Construction sites are extremely hazardous work environments for both drivers and those working on foot. With so many different vehicles working in close proximity to pedestrians, appropriate vehicle safety technology is essential.
Dangerous vehicles on site
The majority of vehicles you’ll find on a construction site carry dangers. Flat bed trucks, diggers, cranes, and tankers, as well as cement and dunker trucks all carry similar risks. With limited visibility and their huge weight and size, accidents are not only more common; they’re more likely to lead to a fatality.
There are countless situations that could arise – putting not the only driver at risk but those around the vehicle. They include
- A driver forgetting to apply the vehicles’ handbrake when jumping out of the cab
- Uneven terrain causing the vehicle to roll forward or back
- A driver blacking out or suffering a heart attack
- Swerving to avoid hitting materials
- Reversing accidents due to poor visibility
- Stock piles causing collisions.
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work also highlights a number of scenarios where pedestrians on construction sites may be at risk. They state that the most common cause of death in a vehicle accident at work is where a person is run over, and that this is often down to issues including:
- Poor visibility
- Inadequate brakes
- Carelessly parked vehicles
- Unsafe coupling and uncoupling of trailers
- Untrained drivers
Reducing accidents on site
Incidents related to brakes were highlighted as a huge risk and guidance given by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work to:
- Check brakes are in safe operating position before starting work
- Set parking brakes when vehicles are parked and chock the wheels if they’re on an incline
- Load only on ground level with parking brake applied.
Other tips for dumpers, given by the HSE include:
- Stopping the vehicle and taking it out of gear, while applying the parking brake before tipping loads
- When using a starting handle ensuring that neutral gear is selected and that the handbrake is firmly applied. It’s also important to check that the area is clear of obstructions.
According to RIDDOR, over half of the fatal injuries to workers on construction sites were one of three kinds – falls from a height; being struck by a vehicle and being stuck by a moving object. With better safety technology the majority of accidents could be eliminated. With VT BrakeSafe drivers can be aware that their brakes won’t fail, and with other products, such as VT Banksman, drivers can be more confident in reversing scenarios. We also have a range of fantastic cameras, which offer better visibility, CCTV and more help with reversing.
To find out more about any of our safety technology products give our team a call on 08455 911 434 today. Our experts will also be able to advise on other products that may be suitable for your fleet and how they will work in practice.