Continual crash improvement with Innov8

Greg Scanlon and fellow Innov8 equipment team member Mark Borg travelled to Amsterdam to receive certification in the operation and installation of the Blade TMA.

To protect workers and the travelling public, the team at Innov8 has launched the Blade TMA with a Verdegro crash cushion for use in live construction sites.

In July, new workplace manslaughter laws came into effect in the state of Victoria. These new laws mean that employers found to be negligent will face fines of up to $16.5 million and negligent individuals will face up to 25 years in jail.

Along with these laws came a reclassification of the WorkSafe Victoria criteria that defines a workplace death to be counted in WorkSafe tolls, with one of the incidents added to the list being fatalities that occur on the road while working.

This change will be important for road construction contractors with sites close to live traffic.

There are many ways to protect workers from oncoming vehicles at live traffic sites and Innov8 Equipment is a specialist safety and traffic management company that offers solutions for situations such as live traffic.

One important fixture for a live traffic site is a Truck Mounted Attenuator (TMA). TMAs work to contain oncoming traffic from breaching into a worksite, aiming to save the lives of the travelling public and roadside workers.

Greg Scanlon, Innov8 Equipment National workshop field support manager, explains Innov8 TMA’s are designed to reduce the G-force of the oncoming vehicle and dissipate crash energy.

“According to the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH), there are three basic areas of concern in an impact with a TMA. The first is risk to occupants of the impacting vehicle, second is risk to workers if the support truck is pushed or rolls forward into the construction zone, and third is risks to occupants of the support truck to which the attenuator is attached,” Mr. Scanlon says.

MASH states that it is important to assess both the risk to occupants of impacting vehicles when a TMA is mounted to a heavy truck and the anticipated roll-ahead distance when mounted to a light truck. This is because the performance of a TMA on impact can be affected by the mass of the support vehicle.

Innov8 offers the Verdegro Blade TMA which has been MASH crash tested with a roll ahead distance of 4.42 metres, without being fixed to the ground.

The Verdegro Blade crash cushion features 12 blades.

The crash cushion featured on the vehicle is capable of absorbing impacts of vehicles travelling at 100 kilometres per hour or lower.

“Strength of the crash cushion on the Blade TMA comes out of the composite aluminium welded tubes which dissipate energy and don’t absorb the energy,” Mr. Scanlon says.

“During an impact from an errant vehicle the four internal blades cut through the composite aluminium H-beams creating heat and friction. When the H-beams have been pushed all the way in, the tubes unlock the cut and bend frame and the remaining eight external blades cut through the welded tubes. The rest of the aluminium parts will bend away in a safe direction.”

In total, the Verdegro Blade crash cushion features 12 blades, which work to strategically engage the safety mechanisms that make up the attenuator.

Innov8 has been selling TMAs for many years, but shortly after the MASH standard was updated in 2016, the Verdegro Blade TMA was tested again to ensure it could deliver safety at a high standard.

“As stated in MASH 2016, it is desirable that TMAs provide acceptable levels of protection for all passenger vehicles and the Blade TMA meets these requirements,” Mr. Scanlon says.

One of the MASH tests in the 2016 standard, Test 54, includes assessing how TMAs perform with staged energy absorption during impacts with mid-sized vehicles. This comes alongside tests for smaller passenger cars and large trucks.

Mr. Scanlon draws comparisons between TMA technology and the technology of mobile phones, he points out that each upgrade can produce significantly better outcomes.

“It is so important to have the latest TMA technology with all tests recorded under the MASH 2016 requirements. To achieve the preferred ride down value of 15Gs and the shortest roll ahead distances possible is crucial,” he says.

The crash cushion featured on the vehicle is capable of absorbing impacts of vehicles travelling at 100 kilometres per hour or lower.

Roll ahead distances are used to ensure the user is aware of the minimum spacing required between the TMA and the construction or maintenance activities that it is protecting.

The Verdegro Blade TMA has been MASH tested without being fixed to the ground to determine the roll ahead distance.

Mr. Scanlon says this means users can be sure of the required distance between the construction works and the TMA itself.

To increase safety in the deliverance of the Verdegro Blade TMA, Innov8 staff are all specially trained by Verdegro to best understand how the TMA works.

Mr. Scanlon says the Innov8 team are all passionate about keeping people safe, whether they are on the road or working beside it.

“Our vision is to ensure the safety of workers and other road users by bringing new and innovative technology to the Australian market,” he says.

“Through the introduction of our products to Australia we hope to inform the industry of newer, safer, and fully compliant products that we believe should replace the outdated models currently in widespread use.”

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