Proximity systems utilise various technologies to complement existing safety practices and standards. Rather than relying on machine operators and workers to abide by adequate safety precautions 100 per cent of the time, proximity systems act as an alert system in the event of a possible collision or incident.
Proximity detection systems work use sensors, which are attached to all machines and workers helmets on site. These sensors effectively create a three-dimensional ‘bubble’ around each person and piece of equipment. When any vehicles come within a specified radius of workers or other vehicles, all parties are notified. This alert comes in the form of a vibration for workers and visual and audio warnings for machine operators.
Proximity systems include a wide range of safety features in order to maximise their effectiveness. Different radiuses can be implemented and customised for each sensor, depending on the site’s circumstances. This is easily set up by a site supervisor and can be adjusted at any time. For example, a worker may only require a 3-metre radius, while an excavator might have a 10-metre radius. The function of these radiuses is to provide practical and realistic warnings when a machine has the capacity to cause harm or damage.
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While machine sensors typically remain installed over an extended period, workers detach their sensors at the close of each day. This creates an opportunity for all personal sensors to be tested at the beginning of each workday. Position Partners can supply a test pad, which is typically located in a site office alongside the personal sensors. When swiped across the pad, sensors will emulate the warning vibration, so that their working condition can be confirmed prior to use.
Temporary sensors are also available for site visitors. These sensors are magnetic and can be attached to machinery which will only be on-site for a limited time. For example, if a delivery truck arrived to drop off some building supplies, a temporary sensor could be attached and removed upon entry and exit. This guarantees every person on site is operating within the same system, and that everyone is safe.
Proximity systems for building construction
Large scale building construction projects often necessitate many different workers, vehicles, and machinery provided by different contractors. Having so many different variables operating in the same space can often lead to incidents and accidents. With proximity systems though, every single machine operator has an extra set of eyes in the back of their heads.
The sensors operate on a radio frequency, so provided that all parties on site are using the same system, the potential for incidents can be greatly reduced. Each sensor comes with a 3-year battery guarantee, which makes the proximity systems ideal for long-term building projects.
Another benefit of adopting a proximity system is the automatic reporting of incidents and near misses. The system automatically logs reports to an online portal which can instantly be accessed by a project manager or site supervisor. This detailed safety information can be crucial on job sites with multiple moving parts.