Refuse vehicles get insurance safety upgrades07 December 2011

Cheshire East Council's new fleet of RCVs (refuse collection vehicles) has been fitted with 360° hard disk recording camera systems, reversing radar, LED strobes and front and rear-facing LED light-boards.

Murray Halse, fleet manager for Cheshire East, explains that the investment is part of a bid to mitigate insurance claims and provide evidence to counter complaints against crews. The safety technology has all been supplied and installed by vehicle safety firm Innovative Safety Systems.

"We looked at a number of companies, but we were impressed by ISS' approach, service levels and products," says Halse.

"The equipment is high quality, robust and reliable, and will give us longevity. It has been installed to integrate well with the daily operations of the vehicles and there are no complaints from our crews," he adds.

Meanwhile,. Ray Skipp, waste and recycling manager for Cheshire East Council, says: "These new safety features have been welcomed by our crews and the unions. Previously, if a claim was made for damage to property or an allegation against a member of staff, we had no way to validate the claim without independent witnesses. Now we have a record of what really happened."

And he emphasises: "Feedback from our crews shows that, far from feeling spied upon, they feel more secure in the knowledge that they can work with improved safety and without being at the mercy of false accusations."

Cheshire East is the third largest unitary authority in the North West, after Manchester and Liverpool, with a population of more than 360,000 people.

John Challen

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