Posted: October 2018
Despite ongoing improvements in global safety standards, working in construction continues to carry a considerable element of risk. Even in the UK, which consistently has one of the lowest workplace fatality rates across the EU, the rate of fatal injury in construction is around four times as high as the average across all industries.
The most common cause of death at work in the UK is falling from a height. Being struck by a moving vehicle is the second most common cause, accounting for 26 fatal injuries in 2017/18. And for every person that tragically dies, there are many more serious injuries, some of which are life-changing.
It’s clear that the vast majority of companies in the construction sector strive hard to protect the health and careers of their employees, and ensure that their own corporate reputations are not blighted by a poor safety record. As winter approaches and working conditions become more treacherous, that responsibility is magnified. So how can site operators help mitigate against seasonal hazards?
Dark mornings and evenings, wet or icy conditions, fog and snowstorms – in winter the danger of vulnerable workers becoming ‘invisible’ in drivers’ blind spots is vastly increased. However, there are a number of basic precautions that employers and their drivers can take in adverse weather conditions. These include:
Brigade Electronics works in partnership with many leading construction firms to improve the safety of heavy commercial vehicles and mobile plant. We have pioneered a number of products that benefit drivers and protect at-risk workers who operate in close proximity to construction vehicles.
For example, Backsense® Radar obstacle detection is a heavy duty radar sensor system that is specifically designed to detect people
objects in blind spots, even in the most severe weather conditions. Our unique system can be fitted to vehicles with minimum disruption, and once in action it quickly becomes an indispensable aid to the driver. With easy-to-read audible and visual warnings, Backsense® can also be custom-programmed to enable bespoke detection areas up to 30m in length and 10m in width. This ability to tailor the exact range of a detection area, combined with the option to calibrate out fixed objects or bodywork, means that false warnings should not occur and driver distraction will be kept to a minimum.
In addition, Brigade offers a full range of vehicle-mounted cameras that connect to monitors in the driver’s cab. Camera systems are a vast improvement on the many mirrors needed to view vehicle blind spots – and of course in heavy rain or thick fog mirrors will be of limited use. Brigade’s Shutter camera is particularly efficient for the winter months. Its 12 Infrared LEDs enable excellent performance even in ultra-low light conditions, while the shutter ensures minimum dirt and grime obstructs the camera lens, and the built-in heater means that it will continue to work at the most extreme temperatures down to -40°.
Brigade products are tested to the highest possible standards, and meet global legislative safety regulations. To ensure your workers are offered maximum protection this winter, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.