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October 29, 2015

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Working at height forum attracts record numbers


Nationwide Platforms, the powered access rental firm, has reported on how it used its 2015 Working at Height Best Practice Forum to introduce its new SkySiren® PCS™ (Pre-Crush Sensing) intelligent secondary guarding system, which it says for the first time offers UK powered access users double protection against entrapment and crushing hazards.

Attended by more than 220 delegates from companies using powered access equipment in the UK, the event took place at The Belfry in Warwickshire in early October. Key speakers included Matt Fearon, President of Terex Aerial Work Platforms, manufacturers of Genie powered access machines, Brad Boehler, President of Skyjack, and Neil Brown, Civils Delivery Health and Safety Manager for Crossrail.

Jeremy Fish, Managing Director of Nationwide Platforms, said: “In many respects the UK has proved itself in the last five years to be a world leader-in powered access safety. The scale of interest in the forum shows there remains a strong appetite for product innovation and continuous improvement in health and safety.

“Our aim, with this forum, is to bring together manufacturers and suppliers with the people who use and manage the machines, so they can share ideas that drive forward working at height best practice.

“The response from delegates to SkySiren® PCS™ was very positive. There was strong recognition that it represents a major step forward in health and safety when working at height, which is very pleasing for us as a powered access rental company.”

The firm say that the SkySiren® PCS™  combines Nationwide Platforms’ SkySiren® secondary guarding device with a new system called Pre-Crush Sensing, which uses ultrasound sensors to detect objects that present a trapping or crushing hazard for the operator, and then automatically stops the platform. PCS™ is designed to prevent an entrapment event happening and alert the operator to the hazard, they add.

Nationwide Platforms go on to explain that if, subsequently, the platform is operated in a way that risks entrapment, the SkySiren® pressure sensor bar located across the control panel continues to protect the operator by stopping the MEWP; it then raises the alarm with a strobe light and a klaxon.

Other highlights

The company say among the truck mounted booms on display at the event was one of Nationwide Platforms’ fleet of new Palfinger TP48 machines, weighing just 18 tonnes. They say it is ideal for urban work, has an excellent negative envelope perfect for quayside work and bridge inspections, and a unique reversible platform for working up and over structures and buildings.

During his presentation ‘Partners in Safety’, Matt Fearon highlighted Terex Aerial Work Platforms’ strategic approach, working with customers and national agencies, and embracing safety innovations, including Nationwide Platforms’ SkySiren®.

Brad Boehler also emphasised the vital work Skyjack does with national and international safety agencies, highlighting the collaboration with the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) on promoting personal fall protection systems in booms.

Neil Brown said 7% of all safety incidents on the Crossrail project related to working at height, of which 17% involved mobile elevating working platforms (MEWPs). He also explained the rigorous health and safety strategy in place to reduce such incidents.

Jeremy Fish adds: “The forum is a vital element of our business strategy, which is to listen to customers and suppliers, then work with them to develop solutions for better, safer and more sustainable powered access services.

“We have taken away a lot of ideas, information and insights, which we will use to develop our products and services over the next 12 months.”

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