Commercial waste management firm DCW has introduced the Reaclear reversing safety aid to its fleet.
The device, from vehicle technology specialists Innovative Safety Systems Ltd (ISS), has been installed on two of the company's 26-tonne refuse collection vehicles to improve safety when reversing.
DCW, which collects mixed waste from its clients in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, is the first business in Devon to install the technology.
DCW managing director Simon Almond said: 'As a company, our first priority is the safety of employees, pedestrians and other road users.
'Our crews make collections across the south-west in varied locations, including business parks, construction sites, high streets and rural areas, where drivers frequently perform highly skilled manoeuvres in tight and busy spaces.
'A number of our larger vehicles already feature ISS 360° camera systems, which improve the driver's road visibility and Reaclear is a perfect addition to further enhance safety.
'Our crews operate with an HSE-recommended on-foot reversing assistant, who carries the Reaclear handset to let the driver know when it is safe to reverse.
'Unlike systems that react to danger during reversing, Reaclear ensures that the vehicle doesn't even begin to reverse until it is safe. The system even reports any unauthorised reversing to our traffic manager for review. I've been impressed with its simplicity and effectiveness and we plan to install it on all our crewed vehicles in the coming months'
The Reaclear system is made up of a hand-held device that houses a speaker and transmitter. The hand-held unit is carried on-foot by a reversing assistant and has a button that must be pressed before the vehicle is allowed to reverse. If the button is not pressed while the vehicle's reverse is engaged, an in-cab alarm sounds to alert the driver to stop.
The system also enables two-way communication between the driver and reversing assistant to avert potential risks.
ISS National Sales Manager Mike Crowther added: 'DCW is committed to running a safe fleet and adopting Reaclear is a major step in preventing any potential reversing accidents.
'Around a quarter of deaths at work involving a vehicle occur during reversing. Our customers asked us to look at the problem and come up with a solution. Reaclear is the result of years of research and development and it's been thoroughly tested in the market place.
'We are confident it has the capacity to significantly reduce, or eliminate altogether, reversing accidents in the waste sector'