Gary Escott is the co-founder of SiteZone Safety, he has worked in the field of mobile plant safety for 15 years and has worked on the introduction of technology based safety products across other sectors. His goal is reducing the risk of collisions between vehicles and vulnerable persons using innovative products and technology.
All about SmartBubble – SiteZone grows up
When we first started the SiteZone journey, we also launched an accompanying safety campaign called ‘Don’t burst the bubble’ (DBB). It was designed to inform at-risk personnel, health & safety and site managers about work-related collision dangers and raise their awareness. The basic premise of the campaign was that every working vehicle or plant has a danger zone, or ‘bubble’ around it that no site worker should ever breach, in case they suffered a collision in the course of doing their job on site. SiteZone was a way of enforcing that danger zone or ‘bubble’, with audible and visual alarms to warn vehicle/plant operators and the workers on foot around them that they might collide with each other.
DBB has been a success in terms of reaching out proactively to inform managers and workers on anti-collision safety.
But now, we’ve upgraded the bubble. Thanks to our constant efforts to improve the applications of our RFID proximity warning systems, the bubble has become ‘smart’.
The result is that we are launching SmartBubble Technology this year. This is the name we have given a range of solutions that we have developed here at SiteZone Safety to enhance the performance of the SiteZone proximity warning system and its ancillary safety products. This range of solutions is designed to enable tailored and therefore, optimal collision avoidance safety performance for each client’s specific needs.
In a nutshell, SmartBubble solutions improve the performance of SiteZone products by increasing the proximity alarm’s integrity. This doesn’t mean that SiteZone doesn’t already work superbly – it does, and the user feedback tells us this. However, user data also indicated to us that there’s room to enable more precision performance, so that’s what we’ve developed. We listened to our clients and made the products work better.
SmartBubble enables automation of authorised approach to a plant vehicle. That means it monitors a machine to determine if it’s static and in a ‘safe state’. In which case the exclusion zone surrounding can be reduced, allowing people to work around the machine without the proximity alarms going off. As soon as any vehicle safety features are disengaged, the exclusion zone reverts to its previous settings. It takes safety to a new level by automating parts of the collision mitigation process. The machine driver/operator doesn’t have to physically press a button – it’s already executed automatically.
By taking notice of all this feedback data, we have enabled the PWS to detect even more precisely than before, without disturbing site operations. So, when the alarm engages, workers really know that there’s an issue demanding specific attention, and not the alarm just detecting nearby SiteZone tags within the safety radius, as it’s fundamentally designed to do.
Coming your way soon
SmartBubble’s first public outing will be at the Letsrecycle Live show in May where we will have a stand showcasing our products. We regard SmartBubble as an exemplar of how technology can evolve successfully from one, strong, core idea. It can constantly improve and integrate with the work environment to optimise performance rather than compromising operational activity to accommodate it.
On the coat-tails of our excitement about launching SmartBubble, we re-commit to keep researching and developing new solutions that make our clients’ lives safer, easier and more efficient. We won’t get anywhere useful if we don’t keep moving forward with innovation and being smarter about how we develop it for others’ benefit. After all, successful implantation is about working together, not isolating. Like I always say, collaboration is the key to making technology work for us, rather than just ‘work’.
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