The Importance of a Highway Safety Inspector

In this article we will discuss the role of a Highway Safety Inspector, the importance of their role in protecting the safety of our roads and to conclude we will explain the different types of training Skills Training Centre can provide and the relevance of each course.

The role of a Highway Safety Inspector is varied; requiring knowledge and experience in Highway Safety Inspections, NRSWA, highway enforcement and supervision of reactive highway maintenance works. Every decision made by a Highway Safety Inspector on the importance and ranking of a defect could be critical to the safety of road users. 

In this article we will discuss the role of a Highway Safety Inspector, the importance of their role in protecting the safety of our roads and to conclude we will explain the different types of training Skills Training Centre can provide and the relevance of each course.

What is the role of a Highway Safety Inspector?

A Highway Safety Inspector’s job can be divided into numerous roles; they check and sign off the materials used during road construction and are also in charge of overseeing the contractor's work to make sure each road meets its specifications and safety requirements. Highway inspectors can also specialise in specific phases of a construction, whether that be the building of bridges, relaying the road or managing the drainage structures.

They also play a vital role in protecting the public, they are able to identify and mitigate issues which relate to specific user groups, ie. pedestrians, cyclists, pram users and users of mobility scooters/walking aids, ensuring that the roads and pavements are safe for all users. They are also in charge of providing local authorities with critical evidence that may be necessary for defending against an accident claim. This is completed by collecting accurate evidence/information and precise record keeping, e.g. in taking/recording statements.

The importance of a Highway Safety Inspector

Throughout the UK there is a widespread recognition of the importance of highway maintenance and the high value placed on this both by users and the wider community. There is also an increasing understanding of the serious consequences of failure to adequately invest in maintaining the local highway network. 

In particular the progressive deterioration of safety, reliability and quality, eventually requiring even greater levels of investment in the future. This increased profile, both in policy and financial terms for highway maintenance, requires a corresponding increased emphasis on management and systems to support service delivery within the context and principles of best value.

A highway safety inspector must use their judgement together with the adoption of the risk based approach to categorise a defect with these considerations in mind:

  • The depth , surface area or other extent of the defect.

  • The volume, characteristics and speed of traffic.

  • The location of the defect relative to access to schools, shops, hospitals etc.

  • The nature and extent of interaction with other defects.

  • Weather forecast conditions especially freezing of surface water.


What training can Skills Training Centre offer for becoming a Highway Safety Inspector?

Skills Training Centre offers a range of specialised training and unique assessment packages for Highway Safety Inspectors, specifically designed to assist organisations in meeting local and national standards and a range of enforcement requirements. All of the training courses are based on modern instruction methods, group and individual working and several practical live highway inspection exercises. 


LANTRA Highway Inspection Technical

This course is intended for those carrying out highways inspection in their first year of appointment and as a useful refresher for more experienced highway inspectors. The course provides a good basic knowledge of all areas of highways maintenance and inspection in which they might be involved. The course includes a site visit at which an inspection will be undertaken.

The five day Highway Inspection Technical programme is based on a series of incremental knowledge building blocks. These blocks inform and instruct at two levels. The first level  provides a comprehensive introduction for those individuals with little or no highway  environment background. The second level develops themes established at level one and expands the technical content and application, providing greater insight and understanding for the novice and essential refresher material for the more experienced highway inspector.


LANTRA Highway Inspection Legal

The aim of this course is to give someone carrying out highways inspection, detailed knowledge of highways law; enforcement; knowledge of how to successfully prosecute cases and defend claims, including how to collect and present evidence. In order for those attending to obtain best value from the course it is expected that they will have several years experience of highways inspection, or have completed the technical course and had at least 6 months subsequent experience.


City & Guilds Health and Safety - Unit 301

This part of the award is intended to provide appropriate basic health and safety training for highways inspectors, to give them an appreciation of how to carry out a basic risk assessment and assist them to work safely on the highway. It is a mandatory core unit that assesses an inspector’s ability to operate safely in a highway environment and within the scope of Health and Safety Legislation and Regulations. 


City & Guilds Highway Safety Inspection

This unit is primarily designed to rigorously assess and establish the candidates ability to undertake highway safety inspections in accordance with national standards suggested or recommended in the Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance Management and standards adopted by local highway authorities. Highway safety inspections undertaken by Unit 311 qualified inspectors, should positively contribute towards improved highway user safety, provide a more robust protection against third party claims and develop staff confidence. 

We don’t believe in delivering courses that just tick boxes, we provide training that allows our attendees to learn new skills, improve existing skills and retain industry based knowledge.

The courses we provide are designed to be relevant and cost effective and are delivered to high standards. Our instructors are professional and experienced in their respective fields and are highly skilled at taking into account the needs of individuals with different skills, abilities and experience.

If you wish to gain further insight into our range of training courses and what Skills Training Centre can provide for you, please get in touch.

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