RSS INFRASTRUCTURE (RSS) has become the first company in the rail sector to utilise a specialist Driver Awareness Warning System for the transportation of its workforce to site.

The warning system is fitted in 22 specialist Mercedes Benz Vito and Citan vans which will be used to transport safety critical and contingent labour to rail engineering and construction sites across the UK. The warning system is a dash-mounted device which focuses on the driver’s retina and measures their ‘blinking pattern’ sounding audible warnings if signs of drowsiness or inattention are detected.

The move was sparked by increasing industry concerns over the transportation of contract workers to site. RSS’s own research suggested that a large number of fatal accidents occur every year whilst workers were en-route to site or returning home.

Sean Harrison, Development Director at RSS, commented: “The structure of the rail industry is that it uses large numbers of safety critical and contingent workers in maintenance and construction roles, often working shift patterns. This labour has to be bussed to site by their sponsor, with pick-ups from central locations.”

He continued: “We have a duty of care to ensure that all of our workers are transported safely and return home every night. It was clear from our own research that our responsibilities needed to extend to the vehicles we were using to transport people to site and that hire vehicles were no longer sufficient.”

Alongside the Driver Awareness Warning System, the Mercedes Benz fleet has been equipped with a market-leading armory of safety features, including electronic stability, brake assistance and flashing hazard warning lights which react automatically under emergency breaking.
RSS is part of the Auctus Management Group, which provides qualified personnel to the rail industry, along with rail specific training and apprenticeship schemes. In addition, the company also provides a number of state-of-the-art safety and track warning systems. The company was set up in 2012 with help from Finance Birmingham and now has major contracts with a number of major blue-chip companies in the rail industry, including Babcock, AmeyColas, Colas Rail and Transport for London.
Mr Harrison concluded: “The acquisition of the Mercedes Benz vans is a clear demonstration that we take our responsibility towards our workers very seriously and that safety, either on site or en-route to work is our number one priority.”