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.
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). TheLowPro 15/10also 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.
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.
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.
Why size matters when it comes to site products was last modified: February 19th, 2020 by Oxford Plastics
Having compliant, reliable equipment is fundamental in Street Works to make sure the job runs without avoidable issues. Neil Derrick, Senior General Foreman for Morgan Sindall, tried the new EnduraSign Xtra from Oxford Plastics and was extremely impressed with the results.
Durable, stable & weighted
“I have checked all signs this morning after a massive storm overnight and they have all stayed in place and erect,” said Neil. Over 1 month, and through a series of stormy nights, Neil deployed 21 EnduraSign Xtras along Station Road in Cardiff. Despite the stormy weather, the EnduraSign Xtra stayed put.
Saves time, money & improves site safety
“The EnduraSign Xtra makes a massive, massive difference; they stand the wind. In the last month since I’ve been using them not a single one has been blown over. It’s also about the company image, and your site doesn’t get fined by the Street Works Inspector. The metal signs with 2 sandbags blow down every day – I used to spend an hour each day to pick them up. The metal ones are too rigid – they’re quite dangerous, but the EnduraSign Xtra flexes if it’s hit by traffic.” – Neil Derrick – Morgan Sindall
Old Vs New
The EnduraSign Xtra is fitted with 2 EnduraSign Ballasts which give the temporary street works sign category A wind-resistance.
As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, many of us around the UK will be making adjustments to accommodate the changing weather. From wrapping up warmer, to protecting ourselves from wet, or icy conditions – the change in season can require a change in habits, particularly on a construction site where safety is of high importance.
Plan ahead this Autumn
It’s the perfect time of year to revisit your risk assessments and review any potential hazards on your site, taking into account a change of conditions. In wet, icy weather walkways can become slippery, sites waterlogged and equipment can become hazardous and brittle as it fights against the colder weather.
Planning ahead by ensuring quality, durable materials are used on site, workers are using the correct safety gear and that walkways and main areas of your site are sufficiently covered can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. Not only will this tick that vital site safety box, but will also ensure your projects stay on track, avoiding unexpected delays due to equipment failure.
Quality materials for keeping workers, and pedestrians, safe
We often talk about using quality materials on site – the right products can be the difference between a productive project and one rife with problems and risks! And this is truer than ever as the weather changes. For example, the use of ground protection on site can reduce slippery surfaces, prevent damage to the ground and make access easier – however, these benefits are reduced if your ground protection isn’t suitable for heavy duty use, or isn’t equipped with anti-slip.
The materials you use can help a project run smoothly, without any unexpected slips, hazard or damage – so ensure you use materials suitable for your site.
The one thing you can’t control on your site is the weather. With floods, snow and ice all presenting risks – knowing what to expect each week, or day, can help you plan accordingly. Checking for weather updates in advance means you can keep your workforce updated, take action if you need to reschedule or ensure you have the correct materials onsite to deal with any adverse weather when work can be continued.
Oxford Plastics offer a range of ground protection material that help ensure your site is safe and protected. Learn more about our track mats and ground protection mats, including the EnduraGrid and EnduraMat here.
Preparing your Construction Site for the Change in Season was last modified: December 11th, 2019 by Urban Element
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.
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.
Connects to your existing metal pedestrian barrier fleet
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!
Come and see our products at the Speedy Expo, stand L20 was last modified: December 11th, 2019 by Oxford Plastics
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.
2019 the year for sustainability across festivals was last modified: October 9th, 2019 by Oxford Plastics
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.
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.
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.
The benefits of premium construction materials was last modified: July 29th, 2019 by Oxford Plastics
Robust plastic fencing & site monitoring system are 2 of the solutions in the new TfL lead Open Innovation programme: London RoadLab. The London RoadLab programme has been developed to enable the public sector to encourage innovation from companies of all sizes, including start-ups & SMEs. This year saw a number of up and coming companies develop solutions that enable safer, smarter and more inclusive ways of doing roadworks.
Oxford Plastics were selected to take part in the London
RoadLab programme to create a fully integrated Street Works safety solution
that works for the Utility companies, contractors & public.
As a result of the programme, Oxford Plastics have developed
a new product to scale into the market, which highway agencies and utilities
Steve Spencer, Thames Water’s chief operating officer, said:
‘This RoadLab challenge has been fantastic in introducing new ideas and we look
forward to see them put into practice to benefit Londoners.’
Together, Oxford Plastics, Utility Partners and London Councils are taking large steps to eradicate deaths and serious injuries around Street Works & road works sites. The proposed solution from Oxford Plastics is the StrongFence & Oxford Asset Monitoring System, which aims to make public-facing worksites safer for both contractors & the public.
Michael Hurwitz, TfL’s Director of Transport Innovation,
said: “London RoadLab is a completely new way of procuring for TfL and we’re
delighted to see many new innovative solutions being produced from this
programme, including the intelligent road barriers developed by Oxford Plastics
designed to make roadworks safer.
“We’re working closely with partners across London to make
the capital one of the world’s smartest cities and these projects all have the
potential to make a real difference to the safety and efficiency of roadworks
The StrongFence barrier (anti-climb and non-conductive), Asset Monitoring system & EnduraSign constitute the integrated Street Works solution for temporary work sites in the capital.
Frequently work site failures are due to barrier related issues; such as fallen barriers and perimeter fencing being moved. In response to this, Oxford’s solution consists of 3 parts: StrongFence & StrongGate which are an advanced Chapter 8 fencing solution. This fencing solution is engineered to stay upright and in-position, in order to minimise broken perimeters.
Fallen or insufficient signage has been shown to be a significant issue around UK Street Works, which can lead to harm to the public. To solve this issue, Oxford Plastics presented the EnduraSign Xtra: it is made of a sophisticated plastic material created by award-winning designers, and is lauded as the most durable road works sign available to the Street Works market.
The Oxford Asset Monitoring System consists of a worksite camera system, asset monitoring sensors & an interactive portal where contractors can monitor their sites from afar.
Designed to give peace of mind to contractors, the Oxford Asset Monitoring System allows workers to keep an eye on their site and to receive SMS alerts when a site becomes insecure. Sensors, attached to gates & perimeter fencing, send an SMS alert to the Project Manager if someone walks into the site or a barrier falls over. This new technology means that site issues can be responded to quickly to remove & fix sudden hazards.
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.
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.