Busy worksites include a dangerous mix of oversized trucks, service trucks, and people on the ground in constant motion trying to meet deadlines. With all of this activity, operators often focus on an immediate danger or maneuvering without realizing a new hazard has entered their blind zone.
The US Department of Labor has reported that 4,386 work fatalities were investigated in 2014, 20.5% of which were in construction-up 6 percent from 2013. Being struck-by an object was one of the leading causes of these construction worker deaths. According the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, approximately 75% of struck-by fatalities involved heavy equipment.
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All heavy-duty equipment have blind spots. One that isn’t frequently discussed is the concrete mixer. Operators are essentially blind on all sides of the machine, including the front and the rear. While detailed accident information specific to the mixer is difficult to locate, we all know these events take place, whether it be on the jobsite or to/from the jobsite.
For example, in 2014 two people were struck by a concrete mixer in downtown Louisville, KY while the truck was turning. Due to the massive size and weight, being struck-by a mixer can have potentially fatal results.
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Using national incidence data, it has been determined that for each vehicle involved in a construction incident, the average cost is $44,626. To determine the real cost of a blind zone accident, all factors must be taken in to consideration. This includes direct costs, such as worker’s compensation, property damage, and legal free and it also includes indirect costs like production downtime and insurance premiums increases. The intangibles must also be taken into consideration: a company’s goodwill, reputation, and overall employee morale
Every piece of heavy-duty equipment is different. Designed for a specific, and usually logistically complicated tasks, no one-size-fits-all safety package works for every equipment type. By accounting for all of the unique variables associated with a wide range of heavy equipment, proximity detection systems can fill in the gaps and blind zones in safety practices for mixers. By integrating object detection radar with passive technologies (such as a vision system), the ultimate collision mitigation safety solution comes into focus.
Active warning systems rely on sensor technology, such as object detection radar, to identify the potential danger. As soon as an object is detected the operator receives an alert, which gives them the opportunity to identify the potential threat using the vision system and make the appropriate action. Object detection radars can be installed on the rear axle for front and rear loading mixers, as well as both sides of the truck for a more complete safety solution.
Installing proximity detection solutions on concrete mixers will help reduce struck-by accidents and fatalities, keeping a team, fleet and the public safe. Here’s a quick look at where object detection sensors can be installed on a mixer. Please note, there are other options as it applies to the work environment and needs.
|Rear object detection radar|
|Side object detection radar|
Have a question? Feel free to comment below or stop by to see us at the upcoming 2017 World of Concrete in Las Vegas, January 16-20th. While at our booth - #C3340, be sure to have your badge scanned for a chance to win a $100 Cabela’s gift card. We have several other trade shows coming up, including the National Pavement Expo and CONEXPO, so be sure to check out our event calendar for additional opportunities to further discuss.
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