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Why more construction companies are turning to tracking devices and cameras to ensure employee safety

If you have been keeping up to date with construction news over recent months, you will have undoubtedly noticed the increased level investment of vehicle safety cameras and tracking systems.

Groundworks and Formworks company, Mabey Hire, are the latest company to announce the installation of cameras and tracking devices to all 39 of their new fleet vehicles, with transport manager Stephen Tooby insisting that the £1.3m investment “incorporates a substantial investment in Mabey Hire’s ongoing commitment to exemplary Health and Safety standards.”

Mr Tooby also points out that the decision has been made with the intention of providing customers with accurate information, including expected delivery times.

At the end of last month, major contractor Skanska also introduced a policy that all new plant on its UK construction sites will now be fitted with visibility cameras and the pledge that all existing plant must meet that standard by the end of October this year.
Executive Vice President of Skanska UK, Greg Craig, said: “Like many innovations and improvements they take us a step closer to achieving zero accidents.”

Greg also highlighted the heightened priority of safety within the industry as a whole, adding: “The introduction of this technology is part of our continuing commitment to developing new standards that help to make sites as safe as possible, across the industry.”

So where has this industry’s increased focus on safety come from?

The construction sector’s improved stance on health and safety is nothing new. The Construction Regulations 1996 laid out a wide range of safety measures aimed at issues such as preventing falls and safe methods for demolition. In 2007 came another set of Construction Regulations with the primary aim of ensuring health and safety considerations were to be treated as a normal part of a project’s development, rather than an afterthought. 

Although statistics are improving year on year, the UK construction industry lost 42 employees through fatal injury in the year 2013/2014, with 14% of these fatalities arising from being struck a moving vehicle or coming into contact with machinery. A further 1900 people were injured over the same period.

Not only is this emotionally devastating for family, friends and colleagues, but the improvement of safety levels could also save employers millions in compensation pay-outs, should the unthinkable occur.

Luckily we now live in an age where common sense is becoming ever more prevalent among construction workers and with the help of regulations and of all the latest technology; we are witnessing a steady decrease in accidents. Vehicle cameras on-site give Plant Managers the power to monitor the activity of vehicles, machinery and plant, ensuring that the health and safety of employees and the people around them is kept at the forefront of daily duties and obligations.

With a stroke of luck, businesses across the globe will soon realise the potential of fitting plant and machinery with high quality cameras, contributing to a rapid fall in unacceptable death and injury statistics.

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