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  • by Trevor Loveday

Northumbrian trials "world first" safety measure for field staff

Northumbrian Water Group and Ford Motor Company are trialling a new safety device that promises to increase field workers’ visibility during night-time jobs and improve their safety.

In what the water company described as a “world first” trial, it has affixed five of its vehicles with upgraded versions of the familiar chevron hazard signs, The new signs are illuminated constantly rather than reflecting light from other vehicle headlamps, which Northumbrian said made them much easier to spot than the conventional, reflective chevrons.

Fleet services manager at Northumbrian Water Group, Kate Wilson, said: “This is an idea that stemmed from our drivers working in partnership with Ford’s product innovation team. It will improve safety not only in our sector, but in future fleets across the world.”

The new chevrons deploy a well-established technology, electroluminescence, that is used in other illuminated signage including fire exit signs. Electroluminescent lighting requires very little power and can be constructed into flat shapes such as panels.


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