Reducing the Risk of Personnel – Vehicle Incidents With the ZoneSafe Proximity Warning System

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Distributed by OnGrade, ZoneSafe is a proximity warning system designed to reduce the risk of personnel - vehicle incidents in application such as construction, quarrying, warehouse and distribution and waste management.

ZoneSafe Proximity Warning

The ZoneSafe Proximity Warning System can reduce vehicle personnel - incidents

“The installation of this system has been very worthwhile, it now represents “Best Practice”

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The risk of personnel – vehicle incidents (PVIs) remains a major concern for all companies operating mobile plant. Despite the successful introduction of technology and better working practices accidents can still occur. A new product called ZoneSafe aims to provide companies with a new tool reducing the risk of PVIs even further. Distributed by OnGrade Ltd the Dorset based distributor of mobile plant instrumentation and developed by Avonwood Developments, specialists in RFID technology.

ZoneSafe is a proximity warning system which warns a machine operator when someone has breached a predetermined (invisible) detection zone around a vehicle.

One of the first companies to take advantage of the benefits that ZoneSafe can offer in reducing the risk of PVI’s is New Milton Sand & Ballast (NMSB) __title_ a regional supplier of aggregates and concrete products based in New Milton, Hampshire. They are part of the H.H. & D.E Drew Group which has been in business since 1936.

NMSB have a very strict policy towards health and safety across all of its sites and have utilised a variety of technologies to ensure that their staff and visitors are protected from the hazard of moving vehicles. The company has a proactive approach to health and safety and continues to strive to improve health and safety for anybody involved with the business whether they are employees, customers or contractors.

Trevor Poole, Managing Director says “We had a particular problem on our 2 acre Elliot Road site which is situated in the heart of Bournemouth. The site takes in large loads of aggregate which are tipped in 42 bays. Customers then collect small quantities from these bays, bring in commercial waste for sorting or collect concrete and screed from our onsite ready mix plant. We also sell bagged cement from the depot as well as other builder’s equipment. Most collecting vehicles are 3.5 tonne tippers and we also have members of the public collecting with cars and trailers – it is a true retail site! The site handles around 30,000 tonnes per annum of bulk aggregate and outputs up to 12,000 cubic metres of concrete. In addition we run three or four skip loaders within the operation and mechanically sort commercial waste. Understandably, with all this going on it is not easy controlling incoming customer movements and even with good safety standards the site can become a nightmare during busy times. With safety being our primary concern we searched for a product to help solve this particular problem and we found that solution in ZoneSafe. We have worked closely with OnGrade to achieve a highly effective system that is giving us great confidence in pedestrian safety”.

NMSB agreed to trial the ZoneSafe proximity warning system as Trevor had identified the unique benefits of the system when compared to the safety measures currently employed.

Of particular interest to Trevor were:

  • ZoneSafe provides active not passive alerts, in that should personnel enter the safety zone the driver was warned automatically both audibly and visually.
  • ZoneSafe, unlike other technologies, offers full 360º monitoring around the machine. This was particularly relevant to the Elliott Road site where the product was installed.
  • The monitored zone can be customised to meet operational requirements of the site.
  • An incident i.e. zone perimeter breach, is recorded by the ZoneSafe system and can be reviewed and used for reporting, training or other purposes.

These benefits not only complement the existing safety measures, but add a new level of protection and traceability.

NMSB Elliott Road Site

The Elliott Road site is a compact, but extremely busy site that has three primary functions:

  •     Aggregate depot
  •     Concrete depot
  •     Waste Transfer

On the site there are 6 full time employees and three pieces of heavy plant, two wheeled loaders and a material handler.

The two wheel loaders are both fitted with colour cameras, reversing radars with vehicle management systems (VMS) and additional safety mirrors.

The site is open to trade and public and will also be visited from time to time by NMSB staff not permanently based at the site and sub contractors.

For an initial trial period the system was installed on the Volvo L90E wheel loader. This was a full 360º system with a zone perimeter range of 4m.

Training was provided to the machine operators and all other employees on the site.

The trial was conducted over a 2 month period and was closely monitored by both NMSB and OnGrade Ltd.

The success of ZoneSafe at NMSB is best summarised by Trevor Poole “The installation of this system has been very worthwhile, it now represents “Best Practice” and we are proceeding with installation on some of our other sites with similar problems”.

ZoneSafe will be shown at the Construction Equipment Alliance Demonstartion Days (CETA) at Uttoxeter Race Course on the 15/16th June

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Gary Escott

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