Amey shines at the National Rail Awards

20 September 2011
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Amey has been highly commended for one of its innovations at the National Rail Awards Ceremony, for introducing light stick technology to keep people safe while working on the railways.

The idea was the brainchild of David Sowter, who is a health and safety adviser for Amey in the North West. He implemented the use of multi-coloured, maintenance-free illuminating tubes to alert the rail community to different potential hazards, as well as distinguish between workers of different competencies.

Now blue sticks identify cables and bonds; yellow or white sticks highlight pit covers, ground signals and low level structures which are difficult to identify in the dark. Red sticks identify areas of track that must not be crossed ie points; blue circles identify staff; white circles with green cross identify first aiders and red circles alert train drivers to potential hazards. 

In addition, Amey looks set to extend the idea by trialling it across its highways schemes.

David said: “Amey carries out a significant amount of work on the UK’s railways, much of which is done at night to reduce disruption. I am delighted that my idea to improve safety has been adopted by Amey, not just on the railways but also in highways.”

Amey worked with Cyalume Technologies and Unipart Rail to improve and adapt the characteristics of existing SNAPLIGHT® devices for the specific use on the rail network.  

Together, they developed special light sticks which provide a guaranteed 12 hours of light; increase safety for workers and help to prevent cable strikes. Previously these services were only highlighted using spray paint which was not always visible at night, but this issue has now been resolved.

In addition, as an alternative to lighting towers, SNAPLIGHT® sticks eradicate noise and fumes emitted from associated generators.  This in turn has led to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions on each using these innovative products.  This has created a large saving in the amount of diesel used on shift with a conventional lighting tower compared to using light sticks instead.

Trialled at 12 sites initially, November 2010 saw the complete roll out of the innovative product across several Amey sites in London North West (LNW) and London North East (LNE,) and Western territories.  This versatile, multi-purpose and cost effective product is an excellent example of an innovative idea that will consequently benefit the entire rail industry. 

Amey shines at the National Rail Awards

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