The waste and recycling collection industry is a necessity for modern day life. It is also one of the most dangerous. In fact, the waste and recycling industry is the 5th most dangerous occupation in the United States. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), workers in solid waste collection were also in the top three job classifications to have the highest number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses, most caused by overexertion, being struck-by, striking against, or being compressed in equipment.
Backing and rear-end collisions are the most common causes of injury and equipment damage. A common reason preventable struck-by accidents happen in the solid waste and recycling industry is that active safety technology is not installed or used.
Blind spot accidents, whether it includes hitting a parked or moving car, or even a pedestrian or bicyclist, are costly. Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shows that the average cost of a waste collection truck accident that results in an injury is approximately $97,000. It has also been found that the average cost of a heavy-duty vehicle accident that results in a fatality is $3,895,843. In addition to the monetary costs, productivity slows or even halts due to damage to equipment, property, and the emotional toll on the worker.
By integrating active and passive safety solutions, operators achieve the best of both worlds. Radar/vision fusion provides an object detection solution with both audible and visual alerts to actively notify an operator of potential collision danger. Regardless of where the operator’s attention is directed, if an object or person is in the vehicle’s blind spot, the system alerts the operator, and the operator is able to react before a potential accident occurs.
Active warning systems rely on sensor technology, such as object detection radar, to identify the potential danger. As soon as an object is detected, the operator receives an alert. The alert gives them the opportunity to identify the potential threat using the vision system, and then take appropriate action.
With the ultimate goal of eliminating rear blind spots and providing greater visibility of the rear and sides of waste and recycling trucks, blind spot monitoring systems help to reduce the risk of injury and equipment or property damage. Here’s a quick look at where blind spot monitoring sensors can be installed on waste and recycling trucks. Please note, there are other options as it applies to the work environment and needs.