Did you know that there are over 2000 bridgestrikes per year in the UK by commercial vehicles, mainly articulated trucks and double deck buses. And that the estimated cost of this problem is £50 million per year.
The key issue is bridgestrike avoidance and now a solution is available, Bridgeclear.
These major Health and Safety incidents are now preventable. Between 2000 and 2003 there were 278 injuries and 2 fatalities in bridgestrike incidents.
The estimated cost of these major health and safety incidents is considerable. It is not unusual for the quantified cost of a bridgestrike to be in the region of tens of thousands of pounds and some have cost well over £100,000. In addition, there are the hidden costs of management time and dissatisfied customers. Total costs can include:
- Charges from Network Rail for bridge and track inspection costs plus any costs to be recovered because of the time that the line was closed.
- Insurance costs, be they an increase in premiums or policy excess costs. Where operators "self-insure" the costs could seriously undermine the business.
- Cost of vehicle / trailer repairs.
- Cost of hiring replacement vehicles/trailers.
- Charges from customers for late or non-delivery of goods.
- Personal injury claims from staff or passengers.
- Management time spent on the Health and Safety review / dealing with the paperwork on the incident
Despite campaigns to improve driver awareness, run by a number of trade organisations and Network Rail, The Health and Safety Executive report that the problem is on the increase. Bridgeclear is an in-cab bridgestrike avoidance system that supports driver awareness by providing reliable bridge information particularly useful when a non-routine journey is being undertaken.
The GPS-based Bridgeclear system provides the driver with a very early visual and audible warning of bridges that are too low for the vehicle to pass safely under. The system informs the driver of the direction, distance and road number that a potentially hazardous bridge is on. The warning is early enough for the driver to take an alternative route so avoiding awkward last minute manoeuvres or at worst collision.