In 1799, French army engineers discovered the Rosetta Stone, a slab of rock that created a revolution in archeology by helping Egyptologists crack the code of hieroglyphics. Today’s modern fleet owners, insurers, and government officials would love to come across a similar tell all to help them crack the code of vehicle crash costs. Instead, they are faced with a dizzying array of agencies, measurement standards, and definitions that make it nearly impossible to answer a critical, but complex, question: How much, on average, does it cost when the operator of a fleet vehicle gets into a crash with another person or thing?
The occurrence of accidents happening with equipment whose radar based object detection systems have been disabled are on the rise. Though many workers and operators feel they can rely on passive equipment like camera/monitor combos and mirrors to guide them on a worksite active systems, like PRECO’s PreView® Radar technology, is the only viable way for an operator to be truly aware of their surroundings.
Anytime large vehicles occupy the same space as pedestrians and bicyclists, bad things can happen. When a fatality occurs, it is usually because an individual falls into the exposed space along the sides of high-clearance trucks and get crushed beneath the rear wheels. On construction and mining sites, companies are able to limit the interactions between people and trucks. On the average road or city street, though, such control is virtually impossible. The combination of truck blind spots and distracted driving, walking, and even bicycling is a recipe for disaster. For decades, many countries have had ordinances in place that require large vehicles to be equipped with side guards covering this open space along the sides of vehicles. Only in the last few years have these ordinances started to appear in cities across the U.S., but there is growing momentum.
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.
Following a recent tradeshow, conversations revolved around street sweepers and the hazards that come with them. In an effort to highlight the safety issues that are associated with this common piece of equipment, we wanted to take a moment to draw attention to the safety solutions that are available.
Safety is expensive. Without it, a single accident could be enough to bring down an entire company. Properly enforced, it comes with recurring costs for training, equipment, and extending time on the job to make sure it’s done the right way without cutting corners. Either way, money will be spent. This begs the question: when does it make the most sense to spend money on safety?
A study published in Journal of Accounting and Economics came to a conclusion that won’t surprise many people in heavy-duty industries: When you try to meet or beat earning expectations or reach other lofty financial goals, employee safety can suffer. How can managers solve this three-dimensional chess game of being fiscally responsible while ensuring the highest standards of safety? With ever-increasing pressure on profitability, it can be a very tough nut to crack.
“If managers believe that the firm may miss expectations under the ordinary course of business,” the study reports, “they may increase employees’ workloads or pressure them to work faster. In response, employees can compromise safety by overexerting themselves or by circumventing safety procedures that slow the flow of work. Second, managers may cut explicit and implicit safety costs, such as the costs of maintaining equipment and training employees, in their attempts to report higher earnings.”
PRECO’s PreView Sentry™ Plus received the 2017 Commercialized Innovation of the Year Award, a category of the Idaho Innovation Awards. These awards recognize innovations, innovative professionals and companies for their groundbreaking accomplishments. As this year’s award recipient, PRECO’s PreView Sentry Plus was selected for the intelligent technology that combines heavy-duty collision avoidance technology with an integrated radar and camera monitor system.
PRECO’s team is committed to making worksites and roadways safer for operators of heavy-duty equipment and those around them. This award recognizes that unwavering commitment. We are seeing unprecedented growth around the globe. The adoption of PRECO’s intelligent safety solutions saves lives, allows operators to become more efficient, and saves money for our customers and partners.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released a new two-year “Most Wanted” wish list for 2017-18 that puts distractions and tired driving at the top of ten pressing safety issues to improve.
NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart said that the list's new two-year cycle will “help to focus our advocacy efforts on sustained progress. We will take stock at the one-year mark, note what progress has been made, and decide what additional improvements are needed.”
There is a safety arms race in progress. Advances in collision mitigation technology are being undermined by advances in personal technology that distract heavy-duty operators and people on the ground from noticing potentially dangerous situations.
Who knows what will happen in 2017, but we are hopeful that by the end of the year we will be closer to the time when man and machine are able to ensure every worker makes it home safely. When they do, we might be able to put a stop to—or at least slow down—the safety arms race.