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A bucket load of blind spots

Sam Boshier May 20, 2024 10:50:50 AM
Overcoming visibility issues at the the front of a loading shovel

Wheeled loading shovels are commonly used in waste and recycling. But due to their size and bucket, restricted forward visibility is a major problem on these vehicles.

Looking at a CAT 950M Loading shovel – an operator is in charge of a vehicle that’s approx. 8m long and weighs about 19,000 kg. Add to this the use of larger capacity buckets that allow for more to be carried in each load and you’ve got a potentially lethal machine operating on your site.

The HSE highlighted the issue in 2021

In 2021 the HSE issued a safety notice in response to nine loading shovel fatalities in four years.  Six of these were in the waste and recycling sector while the remainder involved wood chip. Poor forward visibility caused some of these fatalities because of the various blind spots created by the bucket (and load).

 As well as fatalities, the sentences and fines are getting harsher, including a £2.15million fine announced this year:

How bad is the blind spot?

The video below shows just how easy it is for a driver not to see a pedestrian. The operator scoops the person up in their bucket and continues with their work, completely unaware they have a person in their bucket.


In fact, we’ve worked out that with a standard size bucket raised at a height of 1.5m, the height that these vehicles commonly drive round site at, the driver, or any roof mounted cameras, wouldn’t see a person until  11m away from the front of the bucket. And even then, it would only be the top of the head of a person 1.5m tall. You wouldn’t see the full person until about 23m from the bucket. That’s nearly a 30m blind spot for the driver in front of their loading shovel.

But let’s consider the larger style waste buckets that are commonplace in waste, or a bucket that is carrying a load, the person would never be seen as the driver’s view and the roof mounted camera's view is blocked by the bucket.


How do we help you overcome the blind spot on a loading shovel?

SiteZone Tags do not need to be ‘seen’ to be detected. The person wearing a tag will be detected even if the driver doesn’t have visibility. And operators tell us this gives them extra reassurance when operating these types of a vehicle.

We also have a specially designed, hardwearing BucketZone Antenna that gets installed close to the bucket itself to give you a 5m detection zone around the bucket.

Talk to us to see how we cover your blind spots.