Technology and the access industry continue to grow together, highlighted this year with the launch of new devices to assist operators and owners of MEWPs.
The safety of people using MEWPs starts with the planning and management of the work itself. With that in mind, supervisors and safety managers need to have the skills and information to get their jobs done with optimum efficiency and productivity. Fortunately, there are an array of new tools that can significantly assist with that.
Haulotte Quick Positioning App
The Haulotte Quick Positioning App aides site managers and rental salespeople in defining the work area and selecting a MEWP with sufficient height and outreach. This reduces the need to estimate by sight and then hope the machine will suit the job.
Selecting the right machine the first time decreases the need to return an unsuitable machine, and cuts out the need for the operator to climb the guardrails to access the job.
Preventing unauthorized use of MEWPs is a major safety issue that can have distressing consequences. This app could be used on site when a subcontractor needs to borrow the scissor lift, or after hours when a joyrider wants to have some fun. Sadly, both of these misuses can end in a fatal accident.
Protecting machines on site and deterring theft once simply involved a key switch, but now JLG has introduced smart card technology that better safeguards MEWPs.
Utilizing their ClearSky technology to manage authorized users, JLG MEWPs can be restricted to operation only by trained personnel. Access to the machine remains simple with a smartcard that records training such as the IPAF Pal Card.
JLG Mobile Control
Moving scissor lifts around a jobsite, especially through doorways and in restricted areas, is risky. To reduce the hazards, JLG has introduced a mobile control app, for use on cell phones.
This app allows the operator to be mobile and to move to different positions for good visibility, without needing to be in the platform and potentially crushed going through a doorway, or walking beside the machine where a wheel might run over feet.
Loading scissor lifts onto the trailer can also be safer for the driver who can be positioned at a safe distance.
Skyjack Augmented Reality
Skyjack’s augmented reality technology is providing service technicians with relevant information when attending a breakdown on site. This technology includes viewing parts and repair manuals, plus remotely connecting with the OEM repair center to provide help on demand. Source: Skyjack
IPAF Spreader Pad Calculator
And finally for users of MEWPs with outriggers is IPAF’s own Spreader Pad Calculator app. This is a simple interactive tool to aid the selection of a spreader pad before going to the site.
Calculate the size of the spreader pad required by the weight of the machine and the ground type.
An assessment of the ground is needed before using the calculator, this should be included in the site risk assessment.
Visit www.ipaf.org/pads to use the calculator.
What’s next for MEWPs in 2020 and beyond? There will be continuing improvements in secondary guarding, fleet management and even automated controls.
So what about wearable tech which is fast becoming prevalent in society? Will this bridge the gap and allow integration of fall protection equipment with the machine? Will the use of technology address the high rate of accidents by falling from height? Will we see smart technology that knows when the platform occupants are clipped in? Stay tuned...