Redefining HSE and welling approach with sensing technology

Tideway West is an 8km tunnel project in West London with a purpose to build a new sewer for London, simply, to clean up the Thames. The key driver from the safety and project delivery team is to do things the RIGHTWAY in a spirit of collaboration and innovation and to challenge inefficient working methods and processes that has labelled UK Construction as the least productive in the Western hemisphere!

Early 2017 innovation team from PMR Products engaged in conversations with the HSE and Digital Leaders from Tideway West under the umbrella of The Great Think initiative formed by the Tideway Innovation Forum.



Innovative approach

The focus of these conversations was about using technology to redefine the way HSE is approached in construction. Key problems that needed to be solved were identified; how to eradicate the high rate of accidents around people interacting with plant, bridging exclusion zones and conducting fast and safe evacuation (mustering of a large site or a tunnel previously could take up to 45min before emergency services could step in). What piece of technology would be effective yet not interfere with everyday tasks of the workforce often sceptic towards new ‘gadgets’.The outcome was a successful 2 months trial of PMR’s technology SafetyNet, followed by a full adoption across the project. This is a great example of a collaboration between the client, contractors and the technology provider resulting in a relevant and cutting edge safety and wellbeing solution that’s been successfully used since 2017.


Solution description


Our technology agnostic, specialist team looked at the whole wireless IOT portfolio and created one integrated solution on one software platform addressing multiple aspects around safety of people and assets. We used system on chip sensor modules which enable us to mix and match technologies as appropriate for specific user case. We then elevated it analysing not just the live activity on site but the relationship between people, their environment and assets and finding critical points that require instant action.


A staged approach was proposed utilising familiar technology such as TETRA two way radio to provide not only wide coverage communication above and below the ground, but also act as a carrier for the innovative intelligent microchips installed inside each unit. This way users didn’t have to carry any additional equipment and instantly collecting data of 160 users about their whereabouts and activities around heavy plant.

Wearable technology

Once the initial fear of being located was overcome we focused on introducing wearable tags in two forms: one that acts as a location and wellbeing monitoring sensor that is used around plant and exclusion zones and tunnels that needs to be charged every 48h; and a smaller one with a 1 year battery life (that can also be used on assets) simply showing location.







We used Tetra radio infrastructure combined with our SafetyNet MESH wireless beacons around the site as the data backhaul which proved to be a very cost effective and resilient (single infrastructure managing voice and data).

The direct link between the Tunnel Boring Machine and the control room is provided using ruggedized and pre-terminated high-speed fibre optic cable that is delivered in modular segments as the TBM drives inside the tunnel.TBM


SafetyNet MESH telemetry and location functions are used as an early warning systems for LOCO drivers and people working on track side. It is also used for notifying drivers if another LOCO might be on the same track.


SafetyNet provides a fully automated alarm warning system that relays critical information to relevant people on the device of their choice both on and off site.






With over a 100 people working in tunnels and further 400 above the ground SaftyNet Muster function offers an instant information about who is at the muster point. With our Dynamic Muster point beacon it allows for the evacuation point to be at any location within the site parameters. SafetyNet also provides live data of all people outside the Muster Point and their status.



’We commend Ola and the PMR team for their dynamic and collaborative attitude, always willing to go the extra mile in supporting BMB, whether in bespoke set up or providing cutting edge technologies. These attitudes are vital in promoting disruptive technologies into the major civils market place.’’


Paul Morris

Head of Innovation



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