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Smart Zone system. Everyone from the operator through to the main contractor has recognised the important safety and security benefts that the system brings.”

Giles Councell, IPAF Director of Operatons, said: “IPAF is testng and developing the smart PAL Card, focusing on the technology behind the system and on the safety aspect as a tool to control access to machines. We appreciate the support our members are giving to trial this innovative project and look forward to further testing. The PAL Card is going smart and we are looking at integrating future functions such as tracking familiarisation and logging operator experience.”

Preventing crushing at height

The Sanctuary Zone comprises steel frames that project above the MEWP platform, stopping any overhead obstructon from crushing the operator.

AFI worked closely with machine manufacturers Haulote and Terex-Genie to produce the frst prototypes. AFI is also in discussions with several other manufacturers about designs for their machines.

Whilst the inital designs are for boom lifs, AFI is also working with manufacturers to adapt this and other safety devices for ftng onto scissor lifs.

Austn Baker, Director of AFI’s HSEQ Department, said: “If we accept that operators are placing their upper torso into areas that allow entrapment in the frst instance then it is our duty to redesign that equipment in order that this risk is removed or minimised. There should be no reason why an operator needs to lif access into a positon whereby he is forced to work in a hunched or bent over positon.”

“We believe that the Sanctuary Zone is the most important safety development in the powered access sector for many years. We are so convinced that it will save lives that we want to make it available to everyone, including our compettors,” he added.

“Whilst some companies have looked at reverse engineering devices that interact with the safety systems we felt that those systems were secondary in the hierarchy of safety. The Sanctuary Zone prevents operator injuries through crushing rather than reactng to the crushing once it has happened.

“It is interestng to note that it seems accepted within the industry that the cages of powered access equipment are ofen placed into areas that directly impinge upon the area that is designed for the operatves to stand. We routnely see operatves working crouched up to pass under beams or close to the undersides of overhead structures. This process must be stopped and these rails force operatves to respect their own safety. Once an operator is trapped we only have minutes to react and rescue them and we know that even if released quickly the likelihood is that they will have severe

injuries. Obviously it is far beter to prevent the incident from happening.”

AFI has carried out field trials which have shown that the system does not impair the operators’ work in any way. The trials have, however, led to a refnement of the design. Initially the steelwork had a 90° angle on the leading edge which caught on safety netng.

“We changed this to a gradual curve and this has further improved safety because the curved rails keep the netting away from the operator and prevents snagging,” said Mr Baker.

“At present the Sanctuary Zone frames are attached to the machine but we hope that in the future they will become an integral part of the machine’s design.” Joy Jones, Principal Constructon Inspector of the Health and Safety Executve, said: “The HSE is fully supportve of AFI’s work with the machine manufacturers to develop this important safety initatve for operators of mobile elevatng work platorms. T”

The Sanctuary Zone fted to a Haulote

powered access platorm.

The Sanctuary Zone fted to a Terex-Genie powered access platorm

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            More information: AFI UpLift Email

Page 19 - vwuk-1-7

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