Saturday 20 April 2013

Biting bloodied lips

Tipper lorries can be weapons, and HGV drivers kill. We were starkly reminded of that again recently [for example BBC]. Well, this sort of tragedy happens far too often, but why's nothing done?

New Civil Engineer 18 April 2013The tipper lorry is a construction site vehicle. The civil engineering and construction industry prides itself in their positive and proactive health and safety culture. Or so I (as a civil engineer) have been told. I still see "near misses" (whatever these mystical things are) on site. Negligence and 'looking the other way' does happen.

The message for on-site construction traffic is actually very clear. Strictly segregate [their words] vehicles and pedestrians on a construction site. And one-way traffic systems are much preferred. All deaths and major injury has to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive or HSE - government's H&S watchdog - for further investigation and possible prosecution.

All that makes sense. Yet when it comes to off-site measures and behaviour it's an entirely different story. It's not the construction industry's responsibility any more. This is why SeeMeSaveMe calls for the HSE to include reporting of incidents involving construction firm vehicles when on public roads within the Construction Design and Management (CDM) regulations.

To continue the slap in the face of ordinary people going about their everyday business (walking and cycling), here's what the New Civil Engineer (the weekly voice of the Institution of Civil Engineers) this week had to say about the tragic killing of Katherine Giles.
Title "Construction trucks face cycle safety law threat"
And the first sentence reads "Construction this week faced the threat of tough legislation forcing it to ensure HGVs are fitted with cycle safety equipment following the death of cyclist Katherine Giles last week."

Say no more, civil engineering! Says it all. No real health and safety ethos, only lip service. What remains is your angst about reputation and profit loss.

1 comment:

  1. On ours sites, we don't just have segregation for the traffic, we now also have a reverse parking rule.

    I scoffed at first, but on reflection is rather sensible. The idea being that there is less chance of a pedestrian being in the parking space as you enter it, but more chance of them being in the road as you exit. So it is far safer to be going forwards and have far increased vision when you are leaving.