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Double IIRSM Awards Shortlisting for RCV Smart Loader Project

Sam Boshier Apr 17, 2024 9:55:27 AM
SiteZone and FCC shortlisted for two IIRSM awards

FCC Environment, one of the UK’s leading recycling and waste management companies and its partner SiteZone Safety have been shortlisted for two awards at this year’s International Institute of Risk and Safety Management Risk Excellence Awards.

The RCV Smart Loader Project is a finalist in the ‘Barry Holt Award – Outstanding Risk Management Practice’ and ‘Most Impactful Risk Research Project’ categories. This is the third shortlisting the product has received after being announced as a finalist for the BSIF Safety Awards - Product Innovation – Safety Product Category (Non PPE) taking place on 1 May.

About the project

Over the last 10 years, there have been a number of fatalities across the UK involving collection crews and bin hoists operating in automatic mode. Aware of these incidents, and having several of its own reported near misses, FCC Environment approached SiteZone to collaborate on a joint research project.

In February 2023, the two companies collaborated to establish whether SiteZone’s proximity warning system could be adapted to provide additional protection to FCC employees loading Refuse Collection Vehicles (RCV). A month later, a working prototype of RCV Smart Loader was fitted to a RCV to prove the concept.

The trial proved successful, evidencing that the equipment did not impact on working practices, improved operator behaviour, and enhanced existing controls.

Less than a year after the initial research project, the product gained compliance and the first full contract deployment has taken place at FCC Environment’s Wychavon contract. As well as colleagues being safer - given there is a greater degree of protection from serious injury and the risk of them being lifted - the new system is re-enforcing long-term behavioural change as crews quickly adapt to the new way of working.

The research project also has implications for operatives working across the industry, as the system is already being trialled by other waste management companies and local authorities.

Commenting on the shortlisting, FCC Environment’s Head of Safety, Health, Environment & Quality, Paul Stokes said:

“We’re extremely proud to have been shortlisted for two awards for our smart loader system, and it is a great recognition for the work our teams do to ensure everyone goes home safe and sound at the end of the day.”

Paul added:

“We’re pleased to be the first commercial organisation to fully commit to rollout the SiteZone RCV Smart Loader onto our fleet of RCVs. The trials have proven the behavioural change that the system enforces, and this is something we can not only extend to colleagues on all of our collection rounds, but share best practice with the industry to ensure everyone in the sector is safe while at work.”

Gary Escott, Managing Director of SiteZone Safety comments:

It’s been a fast-paced project going from conception to compliant product in just under a year. But we've been excited by the results with operators taking well to the system. With new safety products, you can sometimes get push back from the people using them, but as this product doesn’t hinder what they do, and the teams can see the benefits in safety, it’s been adopted quicker than we could have anticipated.”

Discover how your loaders can work smarter with RCV Smart Loader.