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Thanks to the endless technological developments currently taking place around us we are seeing thousands of new improvements that help us better perform our daily work –  new tools appear, constant advances are made and processes are being simplified and becoming more efficient. And these are only some of the multiple benefits that the implementations of the latest technologies hold for us!

However, we also know that the inclusion of these developments in our processes requires a professional an orderly implementation to achieve the best possible results in a harmonious fashion.

 

That’s why we’d like to discuss here a topic many industrialists are pondering today:

 

How do we make driver-less vehicles coexist with forklifts and pedestrians?

 

First of all, we must bear in mind that the so-called AGV (Automatic Guided Vehicles) are already a reality. These machines are being presented as a very efficient tool of increased use in the industry. There’s no denying that being able to automate the movement of goods inside a Factory by using this driverless system is extremely useful.

That said, it’s important to remember that these systems present new challenges like accidents and risky situations between the driverless vehicles and forklifts or pedestrian. In addition, there are several everyday situations that also will affect the transfer of VFA by the factory or industry.

 

Experience shows that AGVs often cross paths with pedestrians or forklifts, forcing its anti-collision sensors to stop automatically. To resume driving, the vehicle must recalculate the route and redefine its procedures, wasting time and having its productivity negatively affected.

 

A possible solution to this problem is already being applied by several of our customers who use the Claitec PAS System to detect forklifts and pedestrians and prevent AGVs from activating their safety functions and coming to a halt. This system detects the movement and alerts pedestrians and forklifts to move away or stop. It can also even produce a slight pause in the AGV to give way without having an excessive impact on its efficiency.

This is usually done by placing the PAS System in the AGV and providing pedestrians and forklifts with tags which activate a security warning if both sides are approaching.

AGVs generally have all kinds of protections, be it cameras or various accident-preventing sensors but complementing them with the PAS system helps tackle the loss of productivity caused by their constant stopping and starting.

 

Are you keen to find out more about this solution?

Visit this address: claitec.com/en/portfolio/pedestrian-alert-system-pas/

 

The intensity of industrial work poses constant risks for us.

But instead of deterring us, this only challenges us to look for more complete solutions and comprehensive responses to the threats and demands that arise around us.

That’s why, in this post, we would like to talk to you about one of the most important developments that is now being applied in several industries and manufacturing centres: the hazardous areas control.

We must conceive this tool as an assistant that works to protect us from some of the great risks we face as industrial operators. We refer to this system as an “assistant”, because it’s a technology capable of helping us even when we are unable to react appropriately, ourselves.

 

Hazardous area control (HA) helps us prevent the falling of people to pits or conveyor belts. It also avoids accidents in presses, crushers and compactors and allows perimetral detections in pits – all of them, risks which probably sound very familiar if you work in the recycling sector and, more specifically, in paper and cardboard recuperators, but also in other sectors such as forestry, agriculture and the like.

 

The core of this system consists on having operators carry electronic key tags and installing detector antennas in all machines – and their respective conveyor belts – with adjustable ranges between 1 and 5 meters. When the person who carries a tag falls on a belt, either as a result of an accident, after having been hit or having fainted, the machine automatically detects the proximity of the device and stops its operation, this preventing a very serious accident.

 

It is also an easy-to-deploy system – all you need is a personal key ring, detector antennas for the machines, a test-tag, a control box and a key ring antenna. This is how Claitec has already installed this solution in more than 100 recovery plants, and we continue to receive numerous queries about this new system.

In addition, the system stands out for its durability and robustness. It’s not affected by interferences between antennas and metal structures. The detection of the key ring is achieved in any position even when the material is being covered.

 

Employees working in industrial and/or construction spaces face a number of daily – and potentially very threatening – risks. To avoid damages or accidents, it´s important to emphasise on prevention and constantly think about the best ways to solve those pitfalls. It´s vital we all work on creating a responsible and safe work environment for all employees.

Within this broad range of possibilities presented by the routine of industrial work, there´s an issue we´d like to address today: should a pedestrian come across a forklift, who would have priority? How do we proceed in such cases to prevent accidents?

 

The first thing to keep in mind is that industrial zones should provide designated spaces for both pedestrians-workers and vehicular traffic. Ideally, these should be separated zones especially set up for these purposes, so as to avoid crossings and to reduce risks. If such spaces are available, the pedestrian must always walk through them, whether on sidewalks or signposted roads, and avoid areas exclusively dedicated to machinery.

It´s not always possible to establish these separated areas, and that´s when the risks increase in frequency and danger becoming a matter of concern we must follow very closely. In this case, our recommendation is that pedestrians should circulate along the left side of the alley, except when there´s a specific risk in that area.

Besides intersections, it´s important to walk on areas especially designated for that purpose, be it a zebra or a signalled pedestrian crossing. By doing so, the pedestrian will become a lot more visible to the forklift driver circulating, and avoid greater exposure to risks.

In addition, special care must be taken when traveling in groups in industrial sites or areas: large groups should always be avoided; you should try not to take up too much space when walking in groups; it´s advisable to walk in small separate groups of two or three people to avoid risks or dangerous situations.

 

Most experts in accident prevention seem to give priority to forklifts and industrial machinery when in a crosswalk with pedestrians, since these are more limited in mobility and vision. It´s easier for a pedestrian to allow access to the vehicle, taking into account the difficulties involved in manoeuvring these type of trucks in enclosed areas or when moving large loads.

 

Our recommendation is that if the rules are not clear, you try to apply the same criteria as when you are circulating in the streets of your city. Establish the same codes, adapt them to the workspace and make them clear for everyone working there at any time.

 

Global trends show the growing importance of investing in risk prevention as a benefit for both workers and warehouses. Companies are starting to notice this is a smart way to attract talent to their ranks. In addition, public opinion in general has its eyes on the ethical practices of businesses, and the treatment of their workers.

 

Beyond the culture of the company – usually closer to concepts such as mateship, work environment, development opportunities, etc., – safety is a crucial issue for a worker to feel cared for. After all, the place of work is where the majority of us spend the most part of our days.

 

Let’s review some of the practices that are being observed more and more today.

 

Transport within the company

 

1- Installation of speed ​​cameras

As a more conventional measure, companies are installing speed cameras and camcorders to ensure drivers respect the speed marked at all times.

 

2- It´s becoming compulsory to park with the back to the kerb

We have already talked about this on previous occasions – parking with the back to the kerb helps decrease the risk of accidents. Evacuations become more agile thanks to the greater visibility of drivers who can now leave immediately without having to reverse.

 

3- It´s becoming compulsory to install signal lights

As a way to reduce collision risks, companies are forcing drivers to install portable signal lights to make them more visible to other drivers, operators and pedestrians.

 

 

Awareness raising

While companies might be applying their greatest efforts to implement formal measures and controls to prevent occupational hazards, the reality is that the best care comes from the worker him or herself. Many companies have already understood that, and if the worker is fully aware of their safety, the need to implement formal controls and processes is greatly reduced.

 

4- Installation of Mirrors

Another common practice is to place a mirror in the entrance of the company or factory, with a message that says “This person is the main person in charge of your security”, or “This is the most important person in charge of the security in the plant”.

 

5- Other forms of awareness

Other forms of awareness include the broadcasting of videos that encourage the care of one’s own health-and others. Logically, these videos cannot warn of all the potential risks that exist in the workplace, but they can certainly inspire those who see it to adopt a defensive position before the existing risks.

 

Many use the same videos to transmit a certain culture and position themselves as a company that cares about the health and safety of its members.

 

Any means is valid when the end is the welfare of the workers. Companies must be creative in identifying which medium they can manage better and will have a greater impact. Many use the creation of a web portal that includes interactive materials and tasks, thus encouraging workers to learn about the topic of safety and receive additional contents.

 

 

 

 

In Claitec we collaborate with universities and vocational training centers to give opportunities to the future generations.

This year we were very happy to have had Cédric Esteba in the R+D department in training, contributing his knowledge in Multiplatform Application Development.

 

From Claitec we wish that after your university education, the take off your career, it’ll equal or higher than the experience of the wind tunnel.

 

Cedric, it’s been a pleasure to have you on board Claitec’s team!

 

Claitec has been awarded with a Phase 1 funding in the framework of the H2020 SME Instrument programme in order to develop new industrial safety systems using UWB (Ultra-Wide Band) Technology.

 

The Project called “Launching working environment safety systems based on UWB connectivity aimed at the 4.0 INDUSTRY” has been one of the proposals selected from the more than 2.500 initiatives submitted in the February 15th, 2017 Call.

 

This Support from the EU Research Programme will allow Claitec to accelerate the development of new safety devices and prepare for Phase 2.

 

We are very happy with this acknowledgment from the EU funding programme. We are focused on developing new safety solutions using new technologies. This support is very encouraging for the team.

Ricard Chetrit, Managing Director of Claitec

 

 

For more than 50 years, the ASSE’s Professional Development Conference has been and will continue to be the direct reflection of what is taking place in the occupational, safety and health industry.

 

Again this year, MRes Imports LLC, Claitec’s importer for the United States of America, exhibited its PAS (Pedestrian Alert System) product ranges and latest developments.

 

MRES Imports LLC ´s presence at the conference represented an excellent opportunity to promote the CLAITEC brand and products on the American market.

 

 

Safety is of interest to all of us. As a topic of conversation it should not be any more controversial than talking about the weather, for instance.

Instead, safety is a sensitive issue to deal with, especially because safety advice – whether given by a safety professional or in conversations amongst co-workers – tends to fall on deaf ears.

 

Giving unsolicited advice on safety is not always an easy experience, especially when people are not sure how to get the safety message across to others and, when workers seem to be reluctant about accepting safety advice.

 

Why?

  • They don’t like being told what to do. Most people simply cannot tolerate to be given advise.

 

  • They don’t believe they are in any danger. Workers do not see the need for safety advice, either because they think they have heard it all before or because they believe that what they are doing is safe. We tend to overestimate our ability to do everything and we underestimate the risks we face while we do it. We also believe that bad things are more likely to happen to others instead of us.

 

  • Experience is an important factor when dealing with safety compliance. On the one hand, experience tells us what needs to be monitored. On the other hand, experience is what allows us to feel confident enough to skip steps and break with safety protocols. It may be difficult to convince a co-worker that his or her conduct is not safe if he or she has been working like this for years without any incidents.

 

  • Whatever you consider to be an assistance, they consider it to be an imposition. It can be difficult to maintain a calm and neutral attitude when the risks are high. When a worker is about to harm himself or others, emotional messages are triggered in our brains and we approach the situation in less rational ways. Every time someone comes to us with these emotions, we tend to be defensive, so we are often on the wrong foot from the beginning.

 

At Claitec, we propose to introduce new technologies in workplace safety protocols, which will help workers focus on the work to be done while the implemented safety devices ensure their safety at the workplace.

 

Too often, workers are victims of accidents with consequences that, in many cases, range from severe to fatal.

The risk of accidents tends to increase when workers are in the vicinity of active heavy machinery.

 

By implementing the use of small electronic devices, Claitec can detect the location and movement of people and vehicles at all times. This also allows the development of a wide range of applications that solve safety problems and enable better production.

 

The ILO celebrates World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28 in order to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and illnesses throughout the world.

The 2017 campaign focuses on the countries’ fundamental need to improve their capacity to collect and use reliable occupational safety and health (OSH) data.

It is not a surprise that our customers’ needs come first for Claitec. So, if we talk about upgrading technological know-how, we must necessarily talk about Research and Development (R + D).

 

Claitec has an extensive catalog of products and industrial safety solutions, elaborated according to the strict standards of current technologies and the expectations of our customers.

 

  • The Pedestrian Alert System (PAS) is one of them. When using forklifts, this system will alert the driver when a pedestrian is nearby. The solution differs from others in that it does not discriminate between obstacles and people.

 

  • The Low Speed Area (LSA) solution is designed to keep the speed of the forklift within a limit that varies according to the area it circulates on. Therefore, the areas where there’s a higher flow of personnel, those with a considerable number of vehicles circulating, or those where the maneuvering space is limited, should be driven at low speeds. On the other hand, in outdoor areas with sufficient space or where there’s generally not a lot of traffic, it will be possible to travel faster.

 

  • The Collision Avoidance System (CAS) warns forklift drivers when it detects other forklifts circulating at a range of 25 meters. This way, it does not matter if the other truck is in a “blind spot” of a curve, or if it is on the other side of an automatic door. The CAS system will caution the driver so that he or she will be aware of the presence of another vehicle.

 

  • Poor visibility is a frequent problem in factories and plants. Equipping pedestrians with the T-10 Alert System and with reflective vests will increase prevention levels in these high-risk areas. Other solutions include the installation of warning pilots and the use of Blind Spot (BS) Systems.

 

  • The Traffic Control System (TCS) is a global traffic control system, which has no reliance on batteries and mobile devices, and operates completely passively, i.e. it does not require human attention. When a forklift enters the safety zone, light warnings in the vehicle itself and the warehouse are activated, alerting them of its presence, while turning the pedestrian traffic light red and locking the pedestrian safety gate.

 

  • The Hazardous Areas (HA) solution prevents occupational hazards particularly in paper and cardboard recycling and recovery plants where personnel are in danger of falling into pits or conveyors.

 

Claitec’s solutions ensure an increased level of accident prevention in high-risk areas, greater control of persons alien to the work environment, protection of personnel and company assets, through reliable, easy to handle and easily installable alarms and individual warning systems for pedestrians and operators.

 

Would you like to find out more about how to reduce the risk of accident in a plant or factory?

Contact us now and we will gladly share our experience.

 

Toyota Demo Days are an annual event held by Toyota Material Handling CZ for customers, prospects, business partners and journalists in Czech Republic. This year, the company presented over 100 products and solutions on the exhibition site measuring over 4,500 m2, involving 17 business partners and dealers.

 

Manvale, Claitec’s importer in Czech Republic, exhibited its PAS (Pedestrian Alert System) and LSA (Speed Zoning) product ranges.

 

Claitec is delighted with the reception our stand had amongst visitors.

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