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HS2: Traffic Marshal training
Written by David Pearson
A first-class, speedy delivery for High Speed Rail 2 (HS2)
The major Government-led HS2 project is a huge undertaking, and one that needs many hands to make light work. One such crucial role as HS2 unfolds is that of Traffic Marshals, who manage the safety of vehicles and pedestrians accessing the development sites.
Being in daily contact with drivers, and the general public – and, typically, the first ones on site if an incident occurs – the marshals are required to exercise authority, take control and solve problems, correctly and confidently.
Following a number of reported incidents at construction sites’ gates, however, it became clear to the HS2 executives that not all their Traffic Marshals were as equipped and as capable as they needed them to be. Though knowledge wasn’t necessarily the issue, the application of such – because staff were not certain about their responsibilities and their legislative powers – resulted in a lack of confidence to take appropriate action.
Always be prepared
In order to feel confident and fully prepared, Traffic Marshals required training on a range of possible scenarios and issues, specific to environment; the risks associated with rural areas differ from those in cities and urban areas, for example. A thorough and consistent approach needed to be adopted, too, in order to minimise safety risks, and training needed to include the softer skills marshals were expected to exercise when interacting with the public and dealing with conflict.
The intention was to create sustainable behaviour and a positive attitude towards safety. The course incorporated industry best practice as well as the values of the HS2 brand. Given that training was to be delivered in various settings, it also needed to be solid in quality and consistent.
Bring in the experts
Premier Partnership worked with HS2 to develop robust specifications. Collaborating with representatives across the business and venture partners, we were able to assess and formulate a project team that consisted of traffic marshal subject matter experts, digital design partners, project managers and an account director to oversee delivery. A Project Initiation document and Project Plan were created, which incorporated clear milestones to be signed off at every stage by the client stakeholder.
Going the extra mile
Imagery and footage from sites were combined with detailed lesson plans, guidance on compliance procedures, and certificate templates; the latter doubled as quick reference guides for the marshals when on site. Highly interactive and engaging, the course emphasised that traffic marshals were valued by the HS2 organisation as brand ambassadors; it provided default diplomatic responses and deflection techniques for marshals to incorporate when interacting with the public.
The training was quickly and effectively delivered, and within budget. HS2 rated Premier’s involvement as ‘High Standard’, and further positive acclaim was received from the executive team and joint venture partners.
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