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FM Conway first with auto-stop safety technology

FM Conway

Infrastructure services company joins forces with ISS to improve sweeper safety on road surfacing sites

FM Conway have joined forces with vehicle safety technology company Innovative Safety Systems Ltd (ISS) to improve the safety of their vehicles on construction sites and prevent reversing accidents.

The infrastructure services company has retrofitted its entire fleet of road sweepers, which are primarily used to support its surfacing business, with ISS radar and auto-stop technology to manage the risk of accidents.

The business commissioned ISS to develop the bespoke auto-stop reverse radar system. Using sensor technology, the system automatically applies the vehicle’s brakes when an object comes within 4m of the vehicle, bringing the sweeper to a complete and controlled stop.

FM Conway use sweepers across their core highways services, but especially for their surfacing division. Although sweepers typically move at slow speeds in this environment, the nature of surfacing works often means that large number of construction personnel are required to operate in close proximity to machinery and on-site obstacles, raising the risk of accidents. 

John Tobin, asset manager at FM Conway, said: ‘We are constantly looking for innovative ideas to drive even safer working practices, ensuring that our teams and members of the public go home safe and healthy at the end of each day.

‘With ISS we challenged them to deliver a new solution in auto-braking technology in the hazardous area of road sweeping. Following a successful trial, we are now pleased to have been able to roll this out across our sweeper fleet.

‘Importantly, this system is designed to support drivers as a critical risk-control measure, and not to replace our focus on supervision, training, and positional safety. The new system will enable us to track how often the technology is being deployed – meaning that we can identify the need for further training to ensure that safe practices become fully embedded across our teams.’

Oliver Hoadley, sales director at ISS, said: ‘The radar is fitted to the back of each vehicle and can detect objects up to 30m away. If anything gets within 6m an alarm sounds in the cab along with an LED warning light. However, we have developed the system a stage further by integrating programmable auto-stop technology. If the vehicle continues to move past a set distance, as specified by the customer, the brakes are then applied.

‘We’ve also ensured that the radar is the exact width of the sweeper, meaning that there is minimal interference from other objects, such as street furniture and parked cars, which is a common cause of false alarming.’

The system has additional features to enhance its performance when compared with other radar systems. It operates on a 24GHz frequency, which means it is arguably the most powerful and accurate reverse radar detection system available. It is also installed in a way that is approved by VOSA as well as numerous vehicle manufacturers.

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