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Improving mobile fleet safety with OnGrade

Site Zone proximity warning system

Site Zone proximity warning system uses RFID technology to produce 360º detection zone around a vehicle

ONGRADE, suppliers of vehicle safety systems, have introduced SiteZone – a radio frequency identification (RFID) proximity warning system designed to reduce the risk of personnel and plant collisions.

SiteZone provides a 360º detection zone around a vehicle and alerts the driver and pedestrian to each others’ presence when an onboard receiver detects the location of tag-wearing personnel. Thanks to the technology, forward-thinking companies are now said to be using OnGrade’s SiteZone to deliver new site safety standards that reinforce plant and personnel protection.

Gary Escott, director of OnGrade, commented: ‘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.’

SiteZone has two key features: as mentioned it alerts pedestrians and drivers of each others’ presence; but it also logs data to allow targeted training and continual improvement in site safety.

By logging data of any breaches into vehicle safety zones, SiteZone becomes a valuable management tool as well as an alarm system. It provides 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 one of the largest and most efficient recycling facilities in southern England. Health and safety manager Andre Rayson said: ‘We are continuously looking for ways to improve the health and 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 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.

Mr 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 the SiteZone system does not rely on line of sight it will detect transponder-wearing personnel no matter how poor 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,’ Mr Escott added. ‘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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