Forklift Safety: Sensing the Dangers With Technology
- Ibukun Awolusi (University of Alabama) | Siyuan Song (University of Alabama) | Eric Marks (University of Alabama)
- Document ID
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Professional Safety
- Publication Date
- October 2017
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 36 - 39
- 2017. American Society of Safety Engineers
- 0 in the last 30 days
- 34 since 2007
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- One common hazard in manufacturing environments is struck-by events between forklifts and pedestrian workers.
- This article reviews research conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of magnetic field proximity-sensing technology deployed in an active indoor manufacturing environment.
- The technology was used to assess multiple variables associated with the successful implementation and operation of magnetic field proximity on a forklift and pedestrian workers.
- Experimental results demonstrate the proximity-sensing system’s ability to alert pedestrian workers and forklift operators when a hazardous proximity situation exists.
The U.S. manufacturing industry constitutes 8.3% of the workforce, but experiences a higher percentage of workplace injuries (12.6%) and workplace fatalities (7.3%) (BLS, 2016). Manufacturing environments are often characterized by dynamic resources including interactions between mobile equipment and pedestrian workers. The hazardous work environment characteristic of manufacturing facilities is evident in the high ratios of workplace injuries and fatalities compared to other industrial sectors in the U.S. A common problem in this environment is struck-by incidents between forklifts and employees completing tasks on the ground surface (BLS, 2016).
Opportunity exists to decrease the number of injuries, illnesses and fatalities in manufacturing work environments. The authors identified a need to evaluate the capabilities of magnetic field sensing technology to alert manufacturing personnel when hazardous situations exists.
This article reviews an experimental evaluation of the effectiveness of magnetic field proximity-sensing technology deployed in an active indoor manufacturing environment. A test bed and experimental trials were created to assess the effectiveness of a select proximity-sensing system. The research scope involves hazardous proximity situations and conditions between forklifts and pedestrian workers in a manufacturing environments.
Experiments were created to assess multiple variables associated with the successful implementation and operation of magnetic field proximity sensors on a forklift and pedestrian workers in an active manufacturing facility. Metrics were used to evaluate the technology’s effectiveness, including alert range, alert strategy, power source, cost and system complexity. Human-equipment interaction scenarios were created to assess the technology’s effectiveness.
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