Safety is of critical importance to the rail industry as a whole, from senior management downwards. However, it can also be good for business. Sheffield-based rail safety expert Zonegreen says the demand for innovative safety solutions is helping drive the company’s product expansion in the UK and abroad.

For example, a state-of-the-art Points Convertor, designed to improve safety, efficiency and traceability in railway maintenance and storage depots, has been launched by the company in response to demand for a cost-effective automated solution.

More safety, less physical effort

The system improves safety and efficiency in railway depots and sidings and allows the automation and remote operation of manually-operated switches and crossings. It can be controlled by an operator from a remote location using a portable device. This removes the need for an individual to have to negotiate difficult terrain, rails or other potential hazards, so minimising the risk of slips, trips and falls. Now the shunter can operate the points from a safe distance, reducing risk and lowering the accident rate.

As well as assisting in the prevention of accidents, a system such as the Zonegreen Points Convertor also greatly reduces the significant physical strains that shunters face with regards to operating points manually and the lasting damage this can do to the body, particularly the back and neck.

Zonegreen’s technical director Christian Fletcher explained: "The system is made up of two parts – a points convertor device and an intuitive handset that allows the operator to remotely control the points system.

"The convertor attaches to an existing, manually-operated switch without compromising the integrity of the existing mechanism and, crucially, it requires no civil works or changes to operating procedures."

Tony Hague, managing director of Zonegreen, said that the company is delighted to keep expanding the quality and number of its safety technology products worldwide.

"Quality, safety and reliability are at the core of our company values. By developing long-term working relationships with our clients, we ensure our products consistently meet the highest standards of safety," Hague said.