Tata Steel, Port Talbot

At it's Port Talbot site in West Glamorgan, South Wales, Tata Steel is using a series of Truvelo products to support it's on-site traffic safety policy.  These include Speed Information Displays and a portable LASERwitness Lite speed camera.

Port Talbot is the largest steel plant in the UK.  It produces nearly 5 million tonnes of steel slab per annum and employs over 4,000 people.  The site covers 21 km2, has 15 car parks and 2 main heavy goods vehicle (HGV) holding areas and handles approximately 5,000 vehicle movements per day.  Accommodating and safely managing these movements requires a robust safety policy.  Tata Steel, it's owner, faced several traffic safety related problems, according to Martin Jenkin, Hub Controller in the Safety, Health & Environment Department.  As Port Talbot is private property, some drivers were mistakenly assuming that the Highway Code does not apply.  Driving without seatbelts, use of mobile phones whilst driving and speeding were therefore common.

An additional concern is Port Talbot's internal railway network.  Locomotives hauling 300t loads of molten steel use a series of unmanned crossings, some of which are barrier-less and as heavy laden trains require long stopping distances, their ability to react to road vehicles' poor behaviour is limited. Compliance with on site speed limits and railway crossing warning systems must therefore be closely monitored. In 2008, to address these various issues, Tata Steel implemented a robust traffic safety policy.  This, according to Jenkins, is designed to simplify the process of dealing with errant driving, improving behaviour whilst reducing the Company's Human Resources (HR) burden.

"Offences are split into two categories: Minor or Serious.  Points are given according to the severity of an offence, and any Serious offence automatically involves HR" he explains.

"Previously, misconduct reports were submitted for all accidents.  Each required and HR and trades union disciplinary process.  This was cumbersome and time-consuming.  It was also inconsistent in terms of outcomes."
, In order to ensure fairness and the scheme's acceptance, site inductions are mandatory for all employees, contractors and frequent visitors.  This is PC-based and modular.  Inductees must answer a series of questions in order to progress through the modules.  They are also given a hard copy of Tata Steel's driving policy.
To help achieve it's aims, Tata Steel uses a LASERwitness Lite portable speed enforcement device in combination with a number of Speed Information Displays (SIDs).  All are supplied by Truvelo.
"Use of the LASERwitness Lite device is by trained individuals only," Jenkins continues.  "Drivers' speeds are monitored and any points accrued are held on a database for a period of three years.  The SIDs provide a very visible reminder of site speed limits and we also use CCTV and automatic number plate recognition to help trace offenders."
LASERwitness Lite can be configured for automatic or manual operation and uses laser technology to measure vehicle speeds, capturing short video clips of each offence witnessed.  These are recorded on an SD card and can be played back on the camera's own colour monitor or any Windows PC.
The LASERwitness Lite is UK Home Office Type Approved and the clips it provides are of legally actionable quality.  The small, lightweight - 3.5kg camera provides 0-199mph speed range with +/-1mph accuracy over ranges of 3-1, 300m and licence plate legibility at up to 200m in daylight conditions.  It can hold up to 4,000 offences on it's SD card.

The company's SIDs use an LED array with a custom pictogram capability.  Speeds and ither messages such as smiling/frowning faces, can therefore be displayed.  Truvelo's SIDs can be pole, bracket or tripod mounted and typically run off-grid by means of solar and battery power.  They are updated in the field via Bluetooth and provide a highly visible and self sufficient speed compliance capability.  Although serious or serial offences committed on a private estate are not actionable as they are on public roads, for instance through the revocation of licences, they are not without sanction.
"In some cases, this is even more serious for the individuals concerned than losing their licences," Jenkins notes.  "Loss of access to the Port Talbot site can result in a loss of livelihood for contractors' drivers, so the penalties are potentially very severe. 

 Over the two years to 2019, 137 drivers have been banned from the site but our own media campaign is reducing the numbers and increasing compliance."Dependable, highly accurate technology operated by competent, trained individuals has ensured acceptance of Tata Steel's traffic safety policy, Jenkins states.  Next steps include concentrating more on vehicle roadworthiness inspections, as well as installation of fixed speed camera in order to further reduce the administrative burden  Tata Steel will also be looking to replicate the success it has achieved at Port Talbot across its other sites in the UK.