Monthly Archives: March 2015

TM Labour Suppliers

Traffic Management Labour suppliers are they a good thing or a nightmare waiting to happen?

At the moment the industry is very busy, mainly due to being mad March when all the local authorities need to spend their budget and animages gbu influx of money from the government due to the election being announced.

I saw an article on Facebook regarding an agency supplying the Traffic Management industry of traffic management operatives started in 2009, the question they asked was “how many labour suppliers are there now”? What a good question, You go on Facebook, Twitter and most other media outlets you will always find labour agencies trying to recruit carded or non-carded operatives.

Now I have nothing against labour supply companies and I will keep my opinion to myself, however this post is to start a debate on the good the bad and the ugly side of the supply agencies. Not to start slagging them off or complaining about certain companies, keep this a clean debate.

The Good

You only have to use their operatives as and when required, they tend to work on short notice.

The Bad

Give me 5 minutes and I’ll call you back, 5 minutes turns into 20 and so on, that’s if they ring you back. In the meantime you try another supplier and guess what, I’ii call you back, 5 minutes. The operatives can sign for more than one supply agency. Then you have to chase for a copy of their cards and certificates, Most of the operatives who work for labour supply companies have to be self-employed, if that’s the case who’s insures them, I bet they are not covered by the labour supply company, how can they be insured by the company who hired them? Would you put someone on your insurance if you didn’t know them.

There seems to be a bit of confusion on who responsible for the self-employed agency workertraffic-management-home-21.jpg

Agency staff

As an employer, you can hire temporary staff through agencies. This means:

  • you pay the agency, including the employee’s National Insurance contributions (NICs) and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  • it’s the agency’s responsibility to make sure workers get their rights under working time regulations
  • you must make sure they can access your facilities (such as canteen and childcare facilities), and information on your job vacancies
  • after 12 weeks’ continuous employment in the same role, agency workers get the same terms and conditions as permanent employees, including pay, working time, rest periods, night work, breaks and annual leave
  • you must provide the agency with information about the relevant terms and conditions in your business so that they can ensure the worker gets equal treatment after 12 weeks in the same job
  • you must allow agency workers to use any shared facilities (eg a staff canteen or childcare) and give them information about job vacancies from the first day they work there

you are still responsible for their health and safety

Freelancers, consultants and contractors

If you hire a freelancer, consultant or contractor it means that:

  • they are self-employed or are part of other companies
  • they often look after their own tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs)
  • they might not be entitled to the same rights as workers, eg minimum wage
  • you’re still responsible for their health and safety

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/32121/11-949-agency-workers-regulations-guidance.pdf

So if they are self-employed and paying their own contributions, surely they must have to have their own insurance.

If they are a sole trader or a Limited company working through the agency, they still pay their own contributions so surely they must have to have their own insurance or have I got this wrong?

The Ugly

How can you, as a company control the labour suppliers traffic management operatives working hours, have they double shifted? how many shifts have they carried out that week? After all they can work for one agency on days and another agency on nights, hows that safe. How many times do you get let down by the operatives not turning up on-site and then its you who has to face the customer.

Remember this is to help the TM operatives for their rights as well as the agencies. It’s only a poll.

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Stop/Go (Is it safe)?

$(KGrHqZHJDgE-VFvJF3yBPs38S(Img~~60_35At the end of 2013 there were 35.0 million vehicles licensed for     use on the roads in Great Britain, of which 29.1 million were cars.

The total number of licensed vehicles has increased in every year since the end of the Second World War except 1991.

Between 1996 and 2007, the annual growth in licensed vehicles averaged 2.5 per cent a year, although from the mid-2000s it had already begun to slow somewhat. Following the recession of 2008-9 it slowed further, but did not stop, averaging 0.3 per cent a year between 2008 and 2011.

Between 2012 and 2013 the total vehicle stock increased by 1.5 per cent, the first substantial year-on-year increase since 2007.

So in 1991 there was a recession in vehicles on the road, also in 1991 the traffic count for Stop/Go operation was ;
Maximum two-way traffic flow
Coned area length (metres)       Vehicles per 3 minutes
Up to 100                                                     70
Up to 200                                                     63
Up to 300                                                     53
Up to 400                                                    47
Up to 500                                                     42

Yes it looks the same as it is in the new Safety at Street Works and Road Works 2014 October. That’s because it is

Coned area length (metres)       Vehicles per 3 minutes
Up to 100                                                     70
Up to 200                                                     63
Up to 300                                                     53
Up to 400                                                    47
Up to 500                                                     42

The question is, how many operatives carry out traffic counts for stop/go operation. Or is it just a case to get it installed because they are under pressure from their company or the client who waiting to carry out the works.

With this big increase in vehicles on the carriageway how can stop go be safe. If the traffic counts were recorded how many sites would be installed? How many operatives carry out traffic counts for Stop/Go

With the local authorities demanding more and more Stop/Go surely that’s going to lead to more operatives facing more, abuse and threats of violence.

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Fines warning to drivers ignoring safety signs

The Highways Agency is warning motorway drivers they are putting road workers’ lives at risk by ignoring safety signs and illegally using the hard shoulder to avoid congestion caused by accidents.

The Agency is supporting Greater Manchester Police and Cheshire Police in a number of prosecutions resulting from incidents earlier this month (April 2014) where drivers have ignored ‘red X’ lane closure signs or used the hard shoulder to get past congestion resulting from accidents.

Both Cheshire Police and Greater Manchester Police have reported several drivers for offences. The drivers now risk fines and potentially losing their licences under the penalty points system.

The warning comes after incidents along the M56 and M6 earlier this month when Highways Agency traffic officers were working with the police to manage traffic at serious collisions. The incidents involved drivers using the hard shoulder to get past the incident scene or ignoring ‘red X’ signs designed to stop drivers from entering lanes with hazards ahead.

Although Highways Agency traffic officers do not have enforcement powers, the Agency is reminding drivers that it is an offence to ignore the instructions of traffic officers – including electronic signs they set – and to use the hard shoulder without good reason.

Control room traffic officers at the Highways Agency’s regional control centre at Newton-le-Willows monitor traffic and incidents from hundreds of CCTV cameras across the region – and today the Highways Agency revealed it has handed CCTV footage from recent incidents to support prosecutions of drivers.

John McTaggart, the Highways Agency’s Head of On Road Services, said.

Our traffic officers are getting very frustrated that their lives and the lives of emergency workers and other road workers are being put at risk by the thoughtlessness of a minority of motorway users.

We and the emergency services have enough to do during serious incidents without worrying whether a stray vehicle is heading towards us in the hard shoulder or after driving under a red X. This is not only dangerous but can also impede any emergency services or recovery vehicles needing to use the hard shoulder to get to an incident and help clear it as soon as possible.

We urge drivers to re-read the Highway Code, be reminded that it is an offence to drive under a red X sign or to use the hard shoulder except in a genuine emergency – and be assured that where possible we will support the police in prosecutions of drivers who flout the law.

The Highways Agency is reminding drivers that the deployment of ‘red X’ signs is increasing as part of the smart motorways programme currently being delivered along key sections of the motorway network across England. With full or part-time use of the hard shoulder in smart motorway sections ‘red X’ signs are used to close a lane when it is not needed or there is a break down, accident or other incident in the lane. Drivers should never drive under a ‘red X’ sign and should switch to an available lane.

A new section of smart motorway opened today on the M25 accompanied by a ‘Get smart, know your motorway’ campaign to raise awareness of the increasing use of red X signs and how drivers should respond to them.

Details of the new smart motorway section are available on the Highways Agency’s website

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Drivers can also visit the Highways Agency’s website for more information about the smart motorways and the campaign.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000

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The First Month

Little did I know what sort of response I would receive regarding your safety campaign, Help Me Get Home.
I started a Facebook group which received a mixed response, might be due to other traffic management groups. The next step was opening a twitter account, which is dying a slow death. Next was a LinkedIn group which is taking off.

I was disappointed by Facebook as the safety campaign is for the operatives working on the carriageway. Feedback has been poor and not one mention of a safety issue, perhaps we have the safest operative on the carriageway in the world.

Car Sticker


I had to think of another approach on how to get the campaign noticed and to gain more exposure.
So I made a basic website; www.helpmegethome.co.uk/ Next I had some car stickers made to replace the tax disc, but you can place them in any car window. Other things made are 1050 x 750 fixed frame signs and some 300 mm x 300 mm signs for training centre or office safety notice boards.
What I needed was for someone to help me get this out into the world of temporary traffic management. Someone who is as passionate about TM safety as me. I paid a visit to Birmingham, Up to Speed Training and Assessment Centre. Adrian had shown an interest in the safety campaign and thought it was a good idea to get safety from the carriageway operatives after all there are the ones in the front line.
So Adrian has agreed to help run the safety campaign and we are delighted he has joined us. So the admin team are as follows, Gary Knight, Rob Tyson and Adrian Pulham.
Now we can work as a team and deliver your safety campaign.
Remember Help Me Get Home will only work with your input.

If you require a car sticker or have any safety concerns email;
enquiries@helpmegethome.co.uk 

Stay Safe

Gazza

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