Collaborative approach to help tackle blind spot issue

Closer collaboration between all levels of the plant and construction supply chain could hold the answer to removing blind spots that cause numerous injuries and fatalities every year.

L to R: Peter Spillard, Jason Dobson (both Spillard Safety Systems), Brian Hume (Balfour Beatty) and Steve Jarvis (BAM).
L to R: Peter Spillard, Jason Dobson (both Spillard Safety Systems), Brian Hume (Balfour Beatty) and Steve Jarvis (BAM).

This became apparent during a debate involving plant hire firms, vehicle manufacturers and major civil engineering and construction companies, who gathered for the recent launch of Spillard Safety Systems’ latest objection detection system

More than 30 people attended the unveiling of VCAS 300 and were given the opportunity to engage in discussion about how the sector can improve safety at sites across the UK, as well as provide feedback on the new technology.

Delegates from Balfour Beatty; BAM; Morgan Sindall, and GAP agreed that a more joined-up approach was needed to improve operator visibility, including better driver training; efficient installation processes; a willingness to pay more for advanced equipment, and longer warranties.

Managing director of Spillard Safety Systems, Peter Spillard explained: “It’s very rare that you get so many tiers of the supply chain in one place at the same time.

“The demonstration of VCAS 300 and our blind spot mat really got people talking openly about the issue, and how industry can play its part in reducing injuries and fatalities that occur due to poor visibility.”

Spillard has spent more than £30,000 and hundreds of hours on R&D in enhancing VCAS 300 to include a number of new features, such as a 4-metre vision field, warning lights for each main sensor for quicker identification of possible objects, and a new ultrasonic tip sensor.

VCAS Launch (Group) LBosses at the West Midlands-based firm expect sales to reach more than £350,000 in its first year, with interest already secured from the plant industry, highways and civil construction sectors.

The managing director added: “We tasked our experts to come up with adaptable technology that could include extra speech alerts or warnings.

“There is also a night silent function, seatbelt warning, an even deeper viewing field (extended by 2 metres), an inclinometer to warn when a vehicle has reached its recommended inclination, and a trio of warning lights to immediately tell you where the danger is located.”

These advancements aim to help remove even more blind spots and increase awareness on construction site dumpers, which will hopefully mean fewer deaths on site and aid firms in reducing insurance premiums.