Sean Rath, integrated management systems adviser, Carillion
The Olympic Park Media Hub is the first site to employ Mobile Elevated Working Platform (MEWP) smartcards in the UK. These prevent unauthorised use of scissor lifts and elevated platforms, and hopefully the accidents caused by such use. It means that only those who have received accredited operator training for a specific piece of machinery will be able to operate that machine.
Anyone who has IPAF (International Powered Access Federation) training on a particular machine has to show their qualification to receive the smartcard.
Most site cherry pickers and scissor lifts use the same key, so having the person-specific card really adds to security. There’s also best practice benefits too, as when you swipe the MEWP card on the control box the machine asks if you have performed a safety check on the machinery prior to use, which you have to answer “yes” to before the machine will start. Responsibility for the machine is therefore put in the hands of the operative.
There is an extra charge on the hire of the machinery fitted with the technology, but we are really happy with it.
AFI is now pushing to extend the technology to excavators and dumpers. There are advantages in doing that. In Switzerland, 90% of construction sites use similar technology and it means that contractors can monitor the amount of time the machinery is used, allowing them to optimise machinery hire on site, which makes good commercial sense.
Initially a provider of structures for the horticultural industry, NP Structures has launched a range of multi-purpose portable work shelters and concreting covers. Coming in 4m-6m widths, these are quick to erect and dismantle, and can be interlocked to form a chain of secure work shelters of any length. Optional gable end covers, with “quick-zip” doorways, can be attached.
Launched at the Infrastructure Show at Birmingham’s NEC last month, the shelters have already received interest for archaeology, MoD and international aid uses.
The worldwide rise in the price of copper, lead and other non-ferrous metals has led to a dramatic increase in metal theft across the UK, according to the Association of Police Officers, amounting to £770m a year, with remote heritage sites a prime target. Jabbakam is a CCTV system that uses a “cloud”-based internet camera, meaning it can monitor sites in such locations. The system requires no cabling, just a small power supply and connection to the internet. Even if there’s no broadband, direct internet access via satellite link is possible.
HUMAN RECOGNITION SYSTEMS launched the latest product in its Msite biometric access and workforce management range last month. Its new “pod” is a portable unit that houses a full-height turnstile complete with biometric hardware system.
The pod only needs a power supply to operate. It saves on construction time and costs, and can be rented or bought, depending on a project’s timescale. Msite can be accessed remotely, or on an iPhone or BlackBerry App, to provide information about who is on site and who isn’t.
01 Provide adequate training
The right training will ensure your teams are proficient enough to assess the working environment, select and use the necessary equipment and use the safest methods of working. It is never enough to hope they pick things up “on the job”, so make sure that training is top of the agenda.
02 Select the right equipment
Choosing the most appropriate equipment for the job and working conditions is essential to ensuring things get done as efficiently and safely as possible. If you’re unsure, explain what you’re trying to do to your hire partner and let them talk you through the options.
03 Maintain your equipment
It’s not just about choosing the right equipment in the first place, it’s about making sure it’s always fit for purpose. Making sure equipment is well maintained is key to ensuring the safety and well being of your workforce. Among other things, worn equipment significantly increases the risk of hand arm vibration (HAV)-related disorders.
04 Let there be light
As the nights draw in, you need to ensure your working environment is fully illuminated. You have a legal requirement to make sure lighting is “suitable and adequate to meet the requirements of the workplace” (HSE). If you can’t see what you’re doing, you won’t be able to do it safely and will be more at risk from hazards on site.
05 Keep your house in order
Good housekeeping will underpin your other safety efforts on site. Always make sure that people (including visitors) wear the necessary PPE, keep things neat and tidy, ensure you have adequate welfare facilities, keep all access, egress and emergency exits clear and always challenge anyone that isn’t acting safely on your site.
By Lee Marsh, health and safety manager at HSS Hire