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OnGrade bringing innovations in site safety

SiteZone Proximity Warning is being used to improve workers’ safety at construction and waste management sites across the country. SiteZone uses radio frequency to alert drivers and pedestrians of each others’ presence, keeping workers safer and helping sites run more efficiently.

Supplied by OnGrade, SiteZone is a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Proximity Warning System. The pedestrian and vehicle transmitters communicate with each other, providing a full 360 degree detection zone and the ability to see around corners. The onboard receiver detects the location of tag-wearing personnel and alerts the driver and pedestrian to each others’ presence.

Don’t burst the bubble
Forward-thinking companies are using OnGrade’s SiteZone to deliver new site safety standards that reinforce plant-personnel protection.
Each vehicle has a detection zone around it that for safety’s sake should not be breached: hence OnGrade’s awareness raising campaign, ’DON’T BURST THE BUBBLE’. Using vibration as well as audio and visual alerts, SiteZone lets the driver know when a pedestrian is close to the vehicle, and warns the pedestrian that their safety is compromised.

Gary Escott, Director of OnGrade, said: “Collisions between vehicles and personnel continue to be a major cause of serious workplace accidents. Construction and waste sites can be dangerous places due to heavy plant operating in the same busy spaces as pedestrians. SiteZone makes workers aware of possible dangers, prioritising safety while making operations more efficient and profitable.”

Management tool
SiteZone has two key features: it alerts pedestrians and drivers of each others’ presence, and logs data to enable targeted training and continual improvement in site safety.

By logging data of breaches into vehicle safety zones, SiteZone becomes a valuable management tool as well as an alarm system. It enables positive intervention while recording all data to help manage health and safety, both for individuals and the site as a whole.

Powerday, for example, own and operate the largest and most efficient recycling facility in southern England. Health and Safety Manager Andre Rayson said: “Powerday are continuously looking for ways to improve the Health & Safety in all our yards. The need to segregate moving vehicles and plant from pedestrians or workers is essential but not always easy or in fact possible.

“SiteZone has recently provided Powerday with the answer, a workable method of making everyone aware of what’s going on around them and reducing the likelihood of any contact between a vehicle and person. It’s already proved to be very effective and clients and visitors to our yard have already introduced it to their workplaces.”

Workers on short-term contracts are particularly at risk of accidents because they may be unfamiliar with the site. By using the SiteZone Proximity Warning system, companies can improve safety for all their workers, permanent and temporary.

Part of the package
Importantly, SiteZone complements other health and safety best practice. Escott said: “We always recommend customers follow the HSE guidelines for safe working practices relating to workplace transport before installing SiteZone. We then provide training, as well as servicing and maintenance, to make sure the equipment is being used correctly and to maintain optimal performance.”
In certain environments SiteZone can be especially effective, for example in the low visibility environments caused by airborne particulates or steam which render cameras and mirrors ineffective. As SiteZone does not rely on line of sight it will detect transponder wearing personnel no matter how bad the lighting or visibility conditions are.

“Customers are also able to benefit from the option to buy the equipment or hire it through OnGrade’s rental partner ESS Safeforce,” Escott says, “The rental option provides customers with the required flexibility and has proved extremely popular in the construction sector, where site equipment requirements are constantly changing.”

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