Viewed initially by some as too cumbersome or impractical, resistance to using one or two-way radio headsets dramatically changed during a trial which saw supervisors and banksmen within the business’ southern division issued with the new gear. Not only did the two-way headsets enable them to talk directly to everyone onsite, they also encouraged site workers to communicate in a respectful fashion. Using these helmets meant that hauliers and site operatives alike received direct, clear instructions by selected radio channels via headsets, as well as vehicle radios.
By the end of the six-month trial, all of Aggregate Industries’ southern contracting teams supported the use of the two-way communication headset. Not only did they find they cut out background noise over 82 decibels and facilitated clear communications over 10km, removing the need to shout within closer proximities, they also allowed for an immediate response as and when required. In addition, hauliers and third party suppliers could log in to a site-specific channel for instructions, contributing to the overall smooth running of a site.
Paddy Murphy, Managing Director of Contracting at Aggregate Industries, comments: “Health and safety is our overarching value within Aggregate Industries. As such, we take site safety very seriously and place importance on our pivotal role in raising safety standards across the industry as a whole. The benefits of these helmets are manifold: they prevent anyone in the team from working in isolation at any time; and teams can now raise an immediate alarm should unforeseen circumstances arise.
“In particular for me, the headsets also help to nurture a respectful working environment. A major issue across the industry, especially noted by lorry and sweeper drivers, is having to shout or wave their arms to get someone’s attention. Now, they can speak and communicate normally.”