Highways England has been able to carry out essential maintenance and press ahead with major road improvement schemes by using creative ways to maintain social distancing, including a waistband alarm that alerts workers to anyone within two metres.

Workers have been wearing the devices tied around their waists which sets off a buzzer in their safety helmets if someone gets too close.

“During the coronavirus crisis maintaining a safe road network while ensuring our workers are protected has been the priority,” said Highways England Executive Director, Commercial and Procurement Malcolm Dare.

The technology was already being used by Highways England contractor, Barrier Service Ltd, to alert workers on site when heavy equipment and machinery was moving nearby. The transponders have now been adapted to alert workers to anyone close to two metres away.