The National Asphalt Pavement Association has named Denver’s Brannan Cos. a finalist for a 2012 Asphalt Operations Safety Innovation Award. The company was recognized July 15 at a ceremony during the association’s midyear meeting in Boston.
The award recognizes companies that develop innovative ideas or achieve practical outcomes leading to improved worker safety in a roadway, plant site or quarry, and whose safety practices go above and beyond normal safety practices.
Brannan Cos. won the award for designing a safety mirror to help drivers see directly in front of large trucks, particularly tractor trailer and tandem vehicles. While having mirrors on the front hood is common practice in the industry, it is mainly to help drivers with blind spots to the left and right of the truck.
“We noticed that the big trucks didn’t have any forward-facing mirrors that would give visibility to the front of the truck,” said Gerardo Orozco, Brannan’s health and risk manager. “Drivers can’t see something smaller out front when they’re sitting up on that seat. You can see further out, but you can’t see directly in front of the truck.”
Within two weeks of having this safety mirror installed, one driver avoided what could have been a deadly accident. While on site at a residential job, the driver temporarily lost track of a child and parent walking nearby. Before the driver pulled out, she looked in her new mirror and saw the child walking right in front of her truck.
“Even if it saves one life, that’s enough,” Orozco said.
All the company’s existing and new fleet drivers must review and sign the company’s policy regarding the mirror, stating they will report any damage or problems with the device.
“It specifies as part of maintenance that if the mirror is moved or is off to the side and they’re negligent with it, then they are reprimanded for it,” Orozco said. “It makes them realize we take it seriously and that they need to be using that mirror for what it’s there for.”
The mirror has even garnered interest from others in the industry and community, such as bus drivers, said Fred Marvel, vice president of business development.