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Telematics enables health and safety gains for Humac Civil Engineering

While construction sites continue to be high risk work environments, Trackunit is working with Humac Civil Engineering Ltd, to increase personnel safety for on-site plant and equipment use.

Humac is a fast-growing civil engineering and ground work company, founded in 2007 and operating nationally, it includes some of the UK’s largest housebuilders and construction companies as clients. Its rapid growth has been supported by its commitment to a technology and process driven approach. Humac’s contract with Trackunit has helped it to develop its highly secure and safety-first environment for employees and visitors to its sites.

Investment in efficiency fuels health and safety improvements
During the past few years the company has invested heavily in owned-plant, which now numbers around 150 machines including excavators, dumpers and rollers. Staff numbers have grown to 80 direct staff and up to 250 contractors, depending on the active projects. In terms of safety, Humac has a requirement for a plant fleet management system that would add compliance to Health and Safety codes, while creating efficiencies in its on-site machine stock across its sites. A key objective was to implement a system that would allow its human resources team oversight of user access on all machines on multiple sites.

Health and safety is of the highest priority and as the company has grown, managing access to plant by staff qualified to operate the machines has become increasingly complex. Humac management investigated various companies that offer vehicle tracking solutions, including evaluation during on-site trials. Trackunit was selected as the system that provided the most comprehensive solution and the only one that offered the right level of plant access control.  

‘Workers, operators and site visitors are all at risk if construction plant is not properly managed and controlled’

Frank Wilson, procurement director at Humac, takes up the story, “With an expanding stock of machines, our requirement was to implement safety features that would assist our operators and allow us to monitor the location and activity levels of our plant. Workers, operators and site visitors can all be at risk if construction plant is not properly managed and controlled. With Trackunit, we have developed a range of upgrades that add competencies to our health and safety processes ensuring we provide the highest levels of compliance.”

Trackunit’s solution was the only system that provided the range of capabilities that Humac required. All operators’ qualifications, training plans and driver permissions are centrally held within HR and this data is accessed from laptops by site managers providing up to date details on all operators. Site managers are able to allocate operators to specific machines using individually programmed RFID cards and this information is recorded by the system.

During the system’s roll out, each of the vehicles were fitted with a DualID system (combined keypad and RFID reader), which prevents the ignition from being turned on by unauthorized personnel. The operators use a Humac branded RFID card or secure PIN-code to allow access to start the machine.

It is a very simple system to use and our operators understand the benefits that the card system offers. If there is an accident or damage occurs to the machine, we can easily trace who was operating it at the time. It has increased our operators’ awareness of health and safety

Ian McArthur, plant supervisor

Humac has also provided other safety upgrades to their ride-on equipment, such as beacon lights linked to the use of the seatbelt to indicate whether a seatbelt is fastened during operation. A further enhancement is that the Trackunit system is connected to the seatbelts and records seatbelt use for all its ride-on equipment. These are additional safety features that Humac’s customers are finding increasingly valuable when developing site proposals. These are additional safety features that Humac’s customers are finding increasingly valuable when developing site proposals.  

It Just Makes Sense

Embedded sensors link all the machines to Humac’s Doncaster head office, feeding updates to the system. This rich data stream allows the head office team to analyse which machines are operating, where and when, providing accurate utilisation reports on a daily basis.  Underutilised machines can be identified and the contracts manager can investigate and reassign machines to other sites to increase utilisation, if required.  Since the introduction of the system, Humac’s hired-in machine use has decreased noticeably, illustrating the benefit of the company’s knowledge-based approach to machine utilisation. 

The benefit of accurate business data is clearly illustrated by Humac’s approach. Operating at the forefront of telematics, within the construction market, it is a step ahead using data not simply to gain operational advantage, but to develop procedures that increase health and safety awareness and compliance. Together this provides competitive advantage in an aggressive industry sector.

Moving forward, Humac and Trackunit are working to implement machine servicing procedures, which would provide another level of utilisation planning. This addition would ensure all plant is routinely maintained so that vehicles are operating at optimum levels and to safety standards. 

Humac also believes that the Trackunit system has wider sales opportunities within the machine rental market. Frank Wilson commented, “Increasingly our customers want the same health and safety features that we have introduced with the Trackunit system across the site. A rental company that offers machines with these benefits would certainly have something extra to offer. For us, to rent machines that offer this level of compliance would fit seamlessly with our machine stock and ensure a consistent high level of Health and Safety compliance, security and utilisation tracking across the site. 

Trackunit Delivered on Every Promise

Adrian McDonald, MD Humac

Adrian McDonald, managing director at Humac, concluded, “Trackunit delivered on every promise. This system has given us a level of control and increased visibility of our fleet that we did not know was possible. Trackunit’s understanding of our industry is second to none and has really helped in the fine-tuning of the system and the upgrades we have developed together.”

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Telematics enables health and safety
gains for Humac Civil Engineering

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