Reflections on a fantastic time at Railtex

Last week we travelled northwards to the bustling city of Birmingham to set up camp at Railtex – which combined with Infrarail made it one of the rail industry’s biggest events in the UK this year.  We were primed and ready for three days of engaging discussion, new opportunities and some fun.  The fact that so many of us hadn’t been able to enjoy face-to-face discussion with people outside of our own immediate working groups for the last year and a half, provided that additional frisson of excitement to proceedings!

We were pleased to be a part of the RBDCommunity’s ‘Eagle Lab’, set up specifically to help small to medium enterprises (SMEs) showcase their products and services.  This helped us to make the most of our time at the event and engage with people that were interested in SiteSentinel, our online worksite induction platform.

We were also able to offer delegates a SiteSentinel tour – showing them how the system delivers relevant, up to date, high quality induction information using text, photos, video and illustrations.

We have primarily implemented SiteSentinel at train depots and stations, but our time at Railtex also opened our eyes to other possibilities in a much broader range of scenarios – everything from construction to the charity sector.  If we hadn’t been able to spend time with such a diverse and dynamic community, we may not have so readily considered these areas.

Founder of Lucid Communications, Paul Townsend said “Exhibiting at Railtex really made us feel a part of the wider rail community again.  It’s been a tough period for everyone, and it was invigorating to come together with this vibrant sector to properly start considering how we all safely move forward whilst still continuing to innovate.  We were delighted by how many people took a copy of our white paper ‘Professional Inductions, Safer Sites’ and we also sincerely hope everyone who was lucky enough to get a Lucid polo shirt is now wearing it!”

Thank you Railtex – until next year!

Announcing our stand at Railtex on 7-9 September 2021 at the NEC Birmingham

We are delighted to be exhibiting at Railtex this September 2021 at the NEC Birmingham on Stand K80 in Hall 12; and after the year we’ve all had we’re looking forward to engaging in some good old fashioned face-to-face discussion!

This year’s event will be the 15th edition of Railtex and it has joined forces with key rail sector conference, Infrarail, meaning the show will service both the infrastructure and rolling stock sides of the sector, therefore creating the ultimate show for the rail industry.  

Founder of Lucid Communications, Paul Townsend said “Throughout the last year and a half the rail industry has worked hard to keep rail services safely moving up and down the country.  Railtex presents a fantastic opportunity for everyone to come together to celebrate what we’ve achieved and consider how we will all safely stride forward into an altered landscape with a whole host of new challenges.”

At the event we will be showcasing SiteSentinel, our online worksite induction platform, which also incorporates a test and administration interface.  The system is designed to consistently deliver relevant, up to date, high quality induction information using text, photos, video and illustrations.  SiteSentinel ensures an easily accessible audit trail of worksite safety inductions for all staff, visitors and contractors.

Please come along and see us – we’d love to meet you!

Repeat business – as straightforward as it sounds?

The idea of repeat business sounds so clear cut: customers electing to return for more work, often needing something the same or similar, and all wrapped up in an established working relationship.  It might therefore seem like an opportunity to roll out more of what worked previously, and in some circumstances, this is exactly what the customer wants.  However, even with pure repeat business there is a process of checking and challenging that must happen to ensure the customer gets what they need.

Take our SiteSentinel online worksite induction solution, which we’ve successfully rolled out across numerous rail sites – depots and more recently stations. The structure and benefits stay largely the same, yet the content often contains significant differences – additions, subtractions and points of emphasis. It all depends on the nature of the site and its associated risk.

As consultants accepting repeat business, the benefits of already knowing an industry are huge.  We can make good use of standard industry phrases or acronyms in site induction content, confident that induction users will be familiar with the terminology.  For example, the rail industry ‘HOT’ protocol for assessing the risk of an unattended object: Is it Hidden from view?  Is it Obviously suspicious?  Is it Typical of what one would expect to find in that area?  We can use this across different site inductions safe in the knowledge that all rail employees will understand it.

Repeat business also means that as consultants we become more and more familiar with our customers’ policies and procedures; making us adept at knowing exactly when and where to cite them for maximum impact in site inductions.  By supporting our clients across multiple different sites, we are also efficiently and effectively communicating company-wide policies across the organisation – helping to develop awareness, support uptake and increase consistency of implementation.

However, the real benefits for a customer comes from a consultant that doesn’t make assumptions when undertaking what looks like a repeat job.  Just because one site paints its safe walking route yellow, doesn’t mean they all will – even if they are all part of the same company.  For many of the rail companies we work with, every site is different, and if we make assumptions, we risk making mistakes.

Therefore, for each site induction we develop, especially when it’s repeat business, we remain actively curious.  We ask questions, we don’t jump to conclusions and we never assume we know the answer just because of what we did at a neighbouring site.  It’s only when we’ve completed a thorough assessment that we begin to carefully add or remove content from the induction programme to ensure it reflects each unique site perfectly.

If you get it right, customers will vote with their feet.  Having implemented SiteSentinel across a range of train operating company sites, Arriva Rail London, East Midlands Railway and Greater Anglia are just some of our customers that have returned for more site induction development at different sites in the last six months… which is no small achievement considering the last six months we’ve all had!

EMR Expand their SiteSentinel Portfolio

Photo of Kettering Sidings, roads 1 to 4.
Roads 1 to 4 at KDS

It’s always a great feeling when an existing client comes back for more! East Midlands Railway have added a fourth site, Kettering Sidings, to their SiteSentinel portfolio.

Kettering Sidings has recently been redeveloped to provide stabling, cleaning and light-maintenance services. The site has four roads, overhead electric power, a CET system, and driver welfare facilities. East Midlands Railway, based in Derby, provides services across the East Midlands, and run services between the east midlands and London.

The SiteSentinel platform provides an online induction, test and administration interface. The system is designed to consistently deliver relevant, high-quality information using text, photos, video and illustrations. SiteSentinel provides an audit trail of site inductions for staff, visitors, and contractors.

How many people attended your site in 2020?

city road building industry
Photo by Marcin Jozwiak on

On the face of it, the number of people attending your worksite in 2020 seems like a straightforward question… after all, there is likely to be a visitor book in reception, diarised meeting records, worksite inductions undertaken… so it should be relatively simple to calculate… shouldn’t it?

Of course, the reality is often somewhat different.  A reception book that wasn’t clear or missing altogether, the odd meeting that didn’t get put into Outlook, induction paperwork mislaid, training records not always up to date… need we go on?  It all makes the accurate estimation of an exact number, that bit more challenging.  

So, imagine if you had an online worksite induction system that kept a digital record of every visitor walking through your worksite. At the touch of a button you could generate the number of people that have visited your site that year, month, week or day.  More so, you could generate these same numbers for previous years to start getting a longer term view of visitor trends at your site.

We know from Site Sentinel, our online worksite safety induction platform, that we helped deliver 17,510 individual worksite inductions during 2020.  Our largest depot customer delivered a huge 5,024 worksite safety inductions to visitors at its site alone.  At the opposite end of the scale, our depot with the smallest turnover still delivered a substantial 88 individual worksite inductions in 2020.

We couldn’t be happier that we helped not only deliver the inductions, but also helped to securely store the training data in an easily retrievable format.  This means our SiteSentinel solution forms an integral part of a company’s competency management system.  If you required data on exactly how many inductions were undertaken during a particular time frame, or details on who has, or hasn’t completed an induction, SiteSentinel can quickly provide the data in a few clicks.

So… if you found it hard to estimate how many people visited your site in 2020, or just want to digitise your worksite induction system so competency data is at your fingertips when you need it most, is now a good time to consider solutions for 2021?