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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Kier collaborates with ergonomic specialists to create safer traffic management truck

Kier Highways has collaborated with vehicle conversion specialist, Massey Truck Engineering and ergonomic specialists from the Royal Navy and the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF) to design a new traffic management vehicle that is more than 20 times safer than the current fleet.

The design of the new truck means that Kier has eliminated 21 day-to-day hazards, including safe stowage of road cones, sign frames, sign plates and access and egress to body area by designated steps. The 18t truck, which will be on the road by January 2022, will be sustainable and use hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 90%.

The low entry cab vehicle allows access and exit from either side avoiding the live side of traffic. All ancillary controls are accessed from a one-touch command tablet, making it easier and safer for the driver to control the vehicle.

The Royal Navy and the CIHEHF were commissioned to investigate how operatives undertook tasks using the current fleet, and how the design and ergonomics influenced their actions and behaviours as part of a business-wide human and organisational factors safety programme.

Joe Incutti, Kier Highways group manging director, said: “We believe these traffic management vehicles are the next generation of fleet that increase safety but also improve the welfare of operatives by reducing the amount of time spent working on the rear of the vehicle exposed to the elements.

“We will also be running the vehicle on more sustainable HVO fuel, while reviewing alternative fuels that will meet our 2030 net zero ambitions when available.”

Trials of the vehicle have concluded and it will be used on the road network from January with 24 joining the Kier fleet in 2022.

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