Road stud installation operatives placed out of harm’s way
WJ South West recently installed a number of their proprietary Allux high retroreflective road studs using the WJ Guardian installation method on a rural road on Dartmoor in Devon. The safety improvement took place on a 1.6km section of the A386 between Okehampton and Tavistock at Black Down, North of Mary Tavy, which had been recently surface-dressed. The road passes the National Trust heritagee site of Wheal Betsy mine, where the structure of the engine house is still standing. Wheal Betsy closed in 1877, after 137 years of mining lead, zinc and silver but those workers may have marvelled at today’s transportation innovations, journeying to and from their labours on the moor.
WJ developed BSEN1463 approved Allux to be more durable than conventional stick-on permanent road studs whilst utilising the same proven prismatic lens technology to maintain high levels of retroreflectivity. Allux has been designed with a strong aluminium housing and benefits from better anchorage through a stabilising shank that requires minimum road re-engineering.
The contract delivery at Mary Tavy employed the WJ Guardian system, an innovative method of road stud installation designed to remove vulnerable operatives from the carriageway whilst providing a safer passage for all road users. The bespoke design is a significant leap forward in addressing people/ plant interface risks, by allowing the complete road stud installation process to take place whilst protecting operatives within an integrated safety cell on an 18-tonne truck.
Both the milling head and the protective cell of the WJ Guardian are telescopic, allowing lateral adjustments for restricted road widths. The barriers protecting the safety cell are designed and engineered to provide the highest level of protection from vehicle impact whilst also meeting the requirements for the lateral protection of vulnerable road users.
The specialist rig incorporates a drilling and fine milling unit, a high suction vacuum to remove the excavated debris and a gun-type hot adhesive dispenser, which avoids handling hot materials normally carried in jugs.
Two-way communication is maintained between driver and operative using headsets allowing the operation to be carried out by remote control.
This innovation was developed following consultation with and feedback from the WJ workforce on a better, safer method of road stud installation. As with all WJ innovative processes and equipment, the WJ Guardian system is being continuously assessed and improved.
The system can be used to install all types of road studs and the design fully complies with stringent requirements within the statutory Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) scheme.
Terry Trevelyan, WJ South West Managing Director commented “This development provides designers with the potential to eliminate a substantial number of road closures and reduce disruption within the communities we serve whilst also improving the safety of our operatives and road users alike – which has to be good news”
WJ South West Ltd took delivery of their first Guardian installation rig earlier this year, underlining a commitment to investment in better service delivery and to improved workplace safety.
It is important that innovations like Allux and WJ Guardian, which help keep traffic flowing, are communicated beyond our sector to our customers who share the same desire for improved road safety with the social and economic benefits that would be appreciated by all.