Major contractor Skanska is taking a lead on plant safety by stipulating that heavy mobile construction plant on its sites will now have to be fitted with 360° all-round visibility cameras.
The camera rule applies to:
- hydraulic excavators, tracked or wheeled, 10 tonne and above
- telehandlers where a side loading arm restricts operator visibility
- tracked dozers and graders
- ride-on compaction rollers that are fitted with enclosed cabs
- wheeled loading shovels
- piling rigs (but mini rigs)
- crawler cranes (but not rubber-tyred cranes - and presumably not mini crawlers)
Skanska said that the new standard was being introduced to help reduce the risk of accidental contact between site operatives and plant. The all-round visibility cameras will help operators to see workers and pedestrian movements within a five-metre radius and assist in overcoming blind spots.
Skanska UK executive vice president Greg Craig said: “It takes considerable skill and permanent attentiveness to operate large mobile plant safely, particularly in compact site footprints. We are committed to doing all that we can to improve all-round visibility for the operator, to help them work safely and to protect any adjacent operatives.
“We have been working with our supply chain partners to help them to achieve the new standards, ready for when they come into operation later in the year.
“Like many innovations and improvements they take us a step closer to achieving zero accidents. This improvement is not in itself the answer to eliminating risk to people from plant. However, we are committed to making our sites as safe as possible and where people and plant have to work in close proximity we believe these devices will make sites safer.
“The introduction of this technology is part of our continuing commitment to developing new standards that help to make sites as safe as possible, across the industry.”
Skanska UK introduced the fully-automatic double locking (FADL) type of quick hitches to excavators in 2009 and personnel anti-entrapment devices on mobile elevated working platforms in 2012.
Supporting Skanska’s initiative, Rob Lynch of Lynch Plant Hire said: “There are too many accidents with plant-people interface and we as an industry have to do something positive about it. This is not an issue to be macho about. This is an issue to take very, very seriously.”