Driving Awareness for Disability in Roadworks

 

Navigating roadworks can be disorientating and even hazardous for people with a disability and this matter can go overlooked by roadworks contractors and manufacturers. This is why on August 23rd Oxford Plasticshosted the inaugural Disability in Roadworks: Awareness Day.

 

The awareness day brought together people with visual, hearing, and mobility impairments that used canes, guide dogs, hearing aids, manual and electric wheelchairs, and motorised scooters when travelling through roadworks. Members of the local council and people from the street works industry were also present to discuss accessibility in roadworks. Event organisers, Oxford Plastics, set up a roadworks demonstration area outside of University of East Anglia’s student union. There was a range of currently-used temporary street furniture and innovative, new products, which attendees were encouraged to travel through. Throughout the day people within the industry and people with disabilities discussed the layout and application of roadworks, and how to work together to make them accessible and practical for all parties.

 

Dr Katherine Deane of UEA spoke to people at the Awareness Day. Dr Deane is working closely with the National Joint Utilities Group (NJUG) to create best practice guidance and a training program for roadworks contractors. “The aim is to improve the design and set up of roadworks in order to ensure they are really accessible”, said Dr Deane. Paul Braddy, Sales Director at Oxford Plastics said “there can be a tendency for contractors and utility companies to prioritise the flow of traffic, and not the accessibility of pedestrians. Feedback from the day shows that more dialogue is necessary among the public who travel through roadworks and those who set them up. On the day the primary concern for Industry representatives was having space to undertake work, whereas the priority for charity representatives was to have knowledge of the scale and layout of a roadworks site.”

 

According to research undertaken on the day, a key finding was that more communication is needed. The public find that roadworks are not labelled clearly and that the length and layout of roadworks should be explained online and/or on-site. All groups saw the importance of educating workers on equipment, legislation and the needs of people with disabilities. “The Disability in Roadworks: Awareness Day shows that there is room for improvement in many areas”, said Charlotte Whiteley, Marketing Coordinator at Oxford Plastics. “This event has been pivotal for all of us at Oxford Plastics, and it will make a difference not just in the products we make, but in our understanding of accessibility.”

 

40 people the Norwich & Norfolk Councils, Deaf Connexions, Wymondham Access Group, Norwich Access Group, RNIB, NNAB, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Transport for London, Tarmac, Anglian Water, Kier, NJUG, CBRE, MJS Projects and the University of East Anglia were in attendance to address the subject of accessibility.

 

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StrongWall 1000

 

Anti-trip construction barrier that complies to the code of practice and equality act regulations.

 

The Oxford Plastics StrongWall Heavy Duty Plastic Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Barrier is an extremely robust and stable barrier system which is designed to meet the demands of providing safe access for pedestrians through road or construction works (Chapter 8). The barrier comes with an 18kg base which ensures that the barrier is stable in windy conditions.

StrongWall Features:

• Compliant with Chapter 8 Streetworks.
• Heavy recycled base of 18kg – standard colour black.
• Top section is supplied in orange.
• High density (HD) moulded top section can be water filled, which will add a further 15kg.
• Designed for compact stacking to provide low transport costs.
• Anti-tamper linking system – prevents
unauthorised dismantle.
• Can be personalised with corporate colour and logo as standard.
• Recycled and 100% recyclable.
• Designed and manufactured in the UK.
• Performs well in windy conditions.
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Building the UK’s Industrial Strategy: A Response

 

National Joint Utilities Group (NJUG) says UK Government must listen to the Utilities Industry if they are to implement an effective modern industrial strategy. In the Green Paper produced in Jan 2017, Building Our Industrial Strategy, the Government proposes 10 pillars that will drive industrial strategy across the economy which are:

 

  1.  Science, research and innovation 
  2. Skills
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Business growth and investment
  5. Procurement
  6. Trade and investment
  7. Affordable energy
  8. Sectoral policies
  9. Driving growth across the whole country
  10. Creating the right institutions to bring together sectors and places

 

In their official response to the paper, NJUG highlights the “critical” role that the Utilities Industry will play in executing several of these pillars, with a key focus on improving British infrastructure. NJUG, which is the only trade association representing utilities and their contractors on street works issues, calls for the Government to build a successful industrial strategy by taking a “strategic and coherent approach towards street works.”

 

NJUG raises the pertinent point that while street works are a key enabler of economic growth through infrastructure development, “they also have the potential to be an obstacle or blocker to work if our members’ ability to conduct street works is restricted…Local authorities have all the necessary powers to coordinate, plan and manage utility street works.” However, it is also the central government and local authorities who have “consistently introduced new policy measures and regulations which increase the cost and compliance burden on utilities companies and contractors…This could undermine progress in delivering towards the Industrial Strategy, particularly pillars 3 and 7.”

 

The Green Paper says the objective of their modern industrial strategy is to “improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth” across the UK. NJUG sign off their response by saying that they are “keen to work across government to achieve” an approach to street works which “would provide the best possible opportunity for delivering on the Industrial Strategy’s ambitions while also promoting best practice in street works and reducing disruption for other road users.”

 

Oxford Plastic Systems Ltd is dedicated to designing new products that assist in reducing disruption while keeping safety standards as an utmost priority. Oxford Plastics works with and designs solutions for key utility companies, helping to facilitate NJUG’s vision for a safe and effectual Utilities Industry.

 

SOURCES:

Building our Industrial Strategy: green paper

National Joint Utilities Group (NJUG) response to BEIS consultation: Building our Industrial Strategy

Image Source – http://www.nerc.ac.uk/nerc/assets/images/diagrams/carousel-industrial-strategy.png

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Oxford ‘High Quality’ Winners at the Njug Awards 2016

 

Oxford Plastics take the high quality category on the 16th November at the 2016 NJUG Awards ceremony held in Parliament. The event was hosted by the Chair of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee Louise Ellman MP, with Andrew Jones MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, delivering the keynote speech.

 

Click here to read more

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The Drive for Innovation

Market-Leading UK Manufacturer Develops New Driveway Board

 

Award-winning UK manufacturer Oxford Plastics is constantly innovating new products to meet the needs of end users – and one such innovation is the Driveway Board, designed in conjunction with National Grid.

 

The British multi-national electricity and gas utility company required a driveway cover that would allow access for vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes over an excavation 900mm wide, yet – unlike existing products on the market – could be lifted in place by just two people and would not require fixing to the ground. That’s the exacting brief which led to the development of Oxford Plastics’ unique Driveway Board.

 

The product was developed over two years and has now been launched to the wider market to deliver a host of benefits to the utilities and construction sectors. The Driveway Board is strong enough to withstand one wheel of a 3.5-tonne vehicle over a 900mm excavation (meeting new driveway board specifications) – and can alternatively be used for pedestrians over a 1200mm span. Using Oxford Plastics’ innovative Low Pro technology, the underside and edge of the Driveway Board is made from a soft flexible material to grip the surface underneath and reduce any unwanted movement. This means it’s very stable without the need for bolting in most applications and poses a greatly reduced trip hazard for pedestrians. It also has a moulded anti-slip surface for additional pedestrian safety. Weighing just 48kg, the Driveway Board is lightweight enough to install with a simple two-man lift.

 

Peter Creighton, Business Development Director for Oxford Plastics, says: “We are constantly innovating to meet the needs of our customers and end users. The Driveway Board’s flexible edge and non-slip surface reduce the risk of trips and slips, while the product is quick and easy to install – yet can allow access for vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes. Ideal for ensuring safety at utility or construction works, the new Driveway Board demonstrates our commitment to solving issues for companies in a world of more stringent health and safety controls through innovation and design.”

 

Oxford Plastics has recently celebrated its 30th anniversary – starting out in 1985 as a trade moulding company focusing on recycled plastic, and growing into a £17 million business which now employs 80 staff and exports its innovative range of products to mainland Europe, Australia and the USA. Having enjoyed another successful year of business in 2015, the company is looking to the future by continuing to invest in research and development to create groundbreaking, high-quality products for street works, construction sites and outdoor events.

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Ground Protection

Market-Leading UK Manufacturer’s Enduramat and Enduragrid Products Offer a Host of Benefits for the Construction Industry – Whatever the Weather

 

Award-winning UK manufacturer Oxford Plastics is enjoying continued success with its range of ground protection products, helping the construction and events sector deal with the challenges posed by inclement weather. Oxford Plastic Systems is constantly listening to customer feedback, working closely with its customers and end users to meet their needs and solve key challenges.

 

The company’s EnduraMat and EnduraGrid solutions provide continued access to building sites for forklifts, diggers, trucks, cranes and other vehicles particularly during adverse weather conditions, while protecting the ground underneath from significant damage – thus keeping projects running and minimising downtime for both the workforce and plant. EnduraMat is a multifunctional and reversible mat which can be used as a temporary roadway or parking area to allow access for vehicles up to 80 tonnes.

 

Simple and fast to install, EnduraMat features easy-to-use connectors, with vehicle and pedestrian anti-slip surfaces and an inline pattern that makes it easy to clean. The integral hand holes make it easy to manoeuvre into position. Available in Pantone matched colours, EnduraMat can be personalised for individual customers’ corporate identity.

 

EnduraGrid, meanwhile, is an interlocking porous paving system which can provide access routes and additional parking on construction sites for vehicles up to 44 tonnes. Its innovative grid structure allows grass to grow between cells or can alternatively be filled with gravel, improving water dispersion – which means it can also be used to protect again soil erosion, reinforce embankments and improve storm water management as part of a sustainable drainage scheme (SUDS). The EnduraGrid is also easy to install, with minimal labour and no expensive equipment required. It can be easily cut to size to fit the space required. A heavy duty version of EnduraGrid is also available, suitable for truck parks and motorway verges. With thicker sidewalls, this variant of EnduraGrid can withstand the continuous turning of vehicles.

 

Peter Creighton, Business Development Director for Oxford Plastics Systems, says: “We are delighted to have launched the EnduraMat and EnduraGrid, which provide some key benefits for the construction sector, solving access and ground protection issues in the most challenging circumstances. We are constantly listening to customer feedback and both these products were developed through working closely with customers and end users to meet their needs, demonstrating our commitment to solving issues for companies through innovation and design.”

 

For more information about Oxford Plastics’ range of products – including barriers, modular road plates and trench covers, signs and cones, ground protection and heavy bases – visit www.oxfordplastics.com or email sales@oxfordplastics.com.

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MKII Barrier

Oxford Plastics Takes to the Stage with Street Smart Safety Products

 

Market-leading UK manufacturer Oxford Plastic Systems is demonstrating a range of its innovative safety products at A+A, which takes place in Dusseldorf from 27th to 30th October 2015 and covers all aspects of safety and security in the workplace.

 

Oxford Plastics is achieving international recognition for its broad range of safety barriers and composite products, which help reduce accidents, trips and slips, making workplaces safer for both contractors and members of the public and reducing the risk of liability claims against companies.

 

Indeed, its road plates – which ensure the safety of contractors, pedestrians and vehicles during utility, cabling and maintenance projects – won an Innovation Award earlier this year. The company continues to innovate to reduce risk in the workplace at roadworks, building sites and events around the world.

 

Products on display at A+A, being held at Messe Dusseldorf, will include:

 

Safegate:

  •  A hi-vis barrier system comprising a set of high-visibility hinged gates
  •  Provides a clear warning of potentially hazardous situations
  •  Modular and flexible design means the barrier can be configured in a number of different ways
  •  Hinged clips enable fast, simple assembly
  •  Lightweight for easy transportation and storage with each individual barrier weighing only 2kg

 

StrongWall:

  •  A robust and stable barrier system designed to provide safe access for pedestrians through road or construction works
  •  Supplied with an 18kg heavy base which ensures stability even in windy conditions
  •  Top section can be supplied in red, white and orange and water-filled to add a further 15kg
  •  Designed for compact stacking to minimise transport costs
  •  Anti-tamper linking system prevents unauthorised dismantling

 

Hi Vis Fence Feet:

  • Designed to form a stable base for temporary metal security fencing
  • A robust and longer-lasting alternative to traditional concrete blocks
  • High-visibility yellow ends for added safety
  • Can be embossed with a company logo
  • Durable and shock-proof, with better resistance to cracking and damage than concrete
  • Ergonomic design means they are also easier to handle than concrete

 

Trench Covers:

  •  A versatile safety cover moulded from a single piece of glass-reinforced composite
  •  Much lighter than steel, making it easier to lift into place, yet stronger than wood
  •  Tested to a distributed vehicle weight of up to 2,000 kg
  •  Ribbed framework on the underside provides added strength
  •  Slip resistant surface and chamfered edges prevent tripping

 

Peter Creighton, Business Development Director for Oxford Plastics Systems, says: “Our safety products are extremely popular across Europe and we are delighted to be showcasing a range of innovative solutions which help to reduce risk in the workplace at A+A in Dusseldorf. As a business, our core strength is innovating to solve issues for companies in a world of more stringent health and safety controls, and we are committed to providing products that meet the needs of end users and are engineered for safety.”

 

For more information about Oxford Plastics’ range of safety products – including barriers, modular road plates and trench covers, signs and cones, ground protection and heavy bases – visit www.oxfordplastics.com or email: sales@oxfordplastics.com.

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