Safety comes in many forms. In the heavy-duty equipment industry, safety best practices evolve based on the introduction of new standards, case studies, and technological advancements.
It is within the technology arena where the most significant strides are being realized to improve worksite safety and operator productivity. Whether utilizing collision mitigation technology, telematics systems or Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), the adoption of safety technology combined with operator education are the keys to mitigating collisions, saving lives and/or avoiding a worksite shut down.
Collision mitigation solutions' top priorities are to save lives, reduce the severity of potential accidents, protect property and mitigate risk. From a productivity standpoint, collisions– with either persons or objects – dramatically impact an organization’s brand, its jobsite, and financial success. Successful organizations must adopt a well-devised safety strategy that is focused on mitigating risk, lowering the total cost of ownership, retaining employees, and reducing downtime as a result of worksite collisions.
Productivity is improved, regardless of the application or equipment in use, when safety technology is adopted to avoid collisions. The five key benefits to adopting a safety system include:
- Risk Mitigation
If your organization utilizes heavy-duty equipment, it is not a matter of if, but rather when, an accident will occur. An organization’s adoption of sound safety strategies and collision management technology is essential to mitigating risk. By introducing safety technology into the cab and having a strong corporate safety culture, organizations can avoid costly law suits, which are a huge distraction to an entire company.
- Driver Efficiency
At the operator level, productivity is based on the speed and safety at which the task is accomplished. Operators are often working within confined spaces that require them to negotiate moving and stationary objects. Operators have traditionally relied on the use of mirrors (passive solution), the help of spotters (a hazard by its very nature) and experience. All three practices and solutions are unreliable and can expose operators to increased collisions. The adoption of collision mitigation systems eliminate operators’ blind spots and allows them to operate equipment more efficiently and safely.
- Reduced Downtime
When collisions occur within heavy-duty industries, the damage is typically significant. Depending on the type and severity of the collision, the financial impact can be enormous for an organization from both a financial and brand perspective. Financially, collisions have resulted in shut downs of entire sites (costing thousands-if not millions-of dollars in lost revenue), equipment damage, fines, increased insurance costs, human life, etc. From a brand perspective, the organization’s image could suffer long-term negative effects that impact its ability to succeed. The adoption and deployment of a collision mitigation solution helps to eliminate the chance of an accident – thereby allowing the organization to significantly reduce the downtime. This reduction of downtime equates to greater profits and more productivity for the crew.
- Employee Retention
Organizations that are able to empower their operators with collision avoidance systems have realized higher job satisfaction, better quality work environment and greater quality of work life. When employees feel their health and safety is valued, they are much more likely to stay with a company than seek employment elsewhere. The introduction of collision avoidance solutions aids in the monitoring of operators blind spots and actively engages their awareness with both visual and audible aids to allow them to confidently and safely complete their task.
- Economic Growth
Organizations that operate heavy equipment have the most to lose by not adopting a sound safety strategy and current technology. Fleets that are able to reduce collisions see dramatic positive economic impact. In avoiding collisions, organizations improve corporate reputation, productivity and efficiencies. This is well illustrated by UPS and its standardization on Bendix’s Wingman Safety System upon its fleet of new class 8 tractors. By adopting an all-encompassing safety solution, utilizing numerous safety solutions, UPS is helping to ensure their operators and the public remain safe while also improving productivity through the benefits listed in items 1-4 on this list.
Safety is an issue that every company deals with, especially those with heavy-duty fleets. By addressing safety through a proactive approach, an organization’s return will be far better than dealing with the aftermath of a possibly fatal accident. Keeping your team and the public safe leads to great productivity and protects your bottom line in the long run.
To learn more about how you can improve your fleet’s productivity through safety, contact us here.