A Call-to-Action: It’s time to Implement Electronic Roadway Worker Protection Technology


On October 4, 2018, the NTSB issued a Railroad Safety Recommendation Report in response to the April 2016 Amtrak accident investigation that resulted in two roadway workers killed and 39 others injured.

One of the safety recommendations given to the FRA (R-18-025) was a call to: “Study available technologies that automatically alert maintenance-of-way workers fouling tracks of approaching trains, then require that such technology be implemented as a redundant protective measure.”

Electronic roadway worker protection (eRWP) technology has been available for many years and has recently become an important component to several transit agency’s safety procedures. However, there are many agencies that have still not adopted the technology or may not understand the benefits of adding an electronic system into their everyday safety rules. Fears of being comfortable with advancing technology, the time needed to learn a new system, cost, and replacing existing rules (and in turn existing safety jobs) have all been presented to us through customer discussions. We at Miller Ingenuity have addressed and presented solutions to these concerns with our customers, but also pose the question: is a human life worth it?

Is embracing advancing technology, that offers you a secondary form of protection, worth saving the life of your crew member who you’ve been working with for over 15 years? It is clear that there is a problem with how our safety procedures are currently operating. These procedures rely heavily on human judgement and more often than not, those human decisions are contributing factors in close-calls and tragic accidents. Adopting an innovative technological solution to existing safety rules and procedures will only increase your workers safety.

The time is now to embrace innovation and begin researching an eRWP solution that will fit your unique operating environment. Your employees are worth it.

About ZoneGuard:
As an example, Miller Ingenuity’s eRWP solution, ZoneGuard, provides roadway workers with an additional form of safety that can protect them from human error factors such as distraction, complacency, miscommunication, and inexperience, that are frequent contributors to tragic accidents and close-calls.

Using a unique and redundant combination of four different sensor technologies – LIDAR, RADAR, infrared camera, and accelerometer – the system can accurately detect oncoming track vehicles entering a work zone and alert the roadway workers via a wearable device with an audible and physical alarm.

ZoneGuard’s flexibility allows it to perform within high-noise urban environments, under high power lines, and across multiple tracks. While also not requiring on-board installation to operate, the system’s on-board component is compatible and able to integrate with PTC implementation.

The system’s cloud-based web portal can provide customers with real-time worker/work zone information, as well as, many key efficiency and safety performance reports to ensure that workers are working in compliance with federal and customer specific safety rules. ZoneGuard’s web portal also allows Miller Ingenuity support staff to monitor real-time diagnostics and system performance, collect train detection information logs, and provide remote updates to the system for continual system enhancement and quick and seamless system updates.

For more information, contact our sales team.

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