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Transformational plant on site

Guest blog from Central Environmental Consents Lead and Innovation Champion Nick Remfry this week, reporting back from an Innovation seminar from HS2.

I recently headed to Birmingham to attend HS2’s ‘Connect & Innovate’ seminar which was an opportunity to see how suppliers and SMEs were responding to the challenges set out by HS2 Tier 1 contractors.

One element of the seminar that stood out was a presentation from Tim Burnhope (Chief Innovation Officer – JCB) highlighting how disruptive innovation can allow for a revolutionary new product or service to be created that will change everything (e.g. the iPhone or the car). In the case of the seminar, he suggested that HS2 has that potential.

For us at Tideway, we’re already on the journey. I believe that we have been fortunate to recently witness a disruptive innovation within the wider construction industry, and that is the move to behavioural based safety training. This has been further developed on Tideway into our EPIC experience. An acknowledged game changer.

In addition to this, there were a couple of other innovations that stood out for potential implementation on Tideway in our continued drive for transformational health, safety and wellbeing. People-plant interface is one of the biggest risks on construction sites and JCB have been developing new plant to respond to this challenge.

JCB: Hi-Viz Dumper. Currently in prototype form, the driver can see someone standing immediately in front of them even when fully laden (as opposed to 20+ yards with conventional machine). The driver is also protected in a fully enclosed cab.

Editor’s note – BMB demo’ed this kit at the latest ‘Rightway Live’ Safety stand-down at Carnwath Road! You can spot the difference between the views here



JCB: Hydradig Wheeled Excavator. This excavator has the same lifting power and ability as its predecessor but with the added value of zero tail swing.


JCB and A-Plant: Telematics. Generally new pieces of plant have telematics data (GPS, fuel efficiency, % on-time etc.) that can be downloaded and reviewed. Effective review and management of this data can assist with changing driver behaviours (fuel efficiencies), site layouts, procurement (on-hire/off-hire), supporting Section 61 applications, tracking of machinery on large sites or a number of dispersed sites and so on. Each provider of plant currently has access to this or similar data and it is simply a matter of tapping into what information is already available to facilitate possible improvements.

It’s time we started rolling out some of this kit as business as usual on our sites, it sends the message to our suppliers to keep innovating too. So if you’re interested, drop me a line at Nick.Remfry@tideway.london and I can put you in touch.

Lastly, an interesting aside, a seminar delegate suggested that in the near future there will be a shortage of people who can fly drones and have drone licences. So, if there are any keen video gamers out there (similar skill sets), get ahead of the curve and get accredited!

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