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Bam develops lifting exclusion zone tech

Bam has developed a system to keep site workers out of the danger zone during lifting operations.

Remote-controlled LED lights and an exclusion zone audio alarm keep operatives out of the wayBam’s new safety system uses remote-controlled LED lights and an exclusion zone audio alarm, both fitted to a lifting cage and linked to ground-level exclusion zone alarms. These measures warn ground-level operatives of loads above and at ground level, when traditionally a slinger would use a whistle.

A remote key fob operates the LED lights, loudspeaker and ground-based alarm system. Testing and engineering of the system found that the fob can activate the alarm from up to 70 metres away. The unit can also be activated by a ground base unit from up to 260 metres away. The system has been trialled on a commercial building under construction on the King’s Cross estate (development S3) in London for Related Argent and the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership.

While official statistics suggest that moving vehicles and falls/trips cause the most injuries and fatalities on construction sites, Bam says that objects falling from cranes are one of the greatest risks.

Related Argent is funding an additional four months of research and development of the system, enabling trials of different lights, alarms, fobs and electrical systems. At the end of the R&D phase, the first prototype of the lifting exclusion alarm will be brought to site, Bam says.

Bam senior health & safety adviser Steve McInnes said: “Managing lifting and exclusion zones is a vital part of construction activities and making sure people are not under loads while they are being lifted is a challenge. This innovation provides an audio and visual warning of the load proximity in a way that has never been achieved previously.

“Bam has the advantage of a specialist Site Solutions business, which works across the UK to assist its construction and civil engineering teams to work safely and efficiently. We received hugely positive feedback from the site teams so we can now continue the development of the lifting exclusion alarm to enable its compatibility with different lifting equipment.”

Al Beevers, head of health & safety at Related Argent, added: “This innovation project from Bam has been a great example of how the construction industry can use technology to improve safety on construction sites. As this project shows, investing time and money in new safety thinking can really pay off and we believe all contractors should now be pushing the boundaries of available technologies and focusing on engineering out long-standing hazards.” Bam is also developing safety systems for managing safety in loading bays. The original exclusion zone alarm system was developed by Bam with Bull Products. Bam has now taken it to the next level and integrated it into the lifting cage.

Stephen Miller, lifting technical support manager at Bam Site Solutions, said: “Previous collaborations within Bam resulted in the development of the scaffold tube lifting cages and the exclusion zone system. This latest collaboration brought these products together into a working prototype, which we will now look to develop further and integrate into the wider range of lifting products we offer.”

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