Home Company News New technology helmets improve safety and aid social distancing

New technology helmets improve safety and aid social distancing

Ground Control – one of the leading suppliers of vegetation control services to Network Rail, has deployed ‘game changing’ high-tech safety helmets for its operatives.

The company has purchased an initial batch of 40 of the £500 Protos Integral helmets for workers doing essential maintenance work near rail lines. Fitted with a Bluetooth wireless system, the helmets allow workers to communicate while using everyday noisy tools such as chainsaws, brushcutters and woodchippers.

“As a national vegetation management contractor, we deliver a range of essential frontline services in dangerous environments such as working next to rail lines,” said Peter Allen, arboriculture and rail services director at Ground Control. “Both the range and the quality of communication delivered by the Protos Integral helmet was excellent – it’s a genuine game changer. Operators using the system could hear the instructions from their supervisor instantly and acknowledge the test call of “train on” every time.”

“And as Bluetooth technology works on a closed system, there was no interference from external sources. Operatives are able to easily maintain safety distances with spoken words clear delivered in the built-in earmuff on the helmet, without having to shout above the noise of the equipment.”

The purchase of the Protos Integral helmets is the latest example of Ground Control’s industry- leading commitment to health and safety. Earlier this month it won the highly prestigious RoSPA ‘President’s Award’ for its decade-long achievements in worker safety.

“We’re planning to expand our use of the helmets and introduce them in other noisy or busy environments such as highways or construction sites, where a team need a dedicated mechanism of communications,” said Peter Allen. “In addition, they’ll also help our workers maintain the correct social distancing while on site. The Coronavirus pandemic continues to reinforce the importance of developing a safe working environment and establishing best practices.”

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

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