Renting heavy machinery has become increasingly popular with many companies now opting to rent instead of purchase equipment. According to Brigade Electronics, a provider of safety devices and solutions for vehicles and machinery, some market analysts are predicting that the heavy equipment rental industry will grow by 11 percent over the next three years.
While heavy equipment rental providers have a duty to ensure that machinery is properly maintained, they should also ensure that equipment can meet their customer's safety needs both on- and off-site.
Corey Heniser, Brigade Electronics, said, "Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the world, so site safety is absolutely critical to preventing deaths and injuries. This includes alleviating any risks that could be caused by machinery and vehicles." The most common injuries include being struck by a moving vehicle, getting trapped between a machine and a structure, and pedestrians getting struck by moving parts.
Hensier continues, saying, "Commercial vehicle safety systems, such as 360° cameras, warning alarms, and radar obstacle detection, are all ways to improve safety and control the risks associated with operating heavy machinery in difficult conditions." Here are some of his recommended essential safety devices for rental heavy equipment.
Camera Monitor Systems
All vehicles have blind spots, which present a significant danger to anything or anyone in the vehicle's path. While mirrors and single-view cameras help address blind spots, they do not eliminate them completely. According to Brigade, research shows that in the time it takes to scan four mirrors/monitor, asses, and then react to hazards, even at speeds as low as 3 mph, a vehicle can travel as far as 33 feet.
However, 360° camera monitor systems, such as Brigade's Backeye360, can help solve this problem. The system combines images from four ultra-wide-angle cameras, providing a real-time view on the operator's monitor. This eliminates vehicle blind spots and assists in safe maneuvering by providing the driver with a complete 360° view of their vehicle in a single image.
Back Up and Warning Alarms
Blind spots are a challenge, but rear blind spots are a huge problem with incidents accounting for a quarter of deaths in the workplace, says Brigade. Back up alarms provide an audible warning for anyone in a machine's path when it is backing up.
While 'beep beep' back up alarms are still widely used, multi-frequency alarms using broadband technology, like Brigade's bbs-tek, are considered to be safer due to their locatable 'ssh-ssh' sound that is far quicker for pedestrians and ground workers to pinpoint, even when wearing hearing protection.
Radar Obstacle Detection
Construction projects regularly operate in harsh terrains and difficult conditions, such as fog, dust, and darkness, which further decreases visibility for operators. Radar obstacle detection can detect stationary and moving objects, providing in-cab visual and audible warnings, and immediately alerting them to potential hazards.
Mobile Digital Recorders
Mobile digital recorders are playing an important role in improving safety and security, as they provide irrefutable evidence in the event of an incident or false insurance claim and help protect operators from false accusations.
Incidents involving machinery can be extremely time-consuming and costly to resolve. A lack of evidence can often mean companies accept liability or operators are unfairly blamed, leading to increased costs for businesses and stress for operators. Vehicle-mounted cameras capture footage, providing an accurate account of events and important proof in the event of a dispute.
Information provided by Brigade Electronics and edited by Alexis Brumm.