HGV blind spots: considerations you may not have ‘seen’

Risk assessing the routes HGVs take across your site involves evaluating different weather conditions and times of the day, then responding decisively to avoid or manage HGV blind spots.

A third of road traffic accidents in the UK involve someone who is working, according to the Work-Related Road Safety Task Group. Suggesting a horrific total of 20 deaths and 250 serious injuries every week, linked to someone doing their job.

These figures illustrate how urgent it is to increase the safety standards applied to all on and off-road vehicles used for commercial purposes. Including finding ways to prevent accidents related to HGV blind spots.

Have you heard of UNECE Regulation 46, which governs aspects of vehicle design? It is based on safety principles developed by Loughborough University. By 2029, this will be the standard applied to all HGVs sold in Europe. It fundamentally changes the minimum amount of direct vision that HGV designs must include.

(Direct vision is facilitated largely by window size, whereas indirect vision is provided by mirrors fitted to vehicles.)

This new vehicle design standard will save an estimated 550 lives annually, across Europe.

In the meantime, there are clearly steps employers must take to support HGV drivers, and enhance both direct and indirect vision. Particularly in premises that require them to navigate around structures and pedestrians not normally present on open roads.

This is our guide to things you may be overlooking when considering HGV blind spots.

Think HGV 24/7

No matter how well trained HGV drivers are, there are times when their skills are put to the test, especially around busy warehouse environments. A risk assessment must cover potential risks – and blind spots – throughout the working day, and year!

Some measures are obvious, such as using safety products to segregate pedestrians and vehicles. However, you also need to consider those brief moments when people or structures aren’t covered by direct or indirect vision. Something that can happen not just due to the position of the vehicle, but also environmental factors such as poor light, or even sudden bursts of sunlight.

Eventualities and factors that could create a vision deficit also include:

• Pillars where vehicles reverse, which are not clear when it’s dark and raining.
• Low walls below window level for HGV cabs and out of mirror view.
• People or structures off-centre, directly to the left or right, and obscured by the cab frame.
• Situations and structures behind HGVs, not apparent or clear in mirrors when reversing.

Awareness, then action

Making drivers and employees aware of potential blind spots on your site, and possibly changing the areas in which HGVs operate, is just part of the solution.

You also need to source safety products that manage blind spots. Which is something BrandSafe is highly experienced in.

What sort of installations can reduce risks created by HGV blind spots?

Landing plates

HGV Landing Plates need to be high-vis, to help drivers position trailers accurately and safely.

The yellow high-grade polymer in our plates also protects the concrete surfaces, which can erode due to heavy-duty movement and loading activities. However, it’s vital to specify landing plates that have chamfered edges, and that can be installed easily but seamlessly. This ensures that your HGV directional aids don’t become a trip hazard!

Wheel guides

HGV Cranked Dock Wheel Guides and straight dock wheel guides are another inexpensive and easy way to assist HGVs to manoeuvre confidently and safely.

Our wheel guides – in a choice of height options – have vibrant yellow nose cones to improve driver visibility. As well as being a way to protect vehicle wheel trims while HGV’s park on raised level loading docks.

Column guards, Armco barriers and more

Once you’ve drilled down on products for loading bay protection, there are more ways to safeguard people and structures. For example, fitting wraps to posts and columns to absorb impact or adding Armco safety barriers to approach roads.

Flexible bollards and delineators keep HGVs travelling along routes where visibility is more assured.

At the very least, wheel stops can give your drivers a guide to ‘no go’ areas, and clatter bars can warn them of height obstacles they may not see quickly enough.

See the risk, and respond fast

Even a quick glance at our loading bay protection range shows there are robust and reliable ways to mitigate against HGV blind spots in that area of your site. As well as plenty of ways of supporting driver visibility and vehicle risks site-wide.

Armco crash barriers buying guide

Safety equipment on work premises doesn’t get more vital than traffic management systems. Our guide to Armco crash barriers brings you ‘up to speed’ on preventing vehicle accidents.

You might be wondering, what is an Armco barrier? Well, where traffic management and driver safety are crucial – from challenging farmland to major motorways – you are likely to see Armco Crash Barriers. They are an industry-standard thanks to their incredible engineering and superb track record for reducing traffic accident injuries.

As they are the first choice for crash barriers, the big question is, have you got your Armco products placed in enough situations to safeguard drivers on your premises? Also, is this vital traffic safety product configured to keep you compliant with H&S legislation?

Keep in mind crash barriers also protect important structures at your workplace too. This helps you to avoid big repair bills and business interruption. Not to mention vehicle damage repair costs!

To help you ring fence these important safety priorities for the coming year, here are our tips on buying Armco crash barriers.

Site vulnerabilities risk assessment

Armco 1100D 5

To find the best places to install Armco products, you need to think about worst-case scenarios. Gauge where a moment’s distraction or a haphazard incident could put people or property at risk.

Consider environmental factors too, as the weather or time of day can impact visibility. Even low autumn sunlight can blind drivers.

To be honest, it’s wise to invest in crash barriers right along the route traffic takes on your premises. It’s a belt and braces approach to traffic management if you like.

Keep in mind too that the very presence of Armco crash barriers (with their fluorescent yellow accessories) can prevent collisions from occurring. So why not go site-wide?

It can be cost-effective to place large orders of Armco products that match your site’s unique layout, including enough safety ends and cap posts to make your structures streamlined.

Are there alternatives to Armco?

This is the most reliable and respected range of crash barriers and accessories, and to buy alternatives risks compromising on your vital safety targets.

What makes Armco crash barriers stand out is their distinctive and ingenious grooved design. This is expertly engineered to absorb substantial amounts of energy from collisions.

So, despite their simplistic appearance the corrugated steel sections – when installed correctly and pinned with strong posts – are literally life savers. They also minimise vehicle damage.

Why take ‘shortcuts’, when Armco products are a ‘direct route’ to site safety for cars, LGVs, HGVs and off-road vehicles?

Which Armco products are best?

Apart from specifying different heights of Armco crash barriers to create a strategic configuration, there are other ways to adapt this classic safety product to your operational needs.

One of your options include Armco wall mounted safety barriers. These can be installed on brick, block or precast concrete walls, to reduce the damage done by collisions. Our wall-mounted Armco crash barriers include an ImpactSAFE shock absorber, to enhance their performance.

Another highly recommended crash barrier option are the Armco 360 Safety Barriers. The height of these is lower than most other products in this category (360mm) and they have distinctive forklift impact rails.

They do an amazing job in warehouse settings, to help off-road vehicle drivers navigate around confidently and safely.

You can buy accessories to finish off Armco configurations to prevent clothing snagging, scratches or worse injuries, when someone brushes against them

You will find the bright coloured Armco safety ends and safety corners are also a vivid way to avoid anyone tripping over your crash barriers. This ensures crash barriers don’t become a hazard in their own right!

Specifying Armco crash barriers

This crash barriers guide shows that though Armco products are simply the best and fundamental in design, there are numerous decisions to make. If you want your site traffic management and safety record to be flawless.

This is why companies with large or complex sites and approach roads turn to BrandSafe for free advice on Armco crash barrier layouts.

In fact, we can help any organisation to ‘bend’ this long-standing safety product range to their requirements.