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Ground Control rail teams using ‘game changing’ high tech helmets

In a UK first, Ground Control – the UK’s leading supplier of award-winning services – has deployed ‘game changing’ high-tech safety helmets for use in a rail environment.

Working collaboratively with Network Rail’s Western Route Works Delivery team, Ground Control has purchased an initial batch of 40 Protos Integral helmets for workers doing essential maintenance work near rail lines.

Costing over £500 each, the helmets were stress tested in the field, with workers successfully using the wireless Bluetooth system 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.”

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