With deadlines to meet, customers to please, and budgets that can often be tight at best, safety can easily take a back seat to cheaper, faster short-cuts. Anyone who has ever dealt with the aftermath of an on-the-job accident or fatality will be the first to attest that not only should safety be in the front seat, it should be the driver.
When it comes to fleet safety, technology giveth and it taketh away. The good news for fleet managers trying to improve safety is that with fleet telematics becoming more available and less expensive, capturing all manner of fleet operations data is becoming vastly easier. But as technology makes life easier in one dimension, it creates new challenges as managers assemble teams to improve fleet safety.
In the past decade, telematics devices have become common place in company vehicles and fleets. Less common however is employee understanding on why their driving is being monitored. Often, employees are under the assumption that someone is constantly looking over their shoulder, just waiting for them to make a mistake.
The European Union has a special name for certain parties who share highways and streets across the continent. They are the VRUs: vulnerable road users. These pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists account for almost 50 percent of Europeans injured or killed each year in accidents involving vehicles—and 28 percent of those injured or killed in large truck crashes. More than half of these large truck incidents take place at low speeds. In Germany alone this year, more than 20 cyclists have been killed by right-turning trucks alone. The numbers are predicted to grow as governments across Europe promote walking and biking over driving and as more urban construction projects begin.
New highway regulations in Texas have fleet managers looking for ways to equip specific heavy haul trucks with roll-stability systems and blind spot protection. The new regulations, as laid out in Texas Senate Bill 1524, address heavier oversize and overweight intermodal vehicles that carry oceangoing or international trade containers within 30 miles of a port of entry or international bridge. SB 1524 mandates that roll-stability systems and blind spot protection be installed on these vehicles as a precondition of receiving an operating permit from the Texas Department of Transportation.
Most people enjoy receiving incentives. Buy groceries at the store and pay lower gas prices at the pump through a rewards program. Stop smoking, start exercising, and watch your health care premiums drop. The question a lot of companies are asking, though, is can this same approach work to improve work site safety. And, if so, how do incentives work in an increasingly data-driven world?
Millennials are now the largest generation in the American workforce, and with the Boomer population aging into retirement, they will quickly be taking over positions of management and leadership in all trades. This handoff between generations can often be a shaky one, simply because of the difference in life-experience—it’s not uncommon for the older generation to write-off or displace the younger generation as lazy, rebellious, or entitled. However, Millennials are quickly proving themselves to be not only ready to take charge, but to do it in safer, more efficient ways than past generations.
The world would come to a grinding halt without utility workers and the companies they work for. With all utility companies and workers have to worry about, safety priorities for vehicles and drivers have a tendency to get pushed down the list.
Radar sensors are quickly becoming a part of many people’s daily commute to and from work. From Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) to Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) to Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), radar sensors are moving from luxury to economy models of consumer vehicles. There are now over a million of these sensors being produced annually. Because of this widespread automotive usage, medium- and heavy-duty industries are adopting radar sensors for their blind spot monitoring and collision avoidance needs, too.
The waste and recycling collection industry is a necessity for modern day life. It is also one of the most dangerous. In fact, the waste and recycling industry is the 5th most dangerous occupation in the United States. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), workers in solid waste collection were also in the top three job classifications to have the highest number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses, most caused by overexertion, being struck-by, striking against, or being compressed in equipment.