Transport operators urged to fit safety devices following shocking findings from the HSA

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Brigade Electronics, leading provider of Vehicle Safety Solutions for commercial vehicles and mobile plant is urging operators to improve safety practises following the shocking findings of a recent report by the Health & Safety Authority (HSA) into work related deaths involving vehicles.

A review of work-related deaths over the past 10 years found that of the 490 reported, a disproportionate amount – 44%, involved vehicles. The Agricultural sector was attributed as being the highest contributor to the numbers, followed by Transportation and Storage, Construction and Wholesale and Retail Trade.

According to the report, the most common type of fatal incident involved vehicles striking people on foot or on bicycles. A previous report from the HSA’s Transport & Storage sector also lists reversing and slow speed manoeuvres as one of the most associated causes of vehicle related deaths and injuries. Incidents which, Brigade Electronics say, could be prevented with the fitment of vehicles safety devices such as; camera monitor systems, sensors and reversing and warning alarms.

Ireland based Vehicle Safety Specialist, Chris Ewing from Brigade said: “The size and weight of commercial vehicles and machinery often creates deadly blind spots around a vehicle, which is where most incidents occur. We recommend operators invest in a range of both passive and active systems. While passive systems, such as mirrors and cameras, assist drivers by enabling them to see objects in a vehicle’s blind spot, active systems, including sensor alerts and reversing alarms, ensure that both drivers and pedestrians receive an immediate, audible warning that a danger is present.”

Over the past 10 years, the UK has seen the introduction of vehicle safety standards and legislations such as FORS (Freight Operator Recognition Scheme), CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Community Safety) and more recently London’s Direct Vision Standard, put in place to reduce the number of incidents involving vehicles, workers and vulnerable road users. All require the fitment of various safety systems including cameras, nearside sensors and reversing alarms to comply. Could a similar standard be a potential solution in reducing the number of vehicle related deaths in Ireland?

Chris concluded: “Our vision at Brigade is that no more lives should be lost in collisions with commercial vehicles and mobile machinery. We have been at the forefront of the vehicle safety market since 1976 when we introduced the first ever reversing alarm into the market and we continue to campaign for improved vehicle safety practises around the world. The Health and Safety Authority in Ireland has been championing Vehicle Safety in the Workplace for many years, a cause which we fully support.”