There are many risks associated with working in residential areas, particularly when the site is a dike that children ride their bikes over to get to school.
This is precisely the case in the project ‘Dijkversterking BAS’ (‘Dike reinforcement in the Bergambacht, Ammerstol and Schoonhoven area’) in the province of Zuid-Holland, as project manager Carlo Tonnaer explains. “At the NINA Kick Off Meeting, we and all the other parties agreed that communication about safety is essential. So we recently visited several elementary schools in the area and will definitely do the same during the next working season.”
About 175 kids, aged 11 and 12 have now learned about the ‘blind spot’ from truck driver Jeroen Habicht. All of them had a chance to sit behind the wheel to get a feel for what the driver actually sees, and most of all, what he doesn't. “That’s the kind of experience you never forget”, says planning engineer Kees Koejemans, who visited the schools along with his coworkers Martin Verhoef, Marcel Witte, Alexander van den Berg and Jeannet Middelkoop. “I told them how important it is to make eye contact with a driver or a crane operator and now they really understand why.” He was struck by the students’ open attitude and enthusiasm. “They told us about their own experiences and wanted to know everything about our jobs. I thought it was a lot of fun to be ‘teacher for a day’!”