Telehandler Hazards – How Brigade is Helping to Tackle Blind Spots on Mobile Plant

Whether transporting heavy pallets, shifting hay bales or scooping snow, telehandlers are in high demand, with around 70,000 units produced annually. About two thirds of this demand is concentrated in Europe and North America.

While safety records of these vehicles is generally good, preventable accidents resulting in injury or death continue to be a serious issue. Risks of operating telehandlers include accidentally tipping a load, overbalancing the vehicle so it tips laterally, and failing to see workers in the vicinity of the plant, particularly while reversing. When in operation with the boom raised, there’s also a significant danger of a blind spot to the front right-hand side of the vehicle.

Reversing incidents are a common course of deaths in the workplace. A recent tragedy involved a waste and recycling worker who died from multiple injuries after he was struck by a telehandler as it reversed at a yard in Horley, Surrey.

While workplace safety is strictly governed in the UK and compliance levels are high, improvements can always be made. Safety technology is constantly evolving; many of the latest devices can be retro-fitted to vehicles, giving telehandler operators the best possible chance of maintaining a spotless safety record. Indeed, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends that telehandlers ‘should be equipped with adequate aids so drivers can see areas where people may be at risk.’

Promoting workplace safety

Blind spots are a huge contributing factor to fatal accidents involving mobile plant. Brigade’s complementary range of safety devices helps prevent collisions by assisting drivers while protecting workers on-site. Retrofitting vehicles with safety camera monitor systems, such as Brigade’s best-selling Backeye®360, allows drivers to keep a close eye on blind spots at the back and sides of their vehicle so they can instantly see other workers, vehicles, or members of the public in the vicinity.

Intelligent technology

This intelligent four-camera technology is designed to eliminate vehicle blind spots and assist manoeuvrability in challenging situations by providing the driver with a complete 360-degree view of their vehicle in a single image. The system combines images from four ultra-wide-angle cameras, providing a real-time view on the in-cab monitor. The result is a ‘bird’s-eye-view’ of the vehicle and surrounding area.

Brigade’s Backsense® Radar can detect stationary and moving objects even in the harshest of environments. It gives the driver an audible and visible warning when objects are within a certain distance.

Heavy duty and able to operate even in high or low temperatures, Backsense® Radar is also waterproof and smoke resistant with the added advantage that radar signals can still be sent and received no matter what the working conditions.

When camera systems are linked to a mobile digital recording set-up (MDR), the recorded footage can provide irrefutable evidence in the event of a collision, or any kind of incident, such as vandalism or theft from a vehicle.

One major benefit of MDR is its ability to support drivers who can often be the subject of increased scrutiny after an incident. Brigade’s latest MDR systems also have 3G and 4G connectivity, meaning that data can be live-streamed remotely with real time GPS tracking. Brigade’s BRIDGE cloud service allows fleet managers to remotely access their vehicle data at any time.

Warning alarms are audible devices to alert pedestrians and workers when a vehicle is manoeuvring. Unlike traditional ‘beep beep’ tonal alarms, which can be almost impossible to pinpoint, the Brigade’s bbs-tek® White Sound® reversing alarm creates a ‘ssh-ssh’ sound and uses smart technology to adjust sound levels in line with the ambient noise in the immediate vicinity. Utilising a wide range of frequencies, bbs-tek® also enables the listener to instantly locate what direction the sound is coming from. In adverse conditions, for example if rain is pounding down, the warning decibel level will be increased.

Brigade offers vehicle safety technology for a wide range of industries, vehicles and mobile plant. Please get in touch to find out more about how our product range can help you to prevent collisions and save lives.