The human cost of HGV dangers

Every year there are numerous vehicle-related accidents on worksites around Britain. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports that over 5000 accidents involving transport in the workplace occur annually, and about 50 of these are fatal. A quarter of those deaths are directly linked to reversing vehicles.

Fatal collisions are devastating for all involved. First and foremost, they are a personal tragedy for the victim’s family and friends. In addition, HGV drivers and vehicle operators may face a criminal prosecution, and companies may also have to defend a civil case if a complainant can prove that an incident occurred as a result of negligence.

Last winter, two high-profile court cases involving fatal collisions were reported. In November 2017, a textile company was fined £650,000 at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court after a reversing delivery vehicle fatally injured a worker. In December 2017, an HGV driver was sentenced to 240 hours of community service after he knocked over and killed a motorway worker while reversing through roadworks near Glasgow Airport.

These are just two reported cases. For every fatal accident, there are hundreds more that cause injury and trauma, as well as financial loss, downtime and reputational damage to the companies concerned.

So what can be done to improve safety on worksites? The HSE has issued detailed advice, including the recommendation to avoid reversing manoeuvres for HGVs or mobile plant wherever possible. But when reversing cannot be avoided, it suggests using a banksman or marshall to direct vehicles, or to consider CCTV systems to help drivers see behind the vehicle.

While banksmen can undoubtedly be a huge asset on work sites, not all businesses have the resources to employ someone specifically in this role. If this is the case, on-board CCTV systems – also known as camera monitor systems – are the natural alternative.

Our latest solution

For over three decades, Brigade Electronics has been working at the cutting edge of vehicle safety, pioneering many hi-tech products in our mission to save lives on public roads and worksites all over the world.

As well as reversing and warning alarms, radar and ultrasonic sensors and camera monitor systems are particularly helpful in assisting drivers with low speed reversing manoeuvres.

The latest model in the Backeye®360 range is the BN360-200. It provides the driver with a complete surround view of the vehicle in real time, captured by two ultra wide-angle cameras, each one covering one full side of the vehicle with a viewing angle of over 180o. The four live images are blended and ‘stitched’ together to offer a single view on the driver’s monitor. BN360-200 is suitable for most HGVs and mobile plant, and even has the ability to configure custom views.

For a detailed description of the capabilities, and video footage demonstrating exactly how the cameras work, click here.

And for further information about Brigade Electronics and our products and services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.