Protecting road workers and users whilst repairing our ramshackled roads

MULTEVO EXPLAIN THEIR EXPERIENCES OF SUPPORTING LOCAL AUTHORITIES DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS FROM A HIGHWAYS PERSPECTIVE AND HOW TECHNOLOGY HAS HELPED

2020 marks a decade milestone for Multevo working with Local Authorities and Tier One Contractors – however, COVID-19 has scuppered any anniversary plans.

The horrendous flooding in February 2020 was the wettest on record for the UK leading to misery for many and the months that follow poses an unprecedented threat to the most vulnerable in society and agonising strain to key services.

To combat the devastating deterioration of our country’s road network and the inevitable impact to these key workers, the Lancashire based SME’s response to the crisis demonstrates ingenuity of the supply chain and their essential role in supporting council’s to fulfil their duty to maintain the highways network in as safe a condition as practically possible.

Mutlevo (formerly known as Multihog UK) are the UK distributor for sales, hire and service of the versatile Multihog product range and call around a third of all councils customers.

However, since 2017 and subsequent rebrand, Multevo also deliver an award-winning highways maintenance contracting service, leading on best-practice principles tailored to support Councils and Tier 1 Contractors.

THE RIGHT THING TO DO – SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?

Like many organisations, as the situation escalated, Multevo were unsure of the future for the business’ existing operations but chose to act in the manner they have become accustomed to.

“In early February, during our senior management meeting, we saw that this could have an impact on us and our customers. Whilst at the time we didn’t foresee the enormity of the disaster unfolding; we made sure we would be best placed to continue to serve our customers safely if called upon.” Explains Josh Sweeney, Director of Marketing & Growth at Multevo.

RESPONSE TIMELINE – MULTEVO’S RESPONSE TO THE CRISIS

Josh Sweeney, Multevo: “We wanted to do the right thing. As we approached March and the situation grew more severe and lockdown was announced we wondered whether standing down would be the right thing to do.”

Advice from Government, Industry Associations and Customers started to stipulate some highways services, including pothole and patching works, were vital to maintain the nation’s infrastructure so we were ready to respond.

In the following weeks, Mutlevo sought to implement a phased risk management strategy to protect their workforce and demonstrate this commitment to customers:

  • March 13th – Issued the first Covid19 toolbox talk
  • March 17th – All office staff were told that they should work from home where they can
  • March 20th –Health Questionnaire was sent via the Multevo App to establish vulnerable workers and workers who have vulnerable people in their household
  • March 23rd – Boris Johnson PM announced new lockdown measures
  • March 26th – New notification reminders and daily checks were changed to include stock levels of sanitation products and other new safety procedures
  • March 27th – A letter was sent to all employees outlining government and NHS guidelines, reminding them of their obligations to follow them and what Multevo are doing to help
  • March 28th – All daily toolbox talks were updated to incorporate a ‘topic of the day’ to keep it simple whilst getting the message across to workers sent via the Mutlevo App

“In many ways, we approached the crisis like any event, identifying the risk and looking at ways to best serve our people and customers. Because we are of a modest size and already use technology to manage the safety of our workers, we could act quickly to do right thing.” says Josh Sweeney.

SAFETY IS THE PRIORITY –  THE CALL TO ACTION

Nick Leadley, one of the business owners, issued a call to action to all their highways operatives still expressing a want to work:

“Our main responsibility is to our workforce, their families and the members of the public that we ‘may’ come into contact with, so first and foremost that is the priority, everything we do starts there.”

The decision was made to continue to serve customers, having been granted key worker status by several council customers. With this in mind Multevo implemented a firm series of measures to maximise safety which have been adopted as best practice:

  • SANITATION ONLY Vehicles on all sites
  • Additional PPE, hand sanitiser and safety accessories
  • STAGGERED BREAKS & EATING ARRANGMENTS
  • One person one vehicle
  • Multevo App – Daily COVID 19 TOOLBOX Talk
  • DAILY VEHICLE / TOOL DECONTAMINATION
  • OPERATIVE SOCIAL DISTANCING BODY SENSOR (TRIAL)
  • LOW RISK OPT IN WORKERS ONLY
  • CRITICAL WORKER SIGNAGE FOR PUBLIC PERCEPTION
  • SOCIAL DISTANCING SUPERVISOR VISITS
  • MULTEVO APP – WEEKLY CLIENT AUDIT REPORT

TECHNOLOGY – COMMUNICATING COVID-19 TO WORKERS

Unlike many contractors of Mutlevo’s size, the company always strives to use the best equipment, methods and technology to try and set a precedent in the pothole and patching repair process.

Josh Sweeney explains: “When we started to deliver a service using the Multihog we wanted to be different from the usual road repair contractors on the network. All our gangs use the Multihog, which is a proven method for increasing repairs at reduced cost but we needed to go further.”

The Multevo App is a bespoke piece of easy to use, simple software which allows the company to create workflows according to a task. This means Multevo operatives can carry out RAMS, Site Surveys and Tools Box talks using a mobile phone handset and report back to the client in real time – this was used to communicate the COVID-19 measures to people on the front line:

This enabled the company to communicate to their key workers and integrate daily notifications to ensure safe working whilst measuring operatives responsiveness to these suggestions to maximise safety.

The innovative Multevo App also enables the company to report back in real-time to the client on whatever parameters the client deems important to them and works as a KPI. This can range from GPS referenced before and after pothole repair images to measuring  reinstatement performance, road planing productivity, operational safety and efficiency on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Comments from a Highways Contractor Manager: “I have been watching with interest the communications coming from your company, they are really good, fresh and use technology brilliantly. I am very jealous!”

Multevo like most businesses are assessing each day as it comes, but their adaptability to the circumstances has enabled them to keep providing a key service to councils and tier one contractor customers.

Whilst this is challenging time for everyone, the business continues to serve customers and more recently has helped support under resourced councils to maintain vital areas of the network as safely as possible.

If you are interested in obtaining any information which may help you mitigate risk within road repairs during this time Multevo are happy to share their example of best practice as well as tool box talks, just email info@multevo.co.uk.

Up to date advice and information from Leading Bodies, DfT, Government and LCRIG Members.

Latest Advice:

Local Transport Restart – DfT

Working safely during COVID-19 in construction and other outdoor work

Covid-19 Road and Street Works Bulletin 006: charges and Permits cancelled revoked or shut down due to Covid-19