30 Apr 2021
In partnership with EKFB, our major ground investigation team are trialling the use of ground-breaking social distancing technology PLINX - wearable alarm devices that fit to workers' helmets. Using GPS technology the devices bleep and flash when workers are located within 2m of each other, enabling us to protect the health and safety of our staff by ensuring social distancing is maintained. The devices can also monitor the activity on site, spotting busier areas where further safety measures may be required. And in the event of a Covid-19 case being recorded amongst the site workers, the PLINX monitors are able to quickly and efficiently track who has been in contact with the infected person.
Stuart Barnard, RPS’ Head of Health and Safety, visited the site to conduct an audit and view the technology in action. He commented “This is another great example of working in collaboration with our clients to ensure safety continues to be a priority for all of our staff.”
The PLINX technology has wider health and safety connotations for ground investigations and the construction industry in general, offering the ability to track lone workers or locate staff in the case of accident or emergency. All data remains anonymous unless there is a genuine need such as to perform contact tracing to protect individuals and the wider team.
The PLINX alarms are being trialled on our major ground investigation for the HS2 section C3 South near Banbury in Oxfordshire, which started in May 2020. After a slow start due to Covid-19, the works steadily increased into July and August and since this time RPS has been providing up to 30 professional staff on site at any one time, supported by a further 20 subcontracted drillers, technicians and plant operators. Our on-site management team and team of loggers, samplers and technicians have been responsible for up to six ground investigation teams on site at a time including: rotary borehole, trial pitting and CPT crews, utility surveyors and geophysical testing teams, supporting vegetation clearance crews and ecologists.
Project Director Mike Barker said “I am extremely proud of how the RPS team has managed to deliver this large, complex ground investigation during a global pandemic. We have had staff isolated in bubbles, working socially distanced, working remotely - and now supported by PLINX technology - to ensure a continual high quality service to our client.”
Works are currently due to continue until August 2021 followed by 12 months of groundwater monitoring and sampling.
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