Aggregate Industries

Aggregate Industries wins coveted Highways England safety award

  • 10 Apr 2019

Aggregate Industries has achieved the highest accolade, winning a Highways England Award for its pioneering new vehicle auto-braking system that’s set to transform road worker safety.

As the overall winner in the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Safety category, Aggregate’s SmartBrake system was commended for its potential to drive improvements in behavioural safety culture and raise safety performance in the highways sector.

SmartBrake works to eliminate workplace transport incidents by utilising an Auto-braking Radar System (ARS), linked to a forward-facing/rear camera detection system.

It uses low-energy microwaves emitted from the vehicle to automatically activate the vehicle’s braking system, should anything be detected within a defined exclusion zone.

The system alerts the driver and sends a downloadable video footage clip of the exclusion zone to a designated person, as soon as the auto-braking system is activated or deactivated. This allows the designated person to gain an immediate real-time assessment of the scenario.

The footage can also be used for investigative and training purposes, to support workforce engagement and improve behavioural safety culture.

Since its installation, there have been zero reversing incidents reported on sites where SmartBrake has been deployed.

Aggregate Industries, Vision Techniques, Bomag and CRH Plant collaboratively developed the innovative technology, working alongside DE Plant and Munihire who have been instrumental in supporting us to share the innovation across the industry.

Judges commented SmartBrake would get real results in driving improvements in behavioural safety culture and tackling a known issue in highways industry safety performance.

Paddy Murphy, Director of Contracting, Aggregate Industries UK Ltd, commented: “Receiving this award is great recognition for the collaborative work that has gone into the development of SmartBrake and its subsequent roll-out across our business and supply chain.

“Road worker-plant-vehicle interface is one of the biggest risks in the industry. Over the past few years, a lot of work has been done to safely segregate people, plant and vehicles yet incidents are still happening. This is why SmartBrake is so important to us.

“The highways sector’s behavioural safety culture must improve to mitigate these types of incidents. SmartBrake not only applies the brakes if there is an obstruction in a defined exclusion zone, but using real-life footage captured to educate personnel of their actions, is slowly but surely improving safety behaviours for the better.

“We aim to continue to share our successes with our peers to drive positive change across the highways industry.”

To share best practice and innovation, Aggregate has promoted the positive benefits of SmartBrake to clients, tier 1 contractors, local authorities, manufacturers and the supply chain through a series of workshops, site visits and safety days.

In total, 23 safety initiatives were rewarded at the first Highways England Awards, which have been designed to recognise activities which further the company’s imperatives of safety, customer service and delivery.

For more information about the awards, visit

Visit the Aggregate Industries website

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