Convenience for drivers and maximum safety for everyone
Interview with Pierre Duz, health and safety manager for the Group’s Rhône Alpes – Auvergne branch.
What are the defining features of activities at your concrete plants?
Pierre Duz: Our 15 sites produce and deliver ready-to-use concrete by mixer trucks to our clients, public buildings, engineering companies and individuals. Day-to-day, our operations involve high levels of simultaneous activity between technicians and large technical equipment. Our Caterpillar or Volvo loaders, for example, have a 2m3 bucket, which also has a blade, and weigh around twenty tonnes. Whether it’s loading hoppers or scraping the ground to clear it, these loaders are operating surrounded by employees (plant managers, quality technicians, maintenance technicians) and clients (individuals coming to request a quote, drivers collecting their company’s order etc.).
What are the consequences of all this?
Pierre Duz: Constant risk. That’s even higher during busy periods and exacerbated by the pressure on drivers. From up in their driver’s cab, they have to survey the environment whilst taking blind spots into account and completing the task in hand. Until now, there wasn’t really any device that genuinely relieved any of this stress: simple cameras meant drivers had to be glued to the screen, and reversing radars just beep constantly and drivers get used to them. We haven’t had any personal injuries, but we have had several collisions involving a loader and where trucks could have been seriously damaged.
What was the trigger that made you want to try something else?
Pierre Duz: One such collision in 2014, that was more serious than the others. So we decided to try the Blaxtair at our Port Edouard Hérriot plant in Lyon. The drivers found its pedestrian detection feature instantly made driving during busy periods easier, but they were also impressed with the excellent image quality when light conditions were poor. This summer, we fitted the device onto 5 of our machines and will do the same with our upcoming renewals too. This is a strong decision taken by the management, who know the risks and who are convinced that Blaxtair is the only pedestrian detection solution effective and robust enough to operate in difficult working conditions such as ours.