Pedestrian, cyclist safety focus of awareness campaign, Innocon side guards

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Two of Concrete Ontario’s awareness tactics include a blind spot poster (left), which has been distributed to elementary and secondary schools, and a truck sticker that members can post on their trucks advising of the blind spots.
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“The Guardian” was displayed at World of Concrete 2016 on a Granite-bearing London mixer, prominently perched at the Mack Trucks booth in the Las Vegas Convention Center Central Hall.
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Concrete Ontario, previously Ready Mixed Concrete Association of Ontario, has launched a pedestrian and cyclist safety awareness campaign to educate the public on the various blind spots mixer drivers encounter, especially when it comes to persons and vehicles that may be crossing behind or passing the truck.

“This is one of the largest safety campaign initiatives the association and concrete industry have undertaken,” says Director of Marketing and Communications Tom Bellis. “We are confident the campaign will not only raise awareness and educate the public about safety around concrete trucks, but also be used as a universal message regarding safety around all commercial vehicles on the road.”

Created internally by Concrete Ontario and fulfilled by Proforma Instant Promotions, the safety campaign follows months of comprehensive research and tactical execution, coordinated by the association’s Health & Safety and Transportation Committees and supported by all members. Materials utilize graphical elements and color schemes found in common road signage—making simple, easy to read messaging.

The spirit of the campaign carries to the fleet of major Toronto ready mixed operator Innocon Inc., a nearly two-decade old Essroc Cement and Lafarge Canada joint venture. Targeting a key point of potential contact—the right side rear tandem axle—Innocon Fleet Manager Andy Ludwik developed a shield, The Guardian, using an ultra high molecular polyethylene. The material is capable of deflecting a pedestrian or cyclist, and remaining intact.

Ludwik tested a Guardian prototype in early 2015 and soon deployed five more shields to obtain additional driver feedback. The Guardian is paired with a metal pipe that runs from the first rear wheel to the front wheel; both components are intended to prevent cyclists or pedestrians from getting trapped underneath the vehicle. Innocon sources the Guardian and mounting hardware as a kit from an Ontario vendor. The shield and rail pipe are standard on new mixers; a related retrofit for the existing fleet is under way.

Early Guardian-equipped mixers caught the eye of a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News producer, who dispatched a crew for a segment on Innocon’s proactive cyclist and pedestrian safety measures. The shield was likewise front and center at Mack Trucks’ World of Concrete 2016 booth, accompanying a Granite-mounted, 9-meter (12-yd.) London Machinery mixer—one of 12 joining the Innocon fleet in 2016.