffic Counters (ATC) on dual carriageway roads.

To ensure an accurate and informed interpretation of the regulatory environment, and in particular the Safety at Street Works and Road Works: A Code of Practice, we partnered with THS Training Ltd for the review.

The Code of Practice states:

“An undertaker, and those working on its behalf, carrying out work under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 must comply with this Code for their own works…. Failure to comply with this Code is a criminal offence and may lead to criminal prosecution in addition to any civil proceedings. Compliance with the Code will be taken as compliance with the legal requirements to which it relates”

The rationale for the review was twofold, firstly to assure ourselves that we were delivering to the highest standards of safety based on an up to date interpretation of the regulatory environment. Secondly, to ensure we were meeting the safety aspirations of our clients, members of the public and employees.

Tracsis have invested in the equipment and training to work to this standard, a standard we think should be adopted across the industry. 

Background

Key members of the Operational team at Tracsis have completed the Lantra 12D M7 Training. The 12D M7 course is specifically aimed at Managers, Designers, Technical Officers and others who do not physically install Temporary Traffic Management but do have responsibility for the installation. Such training underpins our commitment to reaching and maintaining the highest standards of competency and safety in our sector.

Chris Jackson, MD of Traffic Surveys commented:

“At Tracsis Traffic Data (TTD) we strive to ensure that we remain at the forefront of our industry and that includes challenging the status quo of how traffic surveys are undertaken. These challenges are often of a technical nature, exploring the use of AI or the latest ANPR equipment, but for me and the rest of the TTD leadership team the safety of our technicians and the public they work around has to come first. Improving the way that ATCs are installed on dual carriageways after over 25 years of installations demonstrates our commitment to that and I hope other companies will follow suit.”

Having reviewed the correct procedures for working on 40 mph dual carriageway locations, and In particular the installation of automatic traffic counters (ATC) at these sites, Tracsis have adopted the short duration works procedure as outlined in the diagram below from the Safety at Streetworks and Road works- A code of practice (2013) publication. We only deviate from the below plan with the use of a secondary support vehicle, rather than an impact protection vehicle, as it was deemed that this may actually present a greater danger on a 40mph dual carriageway. It also makes the process more commercially viable.

Diagram 1:

The adoption of this methodology for working on a dual carriageway is paramount to ensuring the safety of traffic survey operatives, is a legal requirement, and the costs for this traffic management methodology should always be factored in to a data collection exercise. Low costs for similar projects without specified traffic management costs should be treated with caution.

Training and Equipment

Our internal training process now starts with a desktop exercise, creating a scale version of a real dual carriageway environment using model signs and road layouts to demonstrate the installation process to the site teams. This ‘out of the box’ practical guidance enabled our Technician Team Leader to explain the procedure using model signage and vehicles in the comfort of the office environment. This approach was very effective for explaining the process of the physical installation to our project team and field operatives.  

From this point, we were able to utilise our unique training facility at Silverstone Circuit in Towcester. Our events company, SEP Events Ltd have a year-round permanent base at the Silverstone Circuit and we undertake traffic and event management at the circuit for all major events throughout the calendar year. With our site team already having a solid understanding of the short duration procedure through the desktop exercise, we took our vehicles out to perform the traffic management under direction of the trainers, Tailored Highway Support Ltd, and site auditors from Tracsis. 

Tracsis have invested heavily in additional technical equipment to be able to undertake short duration traffic management. We have installed automated roof mounted lighting boards to our survey vehicles that deploy with the flick of a switch. These 7403 light variant signs enable the traffic to be directed around the work area as per the code of practice. Along with the careful positioning of the correct signage where applicable, prior to the works (see diagram 1), this enables our site teams to safely install traffic counting equipment across the dual carriageway. 

Supporting Documentation

A new Dynamic Risk Assessment (DRM) and Safe Plan of Action (SPA) were developed in unison with the process training. These sit within the Tracsis Quality Management System (QMS) and ensure that the methodology and all risks associated with it are managed.

Kevin Smith, Support Services Director at Tracsis commented about the training programme, 

“Our field Technicians operate close to fast moving highway traffic, so it’s important that our office based management teams completely understand the regulatory environment that governs this safety critical space, so that they can plan and manage field activity to the highest standards”

Tracsis are leading the way in the industry, partnering with training bodies such as THS, we ensure a thorough approach to learning new skills and ensuring a robust approach to delivery.

Gavin Kershaw of Tailored Highway Support Ltd explains more about the process,

“Tailored Highway Support Ltd are an accredited Lantra Awards training provider that have worked alongside Tracsis to qualify their operatives and operational managers to NHSS 12D.  We are proud to be supporting Tracsis in improving the skill set of their Project Managers and transport operatives” 

The Tracsis core values are Quality, Relationships and Safety (QRS). By reviewing our processes and adopting safer and more robust procedures, we address each of our core values. 

Quality – We provide a better standard of work and a quality driven process

Relationships – We are improving the relationships with our staff, in providing them with added safety and comfort during work in challenging environments, and improving the relationships with our customers in improving our working methods

Safety – We are providing a safer and more robust approach for our staff, from the understanding of safety training for our office based staff, and the physical safety of our site teams. 

Author: Nick Mather

References-

Course details: https://www.lantra.co.uk/course/12d-m7-training

We partner with: https://thstraining.co.uk/ for training delivery

Safety at Streetworks and Road works- A code of practice (2013), page 88 Ref: ISBN 9780115531453

Photos by Rob Walgate and Matt Hanwell. 

Contributors- Chris Jackson, Alison Blackler, Gary Lewis, Kevin Smith, Gavin Kershaw, Philip Ward

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