Case Study

Prolec support JN Bentley to upgrade its excavator safety systems for deployment to complex, critical infrastructure projects throughout the UK.

Case Study

JN Bentley, a leading UK construction services company, continues to invest in new excavators for its fleet.

As part of this, the company wants to continue its drive towards complete safety by upgrading its safety systems to meet the exacting standards of several high-profile organisations and companies. One of these companies is Severn Trent.

Severn Trent awarded JN Bentley a large contract as part of a £2 billion investment in construction projects to support the objectives of Asset Management Plan Period 7 (AMP7). As a key player in these vital projects, JN Bentley is playing a critical role in safeguarding the supply and quality of water provided to the West Midlands for the next hundred years(1).

PME200 and PME 500 safety systems mitigate the risk of damage to excavators and the costs associated with downtime and repair.

The Challenge

JN Bentley deploys its excavators to a broad range of sites. Every site has different safety regulations that are informed by the risks and hazards unique to each location. For example, much of its work with Severn Trent involves operating in confined spaces or other height-restricted working environments like water treatment works(2). As part of its role in delivering AMP7, JN Bentley could also find its excavators deployed to residential streets or adjacent to a busy carriageway.

Just as the safety requirements differ between sites, so do the operational needs of the projects themselves. One such requirement is for JN Bentley's excavators to be able to lift and move freely suspended loads. In essence, to act as a sort of mobile crane. And, whilst it is accepted the excavators can be adapted for lifting, this is a task fraught with risk. However, this risk can be mitigated provided the task is properly planned, supervised, and executed. Part of the planning process is ensuring the excavator is equipped with the correct safety equipment and complies with industry standards that include (but are not limited to) LOLER.

Whether by the roadside or on a large infrastructure site like The Jackson's Edge Reservoir(3), it is vital that JN Bentley’s excavators operate using a safe method of working that is within the capability of the machine. Because if the company fails in its duty, the consequences could be catastrophic.

The Solution

Prolec has been a preferred supplier to JN Bentley for many years. In short, their people trust our people to deliver, so they asked us to supply the critical safety systems they need to upgrade 40 of their excavators.

Leveraging our network of suppliers, we are in the process of outfitting JN Bentley's 8-tonne excavators with our PME200 Safety System. This technology provides RCI and height-limiting functionality that meets the various safe lifting regulations set by the HSE. Once fitted, JN Bentley will be able to deploy these 8-tonne excavators to multiple prestigious projects across the UK.

Additionally, JN Bentley asked us to outfit their 13-tonne and above excavators with the PME500 Safety System. In addition to the RCI and height-limiting functionality provided by the PME200, the PME500 offers extra safety features essential to the safe operation of larger excavators. These include slew and height restriction motion – a feature that prevents the front end of the equipment from striking critical infrastructure and buildings or reaching into a restricted area. The PME500 also includes a supervisor key switch that allows an appropriately qualified and trained member of staff to set a motion cut. This key is then removed so that the setting cannot be changed by the operator. Thereby giving the site supervisor or responsible person an extra level of control.

Both the PME200 and PME500 are equipped with a data logger as standard. Therefore, should an incident occur, investigators have access to a detailed record of exactly how the machine was being used in the lead-up to the incident.

Our ability to rapidly supply and install the equipment is invaluable due to the nature of the contracts JN Bentley is engaged in. With that in mind, we are drawing upon our extensive UK and Ireland distributor network and dedicated support team. This enables us to respond to changes in the operational requirements and ensure that they are met.

Installation work for both the PME200 and PME500 safety systems is ongoing because, at the time of writing, the excavators are still being delivered to the UK. Our team is working closely with the excavator supplier, PV Dobson, to fit our safety systems in line with the supply schedule. As a result, JN Bentley will take delivery of its ready-to-deploy excavators rapidly, despite the unavoidable disruptions in the global supply chain.

Going Above and Beyond

Ultimately, the team at JN Bentley did not choose us to deliver this vital upgrade to their safety systems simply because we have the product they need.

They chose us because they can be certain we will go above and beyond to deliver a solution that meets their precise requirements efficiently, effectively and affordably. Our relationship is built on mutual trust and respect, with the clear lines of communication and support that is essential to delivering an exceedingly complicated solution on time and on budget.

We are proud to say that we are playing a vital role in JN Bentley’s success and, by extension, a small part in shoring up our nation's infrastructure for years to come.

An Investment in Safety and Compliance

As construction projects become ever more complex and construction sites more dynamic, our approach to the management of risk has developed to meet these trends. Admittedly, this does mean the compliance landscape is becoming increasingly complex.

However, by investing in a sound safety system solution for its excavators, JN Bentley has safeguarded its ability to bid for and win lucrative contracts. But beyond that, this business decision re-enforced its reputation as a responsible construction services provider. Because, above all, our PME200 and PME500 systems are designed to keep sites, buildings, and people safe.

In such a competitive market, demonstrating a commitment to the safety of the environment, your workforce, and the public is essential. Consequently, insofar as your excavators are concerned, you could consider installing safety systems from our comprehensive PME range. If you’d like to talk through your options, leave your details below and one of our team will be in touch.