The Health and Safety at Work Act and how Brigade Electronics is making vehicles safer

Improve vehicle and machine safety in the workplace

Back in late 2013, Complete Demolition Ltd, a construction company, was prosecuted and fined heavily by The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a worker’s foot was crushed by an excavator.

The accident happened when the company were clearing an old school site in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.  As the site was being prepared to make way for a new leisure complex a driver of a skip wagon was attempting to reverse into a spot which a crawler excavator was leaving.  As it moved, the 40-tonne vehicle hit a 45-year-old man, knocking him to the floor causing the excavator to crush his foot.

The hearing was held at Liverpool Crown Court and the investigation found that arrangements by the management to ensure pedestrians and vehicles on site were sufficiently separated were inadequate.  As a result of the incident, the man had undergone several operations on his foot and was unable to work and was still in pain.

Complete Demolition Ltd pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.  These two sections set out the duty of the employer to ensure that contractors carry out the health, safety, and welfare at work requirements. Clearly, in this case, this wasn’t abided by and, as a result, the company were fined £40,000, plus court fees of £7,246.95.

This case shows us the importance for management teams to ensure they are abiding by health and safety legislation.  The legislation is there not only for the protection of employees and contractors but also imperative for companies as not adhering can be a very costly mistake.

Here at Brigade, we have been specialising in safety technology for more than 40 years, which could have meant this situation was avoided – even if the site had been better managed for the safety of the workers.

With a crawler excavator, as in the above case, we could have offered six safety options for the machinery.

First, we would have suggested fitting three cameras as the bare minimum.  One compact, flush right side view camera at the front, an Elite view, rear view shutter to the back and a compact, flush mount camera to the boom.  All cameras would link to a camera monitor system in the cab.  The monitor, which is a 7” digital LCD display, ensures the driver has wider view angles all around and crystal-clear images of all the surrounding areas.

Also at the rear of the vehicle, we would recommend a reversing warning alarm which adjusts 5-10 decibels above the noise level which is ideal where sound levels vary.   Finally, Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) radars are the ultimate safety device as they detect stationary, moving and multiple alerts.  These alerts are both visual and audible for the driver.

We introduced the very first reversing alarm to Europe and have always led the way in safety for large vehicles and heavy plant machinery.  We understand the industry and the challenges it faces, and are proud to provide solutions for avoiding accidents and saving lives.

To find out how our products can help improve the safety of your fleet, contact us here.