Our West of England Project Teams have been working in partnership with the West of England Road Safety Teams from North Somerset Council, Bristol City Councils, South Gloucestershire Council and Bath and North East Somerset Council to develop the Exchanging Places initiative as part of Griffiths commitment to improving the safety of both our workforce and the communities in which we work.
What is Exchanging Places?
Exchanging Places allows cyclists and pedestrians to sit in the driver’s seat of one of Griffiths’ tipper wagons, giving them a real understanding of the views experienced by our drivers. Outside of the vehicle a series of cones are set out that identify the blind spots that drivers cannot see using their mirrors. Within the cab of the tipper wagon one of our experienced drivers talks through the dangers of cycling/walking around the vehicle and begins the Exchanging Places exercise.
The exercise starts with a volunteer (called a “Walker”) standing at the back of the vehicle and in the view of the “driver” via the mirrors. As the Griffiths Instructor talks through various other dangers of large construction vehicles the “walker” makes their way to the first blind spot, approximately 2m out from the passenger door. Our Instructor then asks if the “Driver” can see the “walker”, the response is No and our Instructor opens the passenger door to reveal the “walker” stood in harms way. This continues for 4 more blind spots along the side of and in front of the vehicle.
Each experience lasts around 5 minutes and after the “Driver” can leave the vehicle to see the blind spot area marked on the floor…it is at this point it hits home just how dangerous it is around construction vehicles.
Working with Road Safety Teams
When running an Exchanging Places event we work with the local authority road safety teams to provide further information and guidance on road safety and in particular safety around construction vehicles and construction sites.
Adding that Bit More
Griffiths have also allowed cyclists/pedestrians to sit on our road legal 9t dumpers to show them the dangers of moving around construction vehicles. Of particular importance with movements around dumpers is the fact that pedestrians, cyclists and indeed car owners must avoid pulling in the gap left in front of the dumper as this is a real danger zone. Whilst our dumpers are fitted with a Vehicle Collision Avoidance System to reduce this risk, it is still a high risk area around dumpers.
How to request an Exchanging Places Event
Please email our West of England Public Liaison Officer Jim Aitken firstname.lastname@example.org
“The “Exchanging places” experience proved very popular, and from my own experience of it and others I spoke to, I think everyone learned a lot (scared the hell out of me!) , that was a real eye-opener, it is scary to realise what they cannot see from the cab”
Stefano Marazzi, Rolls Royce
“I wanted to pass on my thanks for Kevin’s’ help yesterday I believe it is Kevin’s delivery of this intervention that makes it work so well – the shock on faces
when they get out of the cab is priceless”
Pamela Williams, Lead Road Safety Education Officer, South Glos Council