Construction sites, both roadside and off-road, are among the most dangerous places to work. A look at statistics reminds us of the risks that construction workers face each and every day when they go to work.
• According to HSE, more than 40 construction workers die and many more are injured every year in the UK while on the job. Being struck by vehicles and heavy equipment is the top cause of injuries and the second cause of death for construction workers.
• On average, each year, almost 100 workers are seriously injured as a result of accidents involving vehicles or mobile plant on construction sites in the UK.
With these heart-breaking figures in mind, improving and prioritising safety on job sites and particularly around construction vehicles must be a priority. Below we outline how to understand and mitigate construction vehicle risk.
In order to effectively address risks, they need to be fully understood. Risk Profiling is at the centre of our CameraMatics Fleet and Driver Risk Management solution which gives our customers the best visibility and control around risk points and risky drivers.
When you operate vehicles, understanding the greatest risk points – and riskiest drivers – means targeted initiatives and interventions can be put in place to reduce the risk and improve safety.
Our experience of construction vehicles safety tells us that the top three risks are:
Construction vehicles have large blind spots and visibility for drivers can be very poor. If a driver does not have a clear view around their vehicle, the risk of striking or crushing a pedestrian or other worker is high.
Implementing on-board safety technology on construction vehicles transforms this. Cameras, sensors and accompanying alerts can be, quite literally, lifesaving. A camera system that includes side and blindspot cameras means the driver can see right around the vehicle, eliminating blind spots. Blindspot sensors and audible warnings when a vehicle is reversing or turning are highly effective and inexpensive.
This is a major problem across the world. Distracted driving is the number one cause of collisions globally and distracted drivers are 23 times more likely to crash. Using cell phones or other handheld devices, smoking, or being otherwise distracted contributes to thousands of deaths per year in the US.
Understanding and mitigating risk means understanding driver behaviour. Driver Monitoring System (DMS) technology from CameraMatics gives live, in-cab warnings and coaches drivers who are distracted or displaying signs of fatigue. Integrated Driver Scorecard technology enables managers to view driving quality across the fleet and target training towards drivers who need it most.
CameraMatics technology also provides GPS tracking and G-sensor telematics information, alerting managers of risky driving events such as speeding, swerving harsh-steering and harsh braking. Managers can focus on improving the driving of those workers who are the biggest risks – both to themselves and others.
Vehicle safety walkaround checks are the backbone of vehicle safety – they are critical to identifying safety issues, which can be a matter of life or death. Checks should be completed daily, and thoroughly. Increasingly, fleet operators are moving away from pen and paper and switching to digital systems with cloud-based data storage, such as the one offered via the CameraMatics Suite. Checks are then verified, timestamped and a robust mechanism can put in place for reporting and rectifying defects.
Compliance information and records are also fully maintained this way which provides evidence of a safety culture and safe working environment in the event of an accident or incident.
Implementing safety technology is much less expensive than you may think.
OSHA estimates that construction companies can save $4 to $6 for every $1 invested in safety programs and drastically reduce the number of deaths and injuries each year.
Saving lives is priceless.
It pays to invest in safety – and the benefits of CameraMatics go wider than safety – we help companies create efficiencies and improve compliance too, whilst meeting the challenges of fleet management head-on.