SPL Powerlines UK to begin using geofencing technology to enhance the safety of its trackside workforce

SPL Powerlines UK to begin using geofencing technology to enhance the safety of its trackside workforce

SPL Powerlines UK, a leading independent OHLE (overhead line equipment) provider for standard and high-speed mainline railway routes, has announced implemented new geofencing technology.

SPL Powerlines UK deploy  state-of-the-art wearable technology, which uses geofencing to alert workers should they stray away from safe working limits. The technology it is hoped will help to counteract the risk of human error when working trackside, where employees are often confronted with high-risk conditions due to the close proximity to open lines and potentially lethal electrical hazards.

“The safety of our workforce is paramount,” said Chris Hext, UK Group safety & services director of SPL Powerlines UK.

The technology will help SPL Powerlines UK able to map out safe working areas ahead of its teams going onsite in Bedfordshire and the East Midlands by using an online dashboard. The dashboard will identify safe site access points, working zones that are a safe distance away from open lines, and even around isolation limits to keep teams within areas where electrical current has been isolated.

The latter supports Form C working by giving planners the option to define the safe work zone for those required to work within 2.75 metres of 25 kV OLE.

Wearables assigned to those zones are worn by track workers, which pinpoints their near-exact proximity to geofence boundaries. This ‘tap on the shoulder’ provided to workers has been designed to help workers with their situational awareness and reduce the risk of accidents and near misses among track workers. The solution enables SPL Powerlines to accurately place static assets, such as marker boards, at the safe limits of worksites and to also use the technology to monitor the movement of on track plant and machines, improving safety and efficiency.

The technology has been used on the network already. Network Rail and has been implemented across the country’s rail network which includes Siemens, Network Rail Wales & Borders, Morgan Sindall Infrastructure and Story Contracting.

Photo: SPL Powerlines

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