A Focus on Safety at PLANTWORX

Workplace transport remains one of the biggest risks on construction sites. Every year, about 70 people are killed and thousands are seriously injured as a result of accidents involving vehicles in and around workplaces. According to a report from the HSE, most transport accidents involve moving vehicles where people are hit or run over, people falling from vehicles or vehicles overturning. As the demand increases for a safer working environment – particularly on construction sites – more companies are developing systems to safeguard site workers.

GKD Technik has recently introduced its ‘Incline Alert’ system which has been developed to tackle the hazard of overturning vehicles. This system was developed to meet an identified need for incline monitoring in the Construction and Utility Maintenance Industries, particularly for smaller excavators, which carry a higher risk of overturning when operating on inclines.
The Incline Alert system allows the operator to work safely and with confidence within the defined incline limit for the machine, and gives an audible and visual warning on approach to the incline limit. The system consists of a sensitive and accurate pitch and roll angle sensor mounted on the excavator or plant body, and a display at the operator station and according to GKD it’s both easy to install and to calibrate.
When the machine angle is beyond the defined limits, warnings from the Incline Alert are triggered and can be used to drive an external alarm or beacon, or to link to a third party device (such as a GPS Tracker) to give remote warning that the machine is being used beyond its defined incline limits.
Should the machine actually overturn, which is defined as greater than 50 degrees incline, the Overturn Sentinel System activates, where a flashing red LED on the display is triggered, which can only be turned off by an authorised engineer. This feature makes it possible to tell at a glance whether or not the machine has overturned whilst in use.
Nick Ground Managing Director, GKD Technik and President of the CEA (Construction Equipment Association) said, “Employee safety is now on the agenda of every company’s board of directors and rightly so. Many off-highway machines have the potential to inflict grievous harm or damage with the flick of a wrist, either to the operator, co-workers or adjacent structures. Thankfully there are products available to assist. Safety of co-workers around machines depend on visibility; either electronic or visual, safety of operators depend on operating with safe limits and camera, tag and monitoring systems are now viable solutions. It is important to realise that many of these systems have a dual benefit. For example preventing a machine from overturning ensures its continued availability for hire, for instance, and thus revenue generation, or the recording of site personnel attendance or controlling access in addition to proximity warning. It’s win all round.”
Another product new to the market which has been designed to reduce the risk to site staff from plant collisions is ‘Site Zone’ from Ongrade.
Site Zone is a proximity warning system and uses advanced RFID technology. Site Zone surrounds a vehicle with an invisible 360° detection zone. When this zone is breached by personnel wearing a Site Zone transponder the driver is alerted to the risk via an audible and visual alarm, there is also an optional warning for pedestrians. One of the main benefits of Site Zone is that it is not dependent on line of site and can detect transponders around blind corners and other obstacles.
Site Zone can be deployed on almost any type of plant from forklift trucks and mini excavators through to wheeled loader, large excavators, bulldozers and even larger plant such as ADTs. Detection zones are customisable and the system has an adjustable range of up to 10 metres.
Not only can it prevent accidents, Site Zone can change operator behaviour, which is in part due to its data logging feature. Each breach is recorded in the system memory which can be downloaded and used to identify individual training needs or areas requiring operational improvement. There is also the option to fit a telemetry module which is ideal for organisations operating large fleets across single or multiple sites as it allows data to be accessed via a customer dedicated website removing the need to visit individual machines.
Spillards’ brand new Optronics 360 is causing quite a stir in the industry – the 360 degree surround view camera system for industrial and commercial vehicles – eliminates blind spots ensuring the driver can see all round the vehicle. Optronics 360 consists of a combination of a camera system, a monitor and a high performance programmable electronic control unit (ECU) that uses heavy duty signal processing to overcome distortion.
The system is currently in use in the high end passenger car market on the BMW 5 series and the Land Rover, Range Rover models, and is now available for use on mining, quarrying and construction machines and other commercial vehicles. For the first time, operators can now have a real-time bird’s eye view of their entire vehicle and its surroundings.
Benefits of the system extend beyond helping to prevent injuries to people; it also reduces or eliminates collisions with other objects, such as site vehicles, and can minimise tyre damage, particularly when reversing, as it enables operators to see and avoid objects lying on the ground.

A key advantage of Optronics 360 is that it can be programmed from horizon to horizon as well as forward and rear. By covering a much wider area this makes it the most effective system on the market for reducing blind spots and improving all round visibility.
All these products will be on display and demonstrated at the new PLANTWORX construction exhibition which is taking place at
Stoneleigh Park, Coventry Warwickshire 14 – 16 May 2013.
The show, spanning 100,000m square metres is the largest working construction event in the UK.
For further details visit www.plantworx.co.uk.
Source: Plantworx News Room