Interserve trials site social distancing alarm system

Date: 01 May 2020

Interserve is using new social distancing technology which sounds an alarm if workers get too near each other on site.


The personnel distancing systems (PDS) from specialist SiteZone Safety have been used on the new NHS Nightingale Hospital in Birmingham to enforce the ‘two-metre rule’ during construction.


The PDS consists of a 2kg pack and a detection ‘tag’ that can be worn on a hard hat, attached to a belt or strapped to the upper arm.


The proximity alarms are triggered if workers get too close when wearable tags will vibrate and the PDS sounds a warning.


Two Interserve site safety ambassadors wear the PDS units full time and patrol the site to ensure remaining workers are observing the two-metre rule.


The other four units are being rotated between different key tradespeople on site to reinforce social distancing “to raise spatial awareness and affect behavioural change on site.”


Interserve site manager Stuart Palmer said: “There was an urgent need to get NHS Nightingale Birmingham completed, so high standards of health and safety practice were key drivers to the success of this project. SiteZone Safety’s PDS solution helped us achieve both.”


The PDS repurposes the original SiteZone proximity warning system which prevents collisions between personnel and mobile plant and vehicles.


Gary Escott, co-founder of SiteZone Safety, said: “We had an unusually short period of time to develop and produce a solution that we could deploy quickly.


“The biggest single advantage we have is that our PDS is built on proven technology, with over 125 million hours in use. The technology has been repurposed for this new application.”

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