We’ve been working closely with SUEZ, a global group that provides water, waste, and resource management solutions to millions of people and businesses worldwide, to reduce the pedestrian plant collision risk across their UK sites with SiteZone proximity warning systems.
Checkout the video below to see how we have worked in partnership:
Paul Marsden, Director of Health and Safety, at SUEZ who has been leading the project, said:
“Due to the nature of our waste recycling and recovery activities in SUEZ, we have a significant volume of vehicle and plant movements daily with potential for pedestrian interaction. We initiated a programme called 'Zone Access Restrictions', which assessed our sites, ensuring we:
- Have physical barriers in place segregating people, vehicles and plant.
- Ensure appropriate work task orientation to remove people from ZAR areas during high-risk activities.
- Provide clear visual and procedural management standards to warn people of the risks and areas they are restricted from entering.
This work proved invaluable in creating safer workplaces for our people. Still, we noted we could go further to assess how adequate our risk controls were and understand the behaviours of our teams in managing these risks, which is when we engaged with SiteZone.”
How does it work?
Our proximity warning system alerts both the driver and pedestrian when an exclusion or detection zone is breached. Everyone onsite, including visitors, is issued with a tag which they test at the start of the shift. If a pedestrian gets too close to moving plant and enters the exclusion zone of the machine:
- The driver is alerted
- The external alarm will sound
- The tag will vibrate
How do operators work with SiteZone?
At the start of each shift an operator will pair their tag with the SiteZone device on their vehicle so that they don’t get detected by their own machine. But when they exit the cab and walk around site their still detected by other moving plant.
Gary Escott, Managing Director of SiteZone, commented:
“When active, the SiteZone system produces a detection zone around the mobile plant. The zone is sized appropriately to suit the item of mobile plant and site. There can be more than one zone for some machines, such as on an excavator where you may require a separate zone around the machine's bucket. The benefits of using this technology are the ease of installation and setup, reliability of the detection field, and closely defining of the size of the detection zones.”
“If a person wearing a tag breaches the zone the tag will vibrate, the alarm will sound, and the beacon will flash. The operator will be alerted and can put their machine into a safe state until the pedestrian has left the zone. 3 seconds after the pedestrian has left the zone the alarm will stop.
By using a tag-based system it provides a double layer of protection as both the pedestrian and driver are alerted, as well as others working nearby. The tags are low cost, tamper proof, and have a 3-year battery life which reduces a point of risk compared to relying on staff to recharge a battery at the end of every shift.”
Fred Stinchcombe Production Operations Manager at SUEZ Avonmouth, said:
“We’ve embedded SiteZone into our safe systems of work at SUEZ. All staff and visitors get a tag and training prior to entering the facility. The tag is an essential part of PPE just like hard hats, boots, glasses, gloves, and hi-vis clothing.
The system is easy to work with and help the operators to avoid any potential risky situations. It also makes people walking around our machines much more aware of the potential danger of getting too close to moving plant.”
Paul went on to say:
“The SiteZone System collects data about all interactions between people and plant on site to enable us to monitor and analyse our performance. When we first installed the system at Avonmouth, we made a 97% reduction in zone breaches in just three months using the data. It gave us visibility of what was happening on the ground, and we made long-lasting site improvements, including redesigning pedestrian routes, reducing access points and further improving physical barriers. We also increased awareness and changed behaviour amongst the workforce on-site.
The latest innovation we’ve been trialling with SiteZone is a new technology using a ‘snapshot’ camera. The camera integrates with the SiteZone proximity warning system to provide visual evidence of interaction between people and plant. When someone wearing a tag breaches a zone the camera sends a snapshot of before and after the incident to the cloud. This enables us to review the footage to identify how the zone breach occurred, helping us learn from the event and put in place further preventative measures. This has been successfully trialled at our Avonmouth facility and it will be a standard part of our SiteZone installations in the future.
"Suez were the first waste and recycling operator to install infrastructure limiting. The walkway limiters improve the integrity of the system by limiting the detection of tag wearers when they're in a safe area such as a segregated walkway. This also improves the accuracy of the data as you know zone breaches are genuine instances of people getting too close to moving plant.”
“It’s a partnership with SiteZone. We work together to implement the system and then use it to make real, lasting site improvements to keep people safe. The system complements our other site safety measures and allows us to create real behavioural change. It is a valuable aid for the operator to alert them as to the presence of a pedestrian."
See the full video on YouTube.