Dale Hessing serves as the chief technology officer for Preco Electronics, Inc., based in Boise, Idaho. He has been working in high-tech electronics for over 20 years, and he is credited with research and development of new blind-spot awareness technology as well as the avionics design and development of new aircraft platforms.
1. Inventory tools and their functions.
-A back-up alarm warns people who are in danger outside the vehicle.
-A camera/monitor extends the driver's view behind the vehicle.
-An object detection system warns the driver of people or objects in the blind spot.
2. Learn each tool's limitations.
-A back-up alarm only works if people pay attention to it.
-A camera only works when the driver is looking at the monitor.
-An object-detection sensor notifies the driver of danger, but does not show the driver what is in the blind spot.
3. Determine if any tools need an upgrade.
-Is your object-detection sensor capable of triggering the back-up alarm?
-Can you overlay the object-detection indicators on your existing camera monitor to reduce cab clutter?
-Can the object-detection system use the sound from the camera's monitor, or will you need a separate buzzer?
4. Educate employees on safety tools.
-When combining technologies, make sure your employees know how the components work together. Also, inform your OSHA compliance officer of any changes (for example, when the nonstop beeping ends, he may assume you are not in compliance).
-Train employees and explain how the indicators on the screen relate to the object's distance from the vehicle. Use cones to show distances during training.
-Ask safety equipment vendors for training videos on new products, and show the videos during safety meetings.
Construction Business Owner , September 2011