Brigade Electronics UK – enhancing safety in the plant hire industry

Hiring plant machinery has become increasingly popular in the construction industries with many companies now opting to rent instead of purchase equipment.

In fact, market analysts predict that the plant hire industry is set to grow by 11% over the next three years as construction companies look for ways to improve efficiency.

However, while plant hire providers have a duty to ensure that machinery is properly maintained and fit for purpose, they should also ensure that equipment can meet their customer’s safety needs both on and off-site.

Emily Hardy, works for Brigade Electronics UK – a market-leading provider of safety devices and solutions for commercial vehicles and machinery. She said:

“Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the world so site safety is absolutely critical to preventing deaths and injuries. This includes mitigating any risks that could be caused by machinery and vehicles.”

Some of the most common causes of injuries on site include:

  • being struck by a moving vehicle
  • ground workers getting trapped between a machine and fixed structure
  • pedestrians being struck by moving parts, such as excavator buckets

Emily, continued:

“Commercial vehicle safety systems, such as 360-degree cameras, warning alarms and radar obstacle detection, are all ways to improve safety and control the risks associated with operating heavy machinery in difficult conditions.”

Recommended commercial vehicle safety systems for plant hire machinery

Emily has provided a guide for plant hire providers, recommending essential safety devices for the most common types of plant hire machinery, including excavators, loaders, dozers and dump trucks.

Camera Monitor Systems

All vehicles have blind spots – areas around the vehicle that are obscured by bodywork, load or attachments. When manoeuvring, these blind spots present a significant danger to anything or anyone in the vehicle’s path and inhibit the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely.

While mirrors and single-view cameras help to address blind spots, they do not eliminate them completely. Research shows that in the time it takes to scan four mirrors/monitor, asses and then react to hazards, even at speeds as low as 3mph, a vehicle can travel as far as 10 metres. However, 360-degree camera monitor systems, such as Brigade’s best-selling Backeye®360, can solve this problem.

The four-camera technology is designed to eliminate vehicle blind spots and assist safe manoeuvring in challenging situations by providing the driver with a complete 360-degree view of their vehicle in a single image. The system combines images from four ultra-wide-angle cameras, providing a real-time view on the teleporter’s monitor. The result is a ‘bird’s-eye-view’ of the vehicle and surrounding area.

Brigade’s latest addition to the Backeye®360 family is the BN360-300, which gives drivers a clear and crisp image thanks to its new high definition specification. This makes it ideal for industries, such as construction and quarrying, where safety is a huge concern.

Reversing and warning alarms

Rear blind spots are a huge problem, with reversing incidents accounting for a quarter of deaths in the workplace. Reversing alarms provide an audible warning for anyone in a vehicle or machine’s path when it is backing.

While ‘beep beep’ reversing alarms are still widely used across the globe, multi-frequency alarms using broadband technology, such as Brigade’s bbs-tek®, are considered to be much safer due to their locatable ‘ssh-ssh’ sound that not only eliminates noise complaints but more importantly is far quicker for pedestrians and ground workers to pinpoint, particularly when wearing ear defenders or when working in difficult and noisy conditions.

Radar Obstacle Detection

Industries such as mining, quarrying and construction regularly operate in harsh terrains and difficult conditions, such as fog, dust and darkness, which further decreases visibility for drivers of plant machinery. Radar obstacle detection can detect stationary and moving objects, even in the toughest conditions, providing drivers with in-cab visual and audible warnings and immediately alerting them to potential hazards.

Brigade’s Backsense® Radar uses Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) technology, which transmits a continuously varying radar frequency signal with unique time stamps to each instance of the wave. This is critical, especially in busy work sites, to alert the operator of a nearby person or obstacle.

Mobile Digital Recorders

Mobile digital recorders are playing an important role to improve safety and security. They provide irrefutable evidence in the event of an incident or false insurance claims and help protect drivers from false accusations and to improve operator performance.

Incidents involving vehicles can be extremely time consuming and costly to resolve. A lack of solid evidence can often mean companies accept liability or drivers are unfairly blamed, leading to increased costs for businesses and stress for drivers. Vehicle-mounted cameras capture footage, providing an accurate account of events and important proof in the event of a dispute.

You can find out more about Brigade’s product range here.

SOURCE & IMAGE CREDITS: Brigade PR

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