RSMA Conference: Blazing a careful trail

 

The Road Safety Markings Association (RSMA) conference on 21 November will be a time of celebration and reflection. A central issue on the agenda is men’s health.

It has become well known that this sector is an at-risk group for many physical and mental health issues. One reason is that highways is a predominantly male industry – as much as it is working to improve its diversity – and men are not always the best at seeking the support they need.

”Local

The RSMA has not shied away from encouraging an open and supportive conversation, as chief executive Stu McInroy points out: ‘Talking about these issues is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength.’

Focus on physical health

Having raised awareness about mental health in 2018 – resulting in firms putting in place staff support programmes in the intervening months – this year, physical health is on the agenda, with a men’s health seminar and presentations about diabetes.

Mr McInroy says: ‘As a result of our conference we often see benefits in the months down the line. From the health and safety forums in the sector, we know the health issue needs a higher profile in the industry and RSMA wants to help break down the barriers to talking about these subjects.

‘It’s incumbent on us to take the lead and provide information. We have presentations on diabetes and specific male issues such as prostate and testicular problems. We are also looking at the legal side and employer liabilities. This knowledge could save lives down the line, and that is central to our mission statement.’

The RSMA has scored a real coup in securing not just ministerial representation from Baroness Vere, who will discuss the importance of road markings for the future sustainability and viability of the highways network, but also the DfT’s local roads chief, Steve Berry, who will appropriately enough give a ‘health check’ on the network.

Considering the underinvestment in this sector, the network assets are not always in rude health but the quality and professionalism shown is, Mr McInroy argues, adding that key to securing a better deal is to provide a greater evidential base.

‘We have the Gaist survey of the nation’s road markings sponsored by the DfT, which will be coming out in the next 12 months. I think it will probably show we are in a poor state with markings and this could start to impact the development and application of automated safety aspects such as lane guidance and the delivery of autonomous vehicles. ‘We are in danger of creating a network where we have great vehicles but we can’t maximise their use or perhaps use them at all because they won’t function on sub-standard unmarked roads.’

Road trials

Another key subject, which the DfT may be asked to address, is the progress or lack thereof of the RSMA’s planned road trials on Highways England’s network. As Mr McInroy points out, it is incongruous to say the least to be asked to prove products in road trials and yet to have no framework in place to easily secure road space for such trails.

The RSMA is now hoping for a start date of July 2020 but says this is at high risk. All eyes are on a meeting of Highways England’s executive customer services group in November, where they will vote on a paper to approve the trials for next year.

Mr McInroy points out the RSMA has had to curtail the access period being asked for but hopes this first trial will form a foundation and provide a template for future road trials, not just for the marking industry but across the highways sector.

He argues that a more standardised framework approach to securing trials is in everybody’s best interest. With the last markings trials taking place over 10 years ago Highways England is missing out on the latest innovations, which would provide a greater range of products and so better value for money in the market.

With 84 members accounting for 90% of the line marking capacity output in the UK, the RSMA is one of the most important trade bodies in the sector and has more than 160 people signed up to this year’s event.

Mr McInroy says he is still absolutely loving his job some 18 months in and, for a man who humbly admitted to having no previous highways experience, he is now a proud exponent of its work and together with his team has assembled what promises to be another fascinating conference.

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Workshop Technician

Northumberland County Council
£24,313 - £26,999 plus Market Forces Allowance of £2,500
We are looking for a permanent, full time Workshop Technician to join our team at the Blyth Fleet Workshop. Blyth, Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Workshop Technician

Northumberland County Council
£24,313 - £26,999 plus Market Forces Allowance of £2,500
We are looking for a permanent, full time Workshop Technician to join our team at the Lionheart Depot in Alnwick. Lionheart Depot, Alnwick, Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Street Cleansing Operative Driver (Large Goods Vehicles)

Redbridge London Borough Council
£22,377 to £23,607
We are looking to recruit staff for both our day service and evening service. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Senior Environmental Health Practitioner (Pollution)

Redbridge London Borough Council
£39,774.00 - £42,684.00
This is an excellent opportunity for individual who is looking to gain management experience.  Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Senior Policy Planner

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£32,643 – £45,704 depending on skills
Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Strategic Director Environment and Climate Change

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£119,940 to £131,935
A decade of investment invites the opportunity of a decade! Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Senior Environmental Health Officer (Housing Lead)

Mole Valley District Council
£37,821 - £42,329
An exciting opportunity for a Senior Environmental Health Officer to join our forward thinking Environmental Health Partnership Oxted, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Head of Operations

Rossendale Borough Council
£49,408 - £52,899
The Head of Operations is a key leader in the Senior Management Team. Rossendale, Lancashire
Recuriter: Rossendale Borough Council

Senior Engineer (Development Control)

Wrexham County Borough Council
£36,876 - £39,782 per annum
We are looking to appoint a suitably experienced and qualified candidate to work within the Contracts and Engineering team Wrexham (Wrecsam)
Recuriter: Wrexham County Borough Council

Strategic Director Growth and Regeneration

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£119,940 to £131,935
A decade of investment invites the opportunity of a decade! Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Funeral Operative (As and When)

Brent Council
£24,462 - £26,274 p.a. inc. (pro-rata)
The person will not need previous experience in funeral services as full training will be given but experience would be an advantage. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Senior Engineer – Transport Policy

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£38,800 - £52,600
This is an exciting opportunity to improve road safety and create healthy streets in a busy and dynamic central London borough. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Environmental Health Officer / Health and Safety Practitioner

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£33,600 - £45,400 per annum plus performance related pay
The ideal candidate will have a detailed knowledge/understanding of Health and Safety legislation.  Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Commercial Officer

Rossendale Borough Council
£25,801 - £29,636
We are keen to improve our recycling levels, tackle the climate change agenda and take pride in our open spaces. Rossendale, Lancashire
Recuriter: Rossendale Borough Council

Principal Electrical Asset Officer

Birmingham City Council
£34,788-£42,683
The role requires the post holder to be a key technical specialist for the Authority’s Highways Electrical Asset Management function, providing... Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Highways & Drainage Team Manager

Newport City Council
£37,849 - £40,760
You will be skilled at analysing multiple sources of information, making excellent decisions, and driving difficult situations towards a... Newport (Casnewydd)
Recuriter: Newport City Council

Street Works Compliance Officer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£29,636 - £31,371 per annum
For further information on the role please click. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Senior Sustainability & Resilience Officer

Essex County Council
£30001.0 - £34017 per annum
This opportunity is to be offered on a 6-month, fixed term / secondment contract basisInterviews scheduled to be held Friday 17th April Job Purpose Es England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Highway Electrical Maintenance & Installation Operative (Street Lighting) Apprentice

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
National minimum wage, currently £8.20 in first 12 months, increasing to £8.72 thereafter
If you are looking for hands on experience and learning on the job then an apprenticeship could be the right route for you. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways Civil Engineering Technician Apprentice x 3

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
National minimum wage, currently £8.20 in first 12 months, increasing to £8.72 thereafter
If you are looking for hands on experience and learning on the job then an apprenticeship could be the right route for you. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council