Multi Million pound contract for Varioguard
Bilston, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom – Monday 15th 2006 A subsidiary of Hill & Smith Holdings PLC has been awarded a contract to supply and install temporary safety barriers to protect workers widening the M1.
Bilston based Asset International is providing 25 kilometres of its temporary ‘Varioguard’ barriers to main contractors Balfour Beatty / Skanska over a period of 32 months, to stretch between junctions 6a and 10. 11,500 metres of Varioguard temporary steel barriers have already been installed as part of the multi-million pound contract and a further 12,000 metres are set to be installed at the end of May.
The Varioguard barriers, which are transported on specially adapted trailers, are very quick to install, as Asset International director, Peter Wilkinson, explains: “Contractors working on road projects have traditionally used concrete barriers, but the innovative Varioguard design has been developed to provide a much stronger yet lighter solution. “This allows for an installation rate of 300 – 400 metres per hour which is not only extremely competitive but also means that the length of time for which workers setting up the system are exposed to motorway traffic is significantly reduced. “An overnight installation process, usually for no longer than 4 hours at a time, reduces the risk to these workers further and will impact positively on the overall efficiency of the motorway works – good news for all motorists.”
As well as an impressive installation time, Mr Wilkinson attributes the contract win to past experience and commitment to health & safety. “The safety of those working on the M1 widening project is at the forefront of what we do and workers can rest assured that they have the protection of a high quality temporary barrier which can absorb the impact of most vehicles. “It is natural to be distracted and concerned about passing traffic when temporary barriers are not used, no matter how experienced the worker. “As a result, there has been higher productivity at road schemes where Varioguard has been installed in the past. Workers feel more secure and as a result are less inclined to look over their shoulders.” As the UK’s leading supplier of temporary barriers in the UK, Asset International has also provided barriers for a large number of roads projects, including the M25 junction 12 to 15 widening contract, and the N7 widening in Ireland. The Varioguard product was also used as temporary anti-terrorist barriers to help protect the Labour Party conferences in 2004 and 2005.