In the light of the recent introduction of the Safer Lorry Scheme and Construction Logistics and Cycle Safety (CLOCS) project, the Direct Vision Standard proposals have further increased the need for improved driver safety and legislative adherence.
By KEP Services for Cat Parts in the UK.
The Safer Lorry Scheme
The Safer Lorry Scheme mandates safer HGV zones and several measures to ensure lorries are not allowed to ply London roads, except they are equipped with basic safety equipment. This condition applies to construction vehicles, which are key players in many fatal collisions with pedestrians and cyclists. (TfL)
The CLOCS Scheme
The CLOCS scheme unites the construction logistics industry to revolutionise work-related road risk management (WRRR) and ensure complete compliance with road safety culture across the industry. The primary goal of CLOCS is to improve vehicle safety by tackling safety imbalance and advocating for the wider adoption of industry best practices. (CLOCS)
Poor driver safety is costly.
According to the Health and Safety Executive’s figures, employers spend up to £1,6million and 7,400 to cater to non-fatal injuries and fatal injuries, respectively. Considering this, it is only rational to advocate for the adoption of best practices in the construction industry, in line with the mandates of The Safer Lorry Scheme and CLOS.
Below are four proven hacks to ensure improved driver safety in your construction vehicles fleet.
1. License Checks
While construction site drivers can handle different construction vehicles, it is important to verify each driver’s license regularly. This is a simple but effective way to ensure the supply chain stays reliable and protect the staff both on-site and when moving between their homes and the worksite.
The DLVA reports that about 2.9 million drivers across the UK have points on their licence, while about 7,000 drivers with 12 points or higher still parade themselves as legal drivers on Britain’s roads – the usual limit before being banned as a driver. (Fleet News)
Experts have recommended that firms ensure regular and rigorous checks of licenses to ensure every driver is adequately licensed for the type of vehicles they drive and effectively track penalty points.
So, invite all the drivers handling your fleet of construction vehicles and check if they all have clean licenses.
2. Health Checks
Construction machines work on difficult terrains and execute complex tasks. Therefore, they require regular maintenance to keep performing optimally. It also helps you monitor the condition of your fleet and track wear and tear effectively.
If you get your fleet from a hire company, ensure you work with only providers with specialist knowledge of construction vehicles. Such companies can offer regular and comprehensive maintenance, as your fleet requires. This will also protect your investment.
3. Driver Behaviours
The complex nature of construction site works means they are subject to time restrictions, budgetary constraints, and customer expectations. Therefore, it is vital to grant your drivers sufficient breaks during work.
Construction companies now set up on-site welfare facilities to provide drivers with adequate rest. However, when permanent facilities cannot work, especially in remote locations, welfare vans have proven to be an easier yet effective way to fulfil your legal duty of care obligations.
Just drive these fully-equipped mobile rest areas on site. You can have them in multiple locations within the same day. This method is efficient and cost-effective, especially with multi-site or mobile workers.
4. GPS Telematics Tracking Systems
The recent advancement in telematics technologies makes it possible to keep all vehicles and equipment in the best conditions. With automatically tracked fleet maintenance, you can ensure maximum on-site safety and ensure your construction vehicles’ fleet performs optimally.
The technology keeps track of the driver’s wellbeing over long stops. There is an automatic warning if there is a change in a driver’s behaviour emanating from unusual patterns that may indicate the need for help. The system can also offer reports on strange or aggressive drive behaviours, including sudden cornering, harsh braking, and overspeeding.
Other reasons to use a GPS telematics tracking system include ‘geo-fences,’ which notifies drivers of site safety hazards, such as power lines or utilities, and the capabilities to block talking, texting, or emailing from the phone while the vehicle is working.
The need for a safer construction site and work atmosphere for drivers and the construction fleet cannot be overemphasised. This article has provided a few tips to achieve that, depending on the specifics of your site and project. Some or all of these tips are applicable to ensure your fleet stays very fit and your workers stay safe.