Trench Grid – Amey Utilities’ 2020 Challenge winner

Recently, we embarked on a journey with one of the UK’s biggest utility companies, Amey. They supply utilities such as water, gas and electricity to homes across the nation. They strive on making journeys better by maintaining and improving roads, railways and airports. They also keep facilities running smoothly, and improving social housing and schools.

The brief…

Amey approached us with a common issue that was found on streetworks sites across the country. When digging a trench on public grounds, there was a risk that was created when leaving a site overnight. Even with clear barrier systems in place and signage warning people of the works being carried out, the open trench was still an issue that needed addressing.

So how did we do it?

Firstly, we needed to fully understand Amey’s requirements and what exactly they were looking for. This research phase is something Oxford Plastics are well versed in as we have developed numerous products with end-users, most notably the LowPro 15/10 Trench Cover which was developed with Cadent (previously known as National Grid). The LowPro 15/10 also went onto win the Street Works Future Award too. Check out our blog on the award here!

We believe partnering with real-life users of our products is the best way to find out how our products are being used, what issues there are within the markets and areas that cause a risk to the safety of workers and the public.

The end result – Trench Grid

Once we had carried out our extensive R&D process, we finally produced a product to eliminate the safety issues of leaving a trench overnight. Trench Grid was born. With the ability to span across a 1-meter trench with a maximum depth of 1.2-meters, it provides a safe solution to the public when leaving a trench overnight.

It also complies with the Oxford Plastic Systems drop-test where a 45kg weight is released from a test rig and allowed to free-fall a minimum of 1.2m under gravity onto the surface of the test sample and held for at least five minutes.

Though the TrenchGrid is a SECONDARY PROTECTION measure, for primary protection, refer to the LowPro Trench Cover & Road Plate range such as the LowPro 12/8 Footway Board, LowPro 11/11 Footway Board and the LowPro 15/10 Driveway Board.

 

LowPro 15/10 Award Winning Trench Cover

Why size matters when it comes to site products

With so much to consider when planning street works, thinking about the size of products you’re using on site may not be at the top of your agenda. However, using compact, stackable products can be a gamechanger in street works. Keeping all elements of your site as efficient as possible – from materials to workforce to transport – can carry huge benefits financially and environmentally.

Travel less with compact, stackable products

An immediate positive of using compact, stackable materials such as the Oxford Plastics Chapter 8 Street Works range, is reduced travel. Products including EnduraSign, LowPro trench covers and SafeGate barriers are all designed with your site in mind, ensuring you can load more in a van and carry more to site while taking compliance and industry guidance into account.

All of our products are made to the highest of standards, ensuring durability and quality while remaining compact, easy to transport and importantly, easy to install. Stackable products allow you to get everything you need to site in less trips – saving you time and money.

LowPro 15/10 Award Winning Trench Cover

Increase efficiency onsite

Portable, one-person lift products increase efficiency on sites with a limited workforce. Lightweight, easy to install or erect products save time in installation, reduce the risk off onsite injury and ensure the safety of the general public – it’s a win-win!

Running an efficient site shouldn’t be complicated and using products that reduce both work for onsite staff and travel to and from the site, while increasing safety and meeting compliance standards can be a huge step in the right direction.

Chapter 8 Street Works compliant  

Chapter 8 Street Works compliant refers to codes of practice created by the Department of Transport to ensure regulation of signage, lighting and guarding of street works and road works on all highways and roads. The regulations are designed to ensure the safety of site staff and operatives, as well as the public and are directed at site operatives, supervisors, managers, planners and designers.

Using any of the Oxford Plastics Chapter 8 Street Works range ensures your site equipment is compliant, safe and durable.

To find out how to increase safety and efficiency on your site with our compliant, compact, stackable solutions, contact us today.

Come and see our products at the Speedy Expo, stand L20

The annual Speedy Hire exhibition in Liverpool, Speedy Expo, is just around the corner on the 30th and 31st of October. At the expo, they will be showcasing industry-leading technology such as tools, equipment, lifting and materials handling equipment, temporary lighting equipment, temporary power generation and much more.

This year, Oxford Plastics will be attending the Speedy Expo, bringing along some of our innovative products. Many of our UK based products are researched and designed in collaboration with the Department of Transport and industry leaders from JAG, HAUC, NJUG & REMA. We ensure all of our products have a use for the end-user and solves many complications associated with traditional equipment.

Below are some of the products we’ll be bringing to Speedy Expo:

LowPro® 23/05 Road Plate

The 23/05 LowPro® is a modular system of singular linking units, this road plate trench cover is suitable for 44 tonnes vehicles over a 1200mm trench. No expensive machinery necessary as the 23/05 LowPro® weighs only 65kg and can be lifted and installed by two people.

The anti-slide technology, on the underside and edges of the Road Plate, is made from a soft, flexible, rubber material which grips the surface reducing unwanted movement. Rubber edges can be replaced to extend the life of your LowPro®. Also, the anti-slide technology complies with HAUC 2018/01 Advice Note.

The anti-slip surface provides secure access, and hi-vis yellow alerts drivers to reduce their speed. The Road Plate is currently used in Highways, Street Works and Utilities sites. The innovative and patented Flexi-Edge reduces noise pollution, making the LowPro® 23/05 Road Plate also ideal for residential areas. The 23/05 LowPro® must be bolted down for carriageway use.

LowPro® 15/05 Road Plate

The 15/05 LowPro® is a modular system of singular linking units, this road plate trench cover is suitable for 44 tonnes vehicles over a 700mm trench.

At 44kgs this LowPro® is far lighter and easier to handle than a steel plate. No need for expensive specialist lifting equipment, the LowPro® 15/05 can be installed in minutes with a 2-person lift.

Similar to the LowPro® 23/05 Road Plate, it also features the anti-slip surface ensuring secure and safe access and in the high visibility yellow for clarity.

LowPro® 15/10 Safe Cover

The Award-Winning LowPro® 15/10 Trench Cover uses our patented Flexi-Edge technology and is a suitable driveway board for 3.5 tonnes vehicles over a 900mm trench.

Cadent (previously known as National Grid) commissioned Oxford Plastics to create a pedestrian & driveway board. It should be capable of supporting 1 wheel of a 3.5 tonnes vehicle and use Oxford’s patented Flexi-Edge technology. We enlisted the feedback of Utilities and contractors throughout the design process, and so the LowPro® 15/10 was born!

The LowPro® 15/10 complies with National Grid Footway Board Specification. T/SP/E/42. It does not need to be bolted into place, reducing installation time.

This LowPro® is a lightweight and easy-to-handle alternative to the steel plate. This trench cover is installed in seconds with an easy 2 person lift, with no need for specialist lifting equipment.

Avalon® Barrier

Compliant with chapter 8 legislation

The Avalon® is our most versatile and popular safety barrier. It is compliant with Chapter 8 legislation and suitable for a wide range of indoor and outdoor pedestrian applications. Common uses include Construction, Excavation, Street Works, Events and Utilities sites.

Different widths to meet your needs

The Avalon® barrier is available in 2m, 1m and 0.5m wide. Avalon® pedestrian barriers are available with the standard Avalon® linking system or the tube end linking system.

Customisable to match your brand

This safety barrier is customisable; select a colour using our Custom Tool. Choose from our range barrier feet; ClearPath® Feet, ClearPath® Extra Feet and Standard Feet.

Ballast options for high-winds

For added stability, you can add Oxford Ballast Trays, Stability Bar or 1 of our StrongWall® bases, these conform to BS 8442:2006.

Lantis Barrier

  • Recycled plastic pedestrian barrier
  • 85% PCR (Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic)
  • Outlasts metal barriers
  • Available in several colours
  • Set up & take down quickly
  • Modular & repairable
  • Available in bespoke lengths: 0.5m > 4m
  • Heavy-duty feet for uneven ground
  • Or HiVis anti-trip feet for crowd-control
  • Connects to your existing metal pedestrian barrier fleet

EnduraSign

Long-life, temporary and patented plastic traffic sign. The EnduraSign fits all sign shapes.

The traffic sign allows for sign faces to be changed and is suitable for square, round, rectangular and triangular signs.

The all-plastic road traffic sign will not conduct electricity or rust over its lifetime. The road works sign is easy and safe to handle with no sharp edges. The simple folding system means quick deployment and easy storage.

 

Not able to attend the Speedy Expo? Why not get in touch to see how our innovative products can help you. Get in contact today!

2019 the year for sustainability across festivals

As the UK festival season comes to a close, sites are packed down and attendees put the (biodegradable) glitter and tents away for another year, we reflect on some of our 2019 eco-highlights. Having supplied some of the UK’s most popular festivals with temporary fencing solutions, Oxford Plastics has travelled far and wide this summer – witnessing some of the biggest moments and names. From an appearance by David Attenborough at Glastonbury to environmental and sustainability changes across the entire festival scene – 2019 has been a summer to remember…

Glastonbury goes plastic free

With more than 60 tonnes of paper and card, 32 tonnes of glass, 40 tonnes of plastic bottles and 45 tonnes of cans recycled after Glastonbury’s 2017 festival, this year’s return marked one of the biggest changes in its history. Hoping to reduce the huge numbers of waste and recycled material at the event, in 2019 organisers introduced a series of new environmental measures, including banning traders from using and selling single-use plastics and ensuring all bin bags used on site are made from recycled materials.

Here at Oxford Plastics, we continue to use recycled plastics and PVC in a range of our products, in efforts to reduce our own carbon footprint, as well as that of our customers. Ensuring our products can be used time and time again not only reduces waste but also increases ROI, stability and performance of all our premium materials.

The rise of eco-friendly glitter

By 2021, over 60 festivals in the UK have vowed to ban all non-biodegradable glitter from sites. With glitter one of the biggest and longest-standing festival trends, visitors won’t be rushing to ditch the sparkles anytime soon, and the rise of eco-friendly brands means they won’t have to. Companies across the UK (and beyond) are launching biodegradable glitter, allowing the trend to live on without the environmental damage.

Ensuring site sustainability beyond attendees and vendors

To truly have a positive environmental impact, festival organisers will need to change more than rules for attendees and vendors. The stats prove that festivals, while something many enjoy across the UK, are huge contributors of waste. Hosted on large, often rural sites and requiring extensive amounts of kit and equipment in order to create the festival space, organisers need to consider equipment used and travel to and from the location when considering potential waste and environmental footprint.

Working with suppliers that are committed to reducing their own environmental impact is a good start. Ensuring that single-use plastic is considered beyond plastic bottles and in relation to materials used onsite can also help to keep the site itself sustainable. 
To find out how Oxford Plastics can support your 2020 events season, or more about our sustainability solutions across other industries, get in touch today.

CSJV Minimum Standards | StrongWall Barrier

As a major project in the construction industry, HS2 requires world-leading standards and quality. Striving to ensure HS2 uses the very best safety equipment available and leading the industry into a new era of construction.

Oxford Plastics StrongWall

The minimum requirement for Footway or Footpath closures, pedestrians or staff segregation and dedicated walkways.

All barriers MUST be of the same style and be in no other colour than red or white. All bases will preferably be yellow.

All barriers MUST use the displayed StrongWall style base and be connected through the entire barriered area.

 

Where extra security is required Heras style fencing can be used in conjunction with the standard StrongWall style barrier.

When fencing is added to the barriers all safety features including fence clamps MUST be used.

Graphics or promotional displays may be attached to the fencing provided no public site lines are affected.

HS2 is a Costain & Skanska Joint Venture Project: CSJV.

For more information regarding our temporary barrier, temporary fence and plastic barrier products click here

The benefits of premium construction materials

With many factors contributing to the success or failure of a construction project, including weather, workforce, client demands and materials used on site, taking control of what you can is crucial. While you may not be able to regulate the weather with ease, you can invest in quality materials for your site to ensure a smoother job. 

Keeping your construction site running smoothly

Investing in premium products for your construction site brings a range of benefits – including reducing the risk of failure. On a site where product failure can halt a project and cause injury to the workforce or public, ensuring good quality materials are used is crucial. 

For example, trench covers ensure a site remains safe and accessible in pedestrian, domestic, residential, footpath and driveway applications. However, skimp on the trench cover and this fact no longer remains true. With cheaper, lower quality products reaching ultimate failure at as low as 483kg (compared to a minimum 800kg ultimate failure on the LowPro(R) 12/8 trench cover), there is no guarantee that the product will withstand heavy pressure on site – resulting in broken, unusable materials and a potential halt to work or injury to workforce.

Saving money with quality construction materials 

While premium products often come at a premium price, evidence shows they are more likely to save your business money in the long run. With quality materials proven to pass more safety regulations, last longer and not need replacing as often, they are often an investment worth making. 

Not only does the quality of the product save you money, but it’s performance on site can also ensure you’re not paying out for unexpected costs. Trench covers reaching ultimate failure and breaking mid-job can result in time and money spent on repair or legalities, while having to halt a job can mean that completion is delayed and additional payments must be made to your workforce or on materials that are required for a longer time period. 

Working in urban and residential environments

Construction often takes place in already populated environments, meaning the safety, wellbeing and convenience of residents and pedestrians must be taken into account. Many products designed to make a construction site safe and accessible aren’t made for consideration of the public. For example, steel plates used to cover uneven surfaces are often noisy, can be easily knocked out of place and are inconvenient for residents nearby. 

By using quality plastic road plates and trench covers instead, unnecessary noise is reduced, materials are more likely to stay in place and the site is less likely to receive complaints – and fines. 

Investing in quality materials brings a range of benefits to your site. If you’re not sure of the right product for you and want to ensure value for money, Oxford Plastics can help you find the ideal fit here. Alternatively, get in touch to discuss your site requirements and how we can help provide quality construction site materials.  

Ensuring Your Construction Site Is Compliant

 

Compliance on a construction site not only ticks crucial health and safety boxes but can save lives and ensure the safety of your teams. Health and safety law is a key element of construction management, with non-compliance leading to potential delays, injury and work stoppage. With this in mind, how can you ensure the compliance of your construction site with a stress-free, efficient approach?

 

Getting Familiar with Regulations

If you’re unsure on the exact regulations that apply to your business, location and site specifications, getting acquainted with these is the most important first step. Common regulations across the industry include contractual agreements, building codes, insurance and bonding requirements, credit and background checks and safety regulations.

 

Find best practice solutions and legal requirements through your local authorities, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Common Minimum Standards for Construction.

 

Conducting a Risk Assessment

The best way to be prepared is by taking a detailed look at your work site, the potential risks, outcomes and how to minimise these. A risk assessment informs you and your workforce of all possible hazards and allows you to put solutions in place before an accident occurs.

 

To conduct a risk assessment on your site, take the recommended five-step approach:

 

Step One: Identify the hazards

Step Two: Decide who might be harmed and how

Step Three: Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions

Step Four: Record your significant findings

Step Five: Review and update your assessment where necessary

 

Getting Your Workforce on Board

Construction workers have a key role to play in the health and safety of your site. According to HSE, “research shows companies with highly engaged employees achieve a financial performance four times greater than companies with poor engagement”. This increased financial performance includes growth in turnover and a reduction of accidents on site due to worker engagement.

 

Make use of online resources such as the HSE leadership and worker involvement key principles and ensure you’re communicating potential risks and tactics to minimise risks with your workforce.

 

Putting Safe and Sustainable Solutions in Place

Utilising recognised products to increase safety on site, such as high visibility safety barriers to mark off areas on site, and non-conductive anti-climb fencing to keep the general public out, will help keep both the public and your workforce safe.

 

To ensure site safety, efficiency and compliance, Oxford Plastics provide award-winning products, designed for your construction site; including Barriers, Ground Protection, Cones, Signs & Speed Humps and more.

LowPro 15/10 Trench Cover

Which Trench Cover Do I Need?

At Oxford Plastics, we take our commitment to keeping construction sights safe very seriously. Trench covers are essential for maintaining accessibility while you work – so it’s important to get it right, and ensure you source the appropriate products for your company’s needs. Here are the factors you should consider before placing your order:

What Size Trench Are You Covering?

An obvious one, perhaps – but it’s important to make sure the trench covers you buy are large enough to safely cover the hole. Our LowPro® range of trench covers include options suitable from 200mm to 900mm trenches depending on your needs.

Consider the Appropriate Weight Allowance

Does your trench cover need to support a heavy vehicle, or just passing pedestrians? We offer options for both. Read the specifications of each of our trench covers to select one that can support 3.5 tonne vehicles, 2 tonne vehicles, motors and scooters up to 350kg, or just pedestrians.

Composite Beats Steel Every Time

All the trench covers from our LowPro® range are composite – which means they’re lightweight, making them easy to move and place. Our trench covers were manufactured with construction workers in mind, so they all weigh between 13 and 42kg – without compromising on strength. They can therefore be positioned quickly by just two people, and without the need for specialist lifting equipment – making setting up or clearing a construction site easier for your team.

Health & Safety Is Prioritised at Every Stage

Our trench covers come with a range of features, such as anti-slip and anti-trip technology. They’re also compliant with the National Grid Footway Board Specification, or the DETR ‘Safety at Street works and Road works Code of Practice’ & HAUC Advice Note 2018/01

Anti-slide technology also ensures the boards remain firmly in place. We take pride in the fact that all our trench covers are designed and manufactured in the UK, so we can safely oversee the entire production process.

To help summarise the above, we’ve created a handy infographic to help you quickly identify which of our trench covers if best for you. Head to our trench cover guide to identify the correct option, and then place the order to keep your company’s worksite safe, whatever industry you work in.

If you would like to learn more about our road plates and trench covers including; our pedestrian trench cover, road plate and GRP road plate products click here.

A Letter to Our Customers and Suppliers Regarding Brexit

 

January 2019

 

Dear Customers (and) Suppliers (and fellow industry bodies),

 

Oxford Plastic(s) (Systems Ltd) is an internationally trading enterprise with facilities in the UK, USA, Australia and The Netherlands. As Brexit approaches, we wish to reassure you that we will continue to monitor trading developments closely ensuring we operate, manufacture and supply with minimal disruption after March 29th 2019.

 

Over the past 12 months we have been preparing either way for a No-Deal-Brexit, Soft-Brexit and Hard-Brexit. This includes:

 

  • Opened Oxford Plastic Systems BV, Hart van Brabantlaan 12-14, 5038 JL Tilburg, Netherlands
  • EU based stock to ensure prompt order fulfilment
  • Substantial increase in UK buffer stock for EU
  • Substantial increase of raw material from EU to ensure seamless manufacture at Oxford Plastics UK site

 

Working together we can ensure a smooth transition from EU Member State to European Partner. We would like to thank you for your continued support and look forward to working with you in 2019.

 

Kind regards,

 

Chris Whiteley
Director

Oxford Plastic Systems International Ltd
Oxford Plastic Systems Ltd, UK
Oxford Plastic Systems LLC, USA
Oxford Plastic Systems BV, Holland
Oxford Plastic Systems Pty Ltd, Australia

Cheap Trench Cover

When Cheap Ain’t Cheerful: A Health & Safety Nightmare

 

In recent years the trench cover market has seen a rise in cheap composite trench covers. In many ways they look like a typical composite trench cover; they are plastic, yellow and have anti-skid on the surface. However it doesn’t take long for a cheap composite trench cover to look like a health & safety nightmare!

 

Cheap Trench Cover

Oxford Plastics Trench Covers

 

This picture shows a Chinese trench cover that has cracked to reveal a gaping hole in the resident’s driveway. Lucky for this resident, someone quickly came along to replace the defective trench cover with a LowPro 15/10 Driveway Board

 

 

 

 

 

A cheap imitation is just that: an unsuitable mock-up of the original. Oxford composite covers are designed for purpose, like the LowPro 15/10 Driveway Board, or the 12/8 Safe Cover. We test our trench covers over and above the safety requirements to leave our customers feeling full of confidence, instead of full of dread!

 

Feel confident in your work site; be safe and be compliant with Oxford Plastic’s trench covers.