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RFID technology offers site safety boost

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) could be the latest technology to improve worker safety on construction sites.

SiteZone provides a full 360 degree detection zone for pedestrians and machine operators.

SiteZone provides a full 360 degree detection zone for pedestrians and machine operators.

SiteZone, supplied by machine control technology firm OnGrade, uses radio frequency to alert drivers and pedestrians of each others’ presence, keeping workers safer and helping sites run more efficiently.

The pedestrian and vehicle transmitters communicate with each other, providing a full 360 degree detection zone and the ability to see around corners, according to OnGrade. The onboard receiver detects the location of tag-wearing personnel and alerts drivers and pedestrians to each others’ presence

Each vehicle has a detection zone around it that should not be breached. Using vibration, as well as audio and visual alerts, SiteZone alters plant operators to nearby pedestrians and warns pedestrians that their safety is compromised.

SiteZone can be highly effective in the low visibility environments which render cameras and mirrors ineffective. As SiteZone does not rely on line of sight it will detect personnel wearing the RFID technology no matter how bad the lighting or visibility conditions are, OnGrade says.

“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,” said OnGrade director Gary Escott.

“SiteZone makes workers aware of possible dangers, prioritising safety while making operations more efficient and profitable.”

SiteZone also logs data to enable targeted training and continual improvement in site safety. By logging data about vehicle safety zone encroachment, SiteZone can be a management tool as well as an alarm system, claims OnGrade.

But the product should only be used to complement existing safe systems of work and existing safety practices, the firm added.

Recycling firm Powerday has used SiteZone at its plant in Old Oak, west London. Health and safety manager Andre Rayson said: “Powerday is 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 is 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.”

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