Mitigating the risk of utility strikes with excavator safety technology


Utility strikes are a leading safety concern for site managers across the UK construction industry – the CEA talks to James Fisher Prolec about the rise in demand for height limiting and slew limiting systems for major infrastructure projects, to prevent utility strikes happening…

According to the LSBUD (Linesearch BeforeUdig), asset strikes with excavators and other equipment types resulted in 3,972 injuries in the UK over the last six years. This trend only continues to rise, with the Health & Safety Practitioner reporting that critical infrastructure strikes have increased by 668% (162 to 1,244) in recent years. Consequently, over 30% of the total H&S fines issued in the UK were attributed to construction projects – second only to manufacturing.

In considering the H&S and financial implications of excavator collisions with infrastructure, it is vital that the industry takes every possible step to mitigate this risk. With the increasing presence of civil construction projects in crowded and largely unmapped locations, site managers are turning towards new technologies, techniques, and methods to secure their excavator operations. This has led to a growing demand for height limiting and slew limiting systems, which have seen widespread adoption in recent years to answer the evolving safety requirements of major infrastructure projects. 

James Fisher Prolec supports Trant Engineering in major National Grid project

In preparation for a major National Grid flood defence project in Stalybridge, Cheshire, Trant Engineering approached James Fisher Prolec (JF Prolec) to supply a height and slew limiting system to increase the safety of its excavator operations. Contracted to complete piling work in close proximity to 275kV power lines, the international engineering specialists took every precaution by choosing JF Prolec’s PME400 safety system. Committed to delivering first-class engineering services, the company invested in PME400 to maximise protection for operators and critical infrastructure.

As part of its aim to continuously improve safety, National Grid mandates height and slew limiting for all onsite excavators. Combining height, reach, slew and depth control, PME400 enabled Trant Engineering to fully comply with the National Grid’s safety regulations. Directives such as these increasingly feature in the tendering process for major infrastructure projects nationwide, with Highways England and Network Rail also enforcing their own sets of strict health and safety standards.

Simon Smith, plant & transport manager, Trant Engineering “We found JF Prolec to be friendly, professional and reliable. Its PME400 system was easy to use and proved to be the ideal solution to meet the project’s safety demands. We’ll be looking to work with its team again for future projects.” 

Since successfully completing the project, Trant Engineering has praised the PME400’s intuitive design. The company’s operators were particularly impressed with how its simple user interface offered a hassle-free limit setting experience. Following this, the engineering specialists intend to invest in more JF Prolec safety systems to protect its wider fleet.

Learn more about James Fisher Prolec’s excavator safety systems.


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