Highways Magazine - Cone layer to radically improve workers' lives - Upsmag - Magazine News

Highways Magazine – Cone layer to radically improve workers’ lives

Balfour Beatty has become the first construction company in the UK to roll out automated cone laying machines across its highways operations.

After significant project investment from National Highways’ Innovation Designated Funds programme, the FALCON ACLM, developed and supplied by Highway Care and Switzerland-based technology partner SENN Engineering, has received regulatory acceptance and is being distributed across Balfour Beatty’s Connect Plus Services’ consortium, which operates and manages the M25 and its key arterial routes on behalf of National Highways.

Balfour Beatty pointed out that while cone laying remains essential during maintenance works, it also poses one of the biggest risks facing road workers and there has been an industry-wide push to combat the number of incidents that happen each year.

The FALCON ACLM is built on Scania’s low entry L-series chassis and can deploy or collect a cone in under 10 seconds. The company Balfour Beatty said it will reduce incidents by minimising the time that traffic management operatives spend physically on the road network and removes the need for them to lift up to five tons of equipment per shift.

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Phil Clifton, Balfour Beatty managing director highways, said: ‘This is yet another example of the investment Balfour Beatty has made to transform how we work on our roads, showing that we continue to lead the charge in setting a new standard for safety.

‘We hope the machines will radically improve the lives of highways workers by reducing their direct exposure to a live road environment – demonstrating our commitment to achieving Zero Harm and to sending our people home safe and well every day.’

Martin Bolt, National Highways’ head of lean and continuous improvement, said: ‘We are continuously looking at ways to innovate and pioneer new products that improve safety on the road for both road workers and users.

‘The Automated Cone Laying Machine takes out the human element in the laborious task of putting out cones as well as eliminating an element of potential risk. It also frees up workers who can be redeployed to other traffic management duties.

‘Working closely with our partners we are proud to have been able to create an innovative vehicle that would make this happen and are delighted to see it now being rolled out by Balfour Beatty.’

Ben Duncker, Highway Care business development director, said: ‘We are very excited after three years of development in collaboration with National Highways and stakeholders such as Balfour Beatty and Connect Plus Services, to see the first production vehicles arriving on the M25 network.

‘We now look forward to the machines making the desired impact and improving the health, safety and wellbeing of traffic management operatives.’

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