Working at height forum attracts record numbers

By Euan Youdale19 October 2015

SkySiren PCS demonstration at Nationwide Platforms Working at Height Best Practice Forum.

SkySiren PCS demonstration at Nationwide Platforms Working at Height Best Practice Forum.

More than 220 delegates attended Nationwide Platforms' Working at Height Best Practice Forum in the UK this month.

Among the record number of senior managers were key speakers including Matt Fearon, President of Terex AWP; Brad Boehler, president of Skyjack, and Neil Brown, civils delivery health and safety manager for Crossrail.

Nationwide Platforms used the forum as an opportunity to introduce its new SkySiren PCS (Pre-Crush Sensing) intelligent secondary guarding system, which for the first time offers UK powered access users double protection against entrapment and crushing hazards.

The event took up two exhibition rooms and the conference theatre at The Belfry, in Warwickshire. Suppliers were given space to display their products, and Nationwide Platforms demonstrated a wide range of the latest powered access machines around the venue.

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.

Secondary guarding

SkySirenPCS combines Nationwide Platforms’ SkySiren secondary guarding device with a new system called Pre-Crush Sensing. This 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.

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.

Amon the truck mounted booms on display was one of Nationwide Platforms’ fleet of new Palfinger TP48 machines. Weighing 18 tonnes, the Palfinger TP48 is ideal for urban work. It has an excellent negative envelope, which is perfect for quayside work and bridge inspections, and a unique reversible platform for working up and over structures and buildings, said the company.

During his presentation, titled Partners in Safety, Matt Fearon highlighted Terex AWP’s strategic approach, working with customers and national agencies, and embracing safety innovations.

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 added, “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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