Education, Features, Management, New Products, News, OH&S News, OH&S Products, Safety

Using machine safety solutions to keep workers safe  

Safety is a massive priority in the quarrying sector, and justifiably so. Ensuring that all on-site workers get home at the end of the day is critical, and there are a variety of safety systems and methods used by sites throughout Australia. Many of the options still rely on person-to-person communication or expensive, complex hardware setups, which can be subject to human error or blow the budget for many quarry businesses.

Proximity and collision awareness technology has advanced considerably in recent years, with the latest systems incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically identify and alert operators to people. Blindsight is a new solution from Presien, distributed and supported throughout Australia by Position Partners, that can differentiate between humans and other objects even in challenging, dynamic environments.

“The great thing about Blindsight is that workers do not need to wear a tag in order for the machine system to detect them, which means they keep every worker safe on site,” said Josh Allan, construction business manager at Position Partners.

The solution can be fitted to all makes and models of machinery, with a combination of one or more sensors, and a small in-cab alert that gives the operator audible and visual alerts when a person or traffic cone is detected.

“Blindsight is very configurable to every machine and every site’s unique requirements, to alert the operator without adding unnecessary clutter or another screen to the cab,” Allan added.

A near miss taken from footage of the Blindsight system.
Image: Position Partners.

The artificial intelligence system differentiates between different assets (person, wall, safety cones around an object, etc) by determining their size and/or velocity. This essentially means any time a worker enters the vicinity of a machine, or it gets too close to an exclusion zone, the system will alert the operator immediately.

For managers and safety officers, comprehensive reporting on near misses – including video recorded from the system’s cameras – can be used for training and process improvements to increase safety culture on site. This data can then be digitally accessed by the site supervisor at any time.

Systems that rely on manual reporting can be subject to fault as they essentially rely on all workers accurately reporting incidents and near-misses 100% of the time. While in theory manual systems shouldn’t pose a problem, any foreman or site manager knows that keeping track of every incident and near-miss on a busy site is near-impossible. Proximity systems provide a practical and accurate solution to the inconsistencies that can arise from manual incident reporting.

“In addition to the day-to-day safety enhancements provided by systems like these for operators and workers, the data trends and reporting over time can give managers the big picture overview they need to identify ongoing hazards, training needs or process improvements,” Allan said.

In addition to the Blindsight AI solution, Position Partners offers other proximity detection and collision awareness systems to suit the needs of all quarry sites. In controlled environments for example, where workers can wear a tag, a solution like Blue Electronics can provide reliable machine-to-machine, machine-to-person and machine-to-avoidance zone safety.

“Position Partners offers a variety of safety solutions depending on your site’s requirements,” Allan said. “We also back every system with the training and support you need to keep everyone productive and the technology working properly.”

Position Partners has a team of more than 300 people, with service and support across Australia, New Zealand, and South-East Asia. Within Australia the company has 10 branches, to ensure customers get the assistance and support required.

“We’re always sourcing and working with new technology partners to meet the evolving needs of our customers. The Blindsight solution by Presien is an exciting addition to our portfolio and is already proving to be very popular with customers looking to increase safety. Afterall, there’s nothing more important than sending everyone home safely to their families at the end of the day,” Allan said.

For more information about Position Partners, visit positionpartners.com.au

© All Rights Reserved. All content published on this site is the property of Prime Creative Media. Unauthorised reproduction is prohibited