Joint study of IESE and Australian university

Truck turntables at construction site entries &
exits reduce accidents

Press Release /

A just-released report shows how to improve safety and reduce traffic disruption on building construction sites.

The key element of the solution is a large turntable that can turn heavy trucks on the spot and therefore reduce maneuvering time and reduce the risk of accidents – with the latter purpose to be underpinned by a scientific study.

The research, undertaken jointly by Australia’s La Trobe University and Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE, demonstrates the significant gains from enforcing only forward vehicle movements when entering or exiting building construction sites.

Chris Stoltz, Professor of Practice and Engineering at La Trobe University, said in Australia vehicle reversing is involved in 46% of fatal incidents involving trucks on worksites.

According to Professor Stoltz, between 2003 and 2012 ten traffic controllers were killed in truck related incidents which are often related to truck reversing. “In addition, 298 members of the public died in work related incidents involving trucks”, Professor Stoltz said. He further stated that “In Great Britain approximately 28 per cent of work-related fatalities involving both workers and members of the public being struck by a moving vehicle were caused by reversing vehicles”.

Dr Dieter Rombach, founding director of Fraunhofer IESE and Professor for Software Engineering at TU Kaiserslautern, said traffic micro-simulation modelling showed significant negative traffic impacts from trucks reversing onto or off building construction sites.

“By taking simple measures such as using truck turntables, these negative impacts can be reduced to negligible”, Professor Rombach said. “Disruption in the form of traffic delays on adjacent roads can be reduced from 80% to 8% by eliminating truck reversing”, Professor Rombach said. “And vehicle speed can be reduced from 14% to just 3%”.

Professor Rombach said the advantages of using truck turntables are evident in both low and high traffic volumes. The study, which was performed based on data for Australian construction sites, is also very interesting for Europe and could help to reduce both accidents and maneuvering time.

Through demonstrating the efficacy of truck turntables to improve safety and traffic management on and around building construction sites, the researchers hope to use this report to significantly boost the understanding of builders and regulators.

Fraunhofer IESE and La Trobe University plan to collaborate further in this field and to replicate the study in Europe, which should yield similar results for urban areas or construction sites with limited space (e.g., tunnels).

 

For further information:

Chris Stoltz AM

Professor of Practice in Engineering

School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences Email: c.stoltz@latrobe.edu.au

Phone: +61 417 147631

ABN 64 804 735 113