With traffic levels on Britain’s roads reaching record levels and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) traffic identified as the second fastest growing traffic type in recent years, Aggregate Industries is urging more should be done to drive road safety forward in construction.
Official statistics estimate 327 billion vehicle miles were travelled on UK roads during the period of July 2017 to June 2018, which makes for a 2% increase over the last two years; HGV traffic has made up 17.2 billion vehicle miles.
This has created fresh safety concerns, as more vehicles on the roads and more traffic means increased risk – with dangerous lorry driving often at the heart of the highly-publicised road safety issue.
Reports indicate almost a quarter of injuries caused by crashes with HGVs are fatal or serious, compared to a one in eight (13%) car crash average, and that one in three (34%) drivers have had a crash or near miss with a lorry.
In response, some councillors have campaigned for a ban on lorry drivers overtaking, while others have called for the use of satellite navigation systems to be forbidden after a rise in the number of HGVs crashing into low bridges because they ‘followed navigation systems’.
More recently, Highways England announced plans to deploy three new HGV ‘supercabs’ on the roads to spot drivers behaving badly – with lorry drivers being a key target.
Nowhere is this more prevalent than the fast-paced construction industry, where delivery frames are tight, volumes are high and pressures can be great.
For businesses managing vast vehicle operations or haulier networks under increasing deadline pressures, this means it is more important than ever to pay due diligence to vehicle safety protocols.
Ben Young, Head of Road Logistics at Aggregate Industries, commented: “It has never been more important for construction companies to ensure that all vehicle operations, whether in-house or outsourced, are designed to be as rigorous and safe as possible.
“At Aggregate Industries, for example, we operate an incredibly robust approach to the enrolment of our 1,000-plus franchisee drivers, coupled with a holistic maintenance programme.
“Our approach to our ongoing commitment to H&S is just as diligent, whereby we have a team of eight expert compliance managers who work with our franchisee hauliers, covering the length and breadth of the country, in order to promote best practice.
“This includes advice on key safety aspects that are unique to our sector; for example, we recently held sessions on handling frozen aggregate carefully to mitigate the risk of tip-overs and how to limit the risk of slips and trips during the severe winter weather.
“We also use a state-of-the-art telematics system to monitor the driving behaviour and styles of our franchisee hauliers on a daily basis – picking up everything from mileage, speed and fuel consumption.
“Here, certain red flags such as lots of harsh braking, erratic starting and stopping or even a sudden spike in fuel consumption can signal issues that must be addressed.
“It can help us to spot best practice within our haulier community and ensure we are doing all we can to encourage safety on the roads.
“It is this dedication to going the extra mile that inspires customer confidence, especially in an area as important as road safety.”
Asides from monitoring what is happening on the road through telematics, Aggregate Industries adheres to a standard vehicle specification, which franchisee hauliers are required to adopt, that has been designed to protect road users externally.
Through the use of state-of-the-art side scanners, vehicles can detect if a cyclist or pedestrian comes close and will alert the driver accordingly – plus if a driver is preparing to turn left, a high risk area for cyclists, an alert will be sounded for those outside the vehicle.
At this time of a widening housing deficit and ambitious new build targets, there is no doubt that the pressure is on for the construction industry to deliver – and fast.
However, this cannot be done by sacrificing safety, and with growing logistical needs coupled with increased traffic, it becomes more important for businesses, even when outsourcing their transport operations, to make sure that they are adopting best practice at all times and putting safety firmly in the driving seat.
Leading bathroom manufacturer, Geberit, has been announced as a finalist in two categories in the 2020 Builder Merchants Journal (BMJ) Industry Awards.Posted in Articles, Awards, Bathrooms & Toilets, Bathrooms, Bedrooms & Washrooms, Building Industry Events, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Building Services, Drainage, Drainage, Guttering, Soffits & Fascias, Heating Systems, Controls and Management, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning - HVAC, Innovations & New Products, Interiors, Pipes, Pipes & Fittings, Plumbing
Depending on the type of tiles used, the substrate, and its surrounding environment, it is crucial to choose the right tile adhesive for the job; Saint-Gobain Weber explains how to choose the best flexible tile adhesive for each project.Posted in Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Floors, Restoration & Refurbishment, Retrofit & Renovation, Walls
This article sees Aluprof UK Limited’s MD Wojciech Brozyna question the performance of any installed system to meet its specified performance.Posted in Aluminium Products, Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Building Systems, Facades, Restoration & Refurbishment, Retrofit & Renovation, Walls
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in VinylPlus® deciding to host the VinylPlus Sustainability Forum 2020 online; the single day ‘virtual’ event will take place on 15 October 2020.Posted in Articles, Building Industry Events, Building Industry News, Exhibitions and Conferences, Information Technology, news, Seminars, Sustainability & Energy Efficiency, Waste Management & Recycling