Ray Govier, Distribution Manager for Hanson Cement, part of the Heidelberg Cement Group. We are a leading supplier of heavy building materials to the UK construction industry; we are continually looking to enhance our Health and Safety record. We take the safety of our people and assets as well as members of the public very seriously and are striving to continually improve through the use of technology.
As a company we are proud of our fleet and are aware that this is the face of our business that the public see whilst out on the roads of the UK. We replace our tractor units currently every 4 years to ensure we are keeping up with the technology that the manufacturers are fitting so that we can give our drivers the best equipment possible to operate. All of our fleet is maintained in-house in our own workshops and so we are sure that all of our vehicles not only meet the DVSA standards but our maintenance teams have the freedom to trial and suggest technology that can be retrofitted to our vehicles to make them safer on the roads for both the driver as well as members of the public, and in particular vulnerable road users.
The latest innovation that we trialled and are now fitting to all of our tanker fleet is an LED’s pulse driven lighting system. All lighting on the tanker is LED and thus is much brighter and longer life than standard bulbs, not only this but the wiring is self-contained and can be added to by simply plugging a new or additional lamp where needed. This has been particularly beneficial when we need to fit working lamps for drivers when they are discharging during off-peak / night time deliveries. The lighting system is set up to allow all of the side running lights on the trailer to be flashing when the direction indicator is operated, this then gives a greater area of lighting to show that the vehicle is making a turn. This is also coupled to a flashing cycle sign on the rear nearside of the trailer which warns cyclists, as well as motorists that the vehicle is turning left. This sign will only illuminate during a left turn and under 25mph, ensuring that in an urban environment the drivers intentions are known. All vehicles are also fitted with the “vehicle turning left” announcement.
“All lighting on the tanker is LED and thus is much brighter and longer life than standard bulbs”
We are aware of the number of incidents and fatalities that involve cyclists and LGV’s and are all saddened when we receive notification of these. This then focuses the minds of the management team and always raises the question of “what else can we do to improve safety”. All of our tanks have side under-run protection; however these are just the standard rails that are mounted on the side of the tanker. We have taken the decision to in-fill these rails with a smooth plate in order to take away the risk of anyone being caught between the rails, this filled in side would push a cyclist away rather than trap them or at worse pull them under the vehicle.
“The company’s attention to fleet safety equipment and innovative use of technology impressed the panel of industry judges, who said the entry ‘demonstrated a thorough and rigorous approach to all areas of tanker safety”
We are proud to have received the Tanker Safety award at the 2014 Tank-Ex / Tip-Ex show in Harrogate for the way Hanson Cement identified and successfully addressed two key safety issues on its new dual-purpose suction and discharge tanker: protecting vulnerable road users; and developing a solution that would enable the tanker to be operated whilst the tractor unit is switched off and locked. The company’s attention to fleet safety equipment and innovative use of technology impressed the panel of industry judges, who said the entry ‘demonstrated a thorough and rigorous approach to all areas of tanker safety, not just addressing cycle safety, going above and beyond current requirements’.