BodyGuard i-Tag Proximity Warning System: protection around mobile plant

BodyGuard Safety Solutions
Thursday, 01 July, 2021


Mobile plant such as forklifts pose significant risk of death for both operators and pedestrians in workplaces, as the latest Australian worker fatalities data from Safe Work Australia demonstrates. By occupation, machinery operators and drivers were among the largest proportion (39%) of all worker fatalities for the latest year reported (2019), with the deaths of mobile plant operators second only to road and rail drivers within this category. Considerable danger also lies in proximity to mobile plant, where workers are at risk of being struck. The latest data reveals that plant such as forklifts and cranes striking workers accounted for 15% of annual fatalities that year, which is up from the 11% average of the last five years. In short, pedestrian staff are at significant risk around mobile plant — a risk that is heightened in locations where pedestrians frequently work in close proximity to forklifts, such as in warehouses and factories, in manufacturing and logistics, on docks, and on construction sites.

The BodyGuard i-Tag Proximity Warning System from BodyGuard Safety Solutions is designed to mitigate the risks that mobile plant pose to those working in its vicinity, ensuring that pedestrian staff are kept a safe distance from all mobile plant. The system separates workers from vehicles by setting up a 360-degree safety exclusion zone around the vehicle that is adjustable from 2.5 to 9 m. If a member of pedestrian staff gets too close to mobile plant, the driver gets a clear and unmistakeable human voice warning and high impact visual alert, while the pedestrian ‘tag’ will also vibrate. Warehouses are dangerous places in general. Together with the transport and postal sectors, warehousing is responsible for the greatest number of worker deaths (32%), according to the same latest data. This makes solutions that safeguard at-risk workers within these spaces and other close-proximity spaces vital.

©BodyGuard Safety Solutions

The solution has been adopted by workplaces across Australia, but especially those that continually have staff in close proximity to mobile plant such as forklifts. In adopting this solution, these workplaces have taken a proactive step towards curbing incidents, protecting their workers and reducing the dangers that forklifts pose, which are significant. The rear counterweight in forklifts can turn very quickly (running the risk of crushing a pedestrian), which is compounded by how heavy these plant are — meaning they can take time to stop. Forklifts also have several blind spots, something that is remedied by this particular solution and its three components, which interact with each other. These components are:

  1. A personal tag — worn by pedestrian staff,

©BodyGuard Safety Solutions

  1. A sensor unit — attached to mobile plant, and

©BodyGuard Safety Solutions

  1. A cab alert unit — that speaks to the driver.

©BodyGuard Safety Solutions

“Even with a robust traffic management system, good visibility and a compliant team of employees, accidents can still occur,” BodyGuard Safety Solutions’ Managing Director, David Huisman, said. “One of the best ways to stop a worst-case scenario from eventuating is to utilise pedestrian safety warning systems as an on-site control. These systems keep pedestrians separate and safe away from the danger of moving vehicles. If a pedestrian gets too close to a forklift, the driver gets a clear warning to brake immediately, giving the driver a chance to brake and avoid a potentially fatal accident.” In addition to warehouses, the solution’s design makes it suitable for improving safety in workshops, outdoor yards and construction sites as well. Magnetic mounting makes it easy to install without modifying the plant and the system is not impacted by steel, dirt, dust or water. Additionally, it can detect pedestrians wearing its tags through most solid objects (such as racking, brick and loads on forks).

This system is ideal for those wanting to reduce the number of near misses in the workplace, and its visual and auditory properties make it a straightforward and clear means of alerting workers to possible dangers, while also improving the safety performance of mobile plant operators. BodyGuard Safety Solutions has been responsive to user feedback, continuing to refine the system’s components over time to ensure the best protection of workers. Such refinement has led to the tags becoming sturdier and rechargeable, for instance. Those who adopt the solution also benefit from free technical support. This free technical support extends to both renters and purchasers of the system. The BodyGuard i-Tag Proximity Warning System has Australian (RMC) and Global certifications for safety, and compliance with RFI/EMI and EMC (CE Mark and R.E.D, FCC) standards. The system is also Australian designed, manufactured and supported. Put simply, the safety benefits of adopting this system can be found in any workplace where pedestrian staff share space with mobile plant.

To learn more about the BodyGuard i-Tag Proximity Warning System, visit www.bodyguardsafety.com.au/proximity-warning-system.

For a free consultation, call on +61 (2) 43 554 554 or fill out our contact form at: www.bodyguardsafety.com.au/contact.

Top image credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock.com

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