Blind spots occur both internally and externally around workplace premises and can be a serious threat to life for both drivers of vehicles and pedestrians if ignored. There are several ways to increase safety and visibility of blind spots through the implementation of equipment and technology, which can ultimately save a life. Here we will discuss just some methods for identifying and eliminating blind spots in the workplace.

Identifying blind spots for vehicles

All vehicles, from cars, lorries and trucks to forklifts and caddies, have blind spots that are difficult to expose. Side and rear-view mirrors do not offer 360-degree coverage, so other vehicles can be out of a driver’s vision during an overtaking manoeuvre. This can often cause drivers to miss pedestrians walking behind a vehicle or bump into stationary objects.

A Department of Transport report[1] has found that pedestrians, motorcyclists, and pedal cyclists are considered vulnerable road users making up 26%, 20% and 6% respectively of all road casualties. When looking to blind spots as a contributory factor, researchers found that, in a year’s worth of HGV accidents, while only 5% of those accidents occurred in the front blind spot, the accidents nevertheless accounted for a huge 30% of the fatalities.

Eliminating blind spots for vehicles

A way to expose blind spots are with the use of reversing sensors, cameras, mirrors, and alarms that are often installed in smart cars to alert the driver of hazards. However, many workplaces use large trucks and lorries, meaning larger blind spots to be vigilant about.

Another way to eliminate blind spots for drivers in and around the workplace is by creating a traffic control plan. Where possible within car parks, warehouses, and other high traffic areas, create separate paths for pedestrians and equipment with clearly marked travel directions. Spotters are also a good way to observe the danger zones with constant radio contact with drivers to reduce the risk of a collision. Pedestrians and vehicles alike should also be highly visible, with high visibility PPE worn by workers and flashing warning lights applied to vehicles.

Increasing blind spot visibility around the workplace

Much the same as normal roads, pedestrians often have the right of way in and around the workplace premises. If your workplace uses forklift trucks or similar vehicles, operators should keep focused on the direction that the vehicle is moving, with new drivers being trained to learn the heavy traffic areas, and hazards around the premises.

In addition, mirror safety is effective as an additional precaution; driveways, carparks and building corners are spots where safety mirrors can be effectively used to improve safety. Use convex mirrors or half dome, full dome, or quarter dome mirrors around the internal and external facility where sharp corners and bends occur that would otherwise be a blind spot. There are a variety of safety mirrors from Reece Enterprise which depending on the angle of the building, can allow for a wider view to ensure safety and lower the risk of collision while driving or walking.

Where applicable, these measures should be introduced and used in and around the workplace to increase the safety of workers and drivers, with the investment in precautions making the workplace safer.