Network Rail Wales and Borders has agreed to use Tended’s geofencing technology as part of a pilot programme, with a focus on improving the safety of their trackside workforce.
Tended’s award-winning safety solution is being piloted to support safe standards of work across Cardiff West, one of the Route’s more complicated junction layouts. The technology is being used to enhance safety for track workers within complex possessions, helping them stay within safe working limits and augmenting situational awareness.
This announcement comes just several months after Network Rail issued their latest safety standard (NR/ L2/OHS/501 Module W4), a module that, for the first time, specifies the requirements for the use of geofencing on the railway. Having developed the solution alongside Network Rail’s Safety Task Force, Tended has been instrumental in bringing geofencing to the forefront of the railway industry, helping to revolutionise track worker safety and onsite operations.
Following a successful pilot, the intention is for Network Rail Wales and Borders to consider rolling out geofencing technology across the route. A wider deployment would encompass all teams needing the solution to improve safety trackside and further reduce the risk of incidents or accidents.
After two years of successful trials with Network Rail’s trackside teams, Tended’s technology received official product acceptance earlier this year and can now be deployed across the UK’s rail network, with principal contractor AmcoGiffen using the devices with their trackside teams since October.
Over the past three years, Tended has worked closely with Network Rail to improve worker safety, and this new partnership with Network Rail Wales and Borders demonstrates a shared ambition to use innovation to help prevent track workers from being injured or struck by trains.
The solution uses high-precision geofencing technology to define critical details onsite before work starts. Using an online Planning Dashboard, safe working zones can be overlaid with authorised safe access points.
The Planning Dashboard is accompanied by a small wearable device assigned to the project, alerting workers in real-time if they cross a geofence boundary and leave safe working limits. This alert notifies them of their potentially unsafe position, helping them regain situational awareness.
With no prior setup or onsite infrastructure requirements, Network Rail Wales and Borders are able to move quickly to commence their pilot and to start creating safer work environments for their trackside teams. Centimetre-accurate technology acts as an aid to workers, providing a ‘tap on the shoulder’ to support when distractions and poor visibility can lead to a loss of situational awareness. By helping workers stay within safe working limits, Tended’s technology is helping keep workers away from hazards and open lines.
With a strong focus on user adoption and engagement, Tended is offering a full service to support Network Rail Wales and Borders in piloting the technology, led by their in-house behavioural science team.
This implementation represents a further step in Network Rail Wales and Borders’ commitment to keeping its track workers safe.
Tended’s CEO and founder, Leo Scott Smith, commented:
“The team at Tended is very excited to start this pilot with Network Rail’s Wales and Borders route. I’m thrilled that they have chosen Tended as part of their safety strategy. It’s a great opportunity to demonstrate our award-winning technology and show how powerful geofencing can be to improve site safety and efficiency in safety-critical rail environments.
“By working in collaboration with the Wales and Borders route, we’re bringing together a wealth of knowledge and expertise. I’m very much looking forward to the outcome of the pilot and the next steps.”
Nick Millington, route director at Network Rail Wales and Borders said:
“Trackworker safety is of primary importance to us, in particular keeping our colleagues permanently separated from moving trains whilst working on or near the line.
“We’ve done an immense amount of work over the last three years in this area, including reducing near misses between track workers and trains by 70%, but we continue to research ways to improve safety, even further.
“Modern technology has a massive part to play in ensuring our colleagues are safe at all times on the railway, which is why we’re really pleased to be working with Tended to pilot the innovative ‘geofencing’ technology on our route.”