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Cooper Specialised Handling Konecranes port and terminal equipment win IMHX 2010 safety award

Cooper SH, the UK’s leading provider of Konecranes port and terminal equipment, has won the Technology award at this year’s IMHX Design 4 Safety Awards with its NearGuard Safety Alert System.

The awards highlight the importance of safety product design features and recognise the best innovations in helping to reduce forklift truck accidents. Investment in technology has increased over the last few years and has helped to reduce the number of deaths caused by moving vehicles. Statistics from the Health & Safety Executive show a 34 per cent reduction in 2010 compared to the same period in 2009.

"The NearGuard Safety Alert System was launched earlier in 2010 and brings a new dimension to operator safety; one that could prevent fatalities from happening again," claims Cooper SH’s managing director, David Cooper.

The system warns operators of any personnel working within the close vicinity of machines. Fitted with four sensors, forklift trucks are able to locate nearby personnel (or other objects) by reacting to RFID tags attached to the operator/object.

David Cooper: "Drivers are alerted to operators in close proximity by an audible alarm via a ‘target’ colour LCD screen within the cab. The system acts at 20 meters range and escalates when seven meters or less has been breached."

The judges were impressed with the use of RFID technology to track the location of personnel and believe it is a trend for the future. They commented that the system is an excellent example of how technology can form part of best practice to ensure moving machinery and personnel always maintain a minimum safe distance.

Cooper SH was presented with the award by Peter Lennon, Head of the Workplace Transport team in the Health & Safety Executive’s Work Environment, Radiation & Gas Division at IMHX. The judges consisted of a panel of independent industry specialists and health and safety practitioners from prominent UK companies.

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