The Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA) has introduced the REACT (Roadside Emergency Action Concerning Tyres) initiative to ensure HGV tyre fitters and repairers keep safe in carrying out their work on our motorways.
The initiative is being launched at the Citywest Hotel, next Monday, April 24,with representatives from an Garda Siochana, the Road Safety Authority and the Health and Safety Authority in attendance. On completion of a training day, technicians will be accredited with a REACT card, which the ITIA would like to see become mandatory for roadside fitters.
The initiative follows a similar programme in the UK launched by the NTDA in 2011, with the objective of licencing all tyre technicians working on tyres at the roadside, with the backing of the Highways Agency. The scheme records and monitors the training of technicians attending truck tyre associated break-downs on motorways, dual carriageways and trunk roads.
Commenting on the initiative, the new Chief Executive of the ITIA, Donal Dempsey, said: “Research suggests that a quarter of HGV breakdowns on motorways are tyre related. Working on the roadside is one of the most dangerous environments facing tyre technicians, where dangers from passing traffic are often compounded by adverse weather conditions. The ITIA believes professional training is required to ensure the safety of these technicians.”
He continued: “We would like to see this training become mandatory to the point where a break-down vehicle could be removed from the roadside by the NRA or Gardai for not having a valid REACT Card.”
It is envisaged that the lead in period for full compliance would be three years and that each card issued would be valid for five years. A technician would then have to undergo a re-training day to be re–certified.
The REACT Card would be issued to the tyre technician and not the employer, helping to make qualified technicians more valuable.
The ITIA is encouraging its members and others to attend the initial training days, which it is hosting at a number of locations around the country at an introductory rate of €150 (members) / €195 (non-members) + VAT, payable in advance or on the day:
Tuesday, April 25 Dublin
Wednesday, April 26 Thurles
Thursday, April 27 Cavan
The training day covers areas such as essential service vehicle equipment and personal protective equipment, pre-breakdown planning and risk assessment, making the area safe and leaving the scene safely.
Those looking to participate in the training days, which are carried out by the ITIA’s expert partners from the Michelin Training Centre in the UK, should contact Donal Dempsey on 087 8318503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org