When Carl Stephenson arrived for his night shift job as an Impact Protection Vehicle driver one rainy November evening, he little expected to wake up in hospital the following day.
His job involves driving a warning vehicle that follows behind road maintenance crews as they carry out essential works to dual carriageways and motorways in the Lowestoft area. Luckily for him, his vehicle was fitted with all essential safety devices and a lorry mounted crash cushion.
Crash cushions for IPV driver safety
The truck that collided into the back of his IPV wasn’t paying attention and didn’t even notice the flashing lights on the bright neon safety arrow prominently displayed on the back of Carl's lorry.
However, Carl was fortunate to suffer just whiplash injuries in the crash, which could have been much worse, even fatal, had his IPV not been fitted with a lorry mounted crash cushion. Other road workers are not so lucky, sadly fatalities and serious injuries are an occupational hazard for workers repairing the UK's busy network of motorways and roads.
Safety for road workers in the UK
There were 26 worker fatalities caused by moving vehicles in the year 2017/18.
(http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/fatalinjuries.pdf). More than 4,000 road workers operate on UK roads in an occupation that's rated the 16th most hazardous UK job occupation.
It's clear that more awareness needs to be raised surrounding the safety of road maintenance workers. There are an array of road barrier systems and mobile traffic products than can aide in preventing accidents or protecting workers if an accident occurs, more people need to be aware of these solutions.
How a lorry mounted crash cushion works
Lorry mounted crash cushions are designed to protect maintenance trucks, road work forces and vehicles from damage caused by vehicle impact in the course of highway works.
They work by absorbing the energy generated by an impact and cut the risk of injuries to the occupants of both vehicles, as well as reducing or preventing any damage to the maintenance vehicle.
Lorry mounted crash cushions also help control incidents and minimise the risks of any secondary crash or accident.
Partnering lorry mounted crash cushions with light arrows and sign boards increases the safety of the products by giving road users clear signs of approaching lane closures. These type of mobile traffic products are a great way to prepare traffic following for an upcoming obstruction.
Safety testing for mobile traffic products
Approved lorry mounted crash cushions need to undergo rigorous safety tests from the Highway Authority to meet the requirements of the sector in the UK and overseas. Choosing equipment that is safety tested is an important factor for any company involved in road maintenance and repair services.
For more information about testing requirements visit download here: http://www.standardsforhighways.co.uk/ha/standards/dmrb/vol8/section4/td4907.pdf
Highway Care: manufacturer, supplier, installer and maintainer of mobile traffic products
Highway Care is synonymous for offering innovative, safety solutions and products within the field of road maintenance and mobile traffic management systems. We're proud of the work we undertake to constantly develop our road barrier systems and mobile traffic products in order to ensure highway workforce and motorist safety is always the priority.
Contact us today to take a look at our lorry mounted crash cushion – the Safe Stop 90™ HD and our other mobile traffic products.