US based distributor ReachMaster has announced that it will introduce anti-entrapment safety systems on its Falcon and Bluelift models, claiming to be the first company in North America to do so.
The principle behind the system for both brands is the same, with an activation bar across the control panel, which if pushed down by the operator, will immediately stop its movement and instantly reverse the last operator input that caused the crush incident. At the same time an alarm will sound at the lower controls, alerting people on the ground that there may be a problem. If the entrapment situation rectifies itself by the automatic reverse movement, and the operator is safe and unhurt, the unit will reset and the operator can lower himself to the ground. If the operator is incapacitated or hurt and continues to lean on the bar, the unit will remain non-functional, only allowing the crew on the ground to lower the units through the emergency lowering systems.
President Ebbe Christensen said: “We have witnessed how these systems can save lives and how Europe, and in particular the UK has adapted to these new systems on a larger scale. IPAF with its roots in the UK has had a major impact on that development there and has also been instrumental in bringing the argument for these systems to North America. With our involvement in IPAF it has been a natural priority for us to add these safety features also to the compact segment.”
“We started to develop the systems with our European partners in a manner where the systems also could be available in North America for all models. As result we can now offer the option on all models from the ReachMaster Falcon and Bluelift range, from 12m/39ft to 51m/170ft.”
National sales manager Tom McKendree added: “We have decided that the customers should make that decision initially, so we will not offer it as standard, but rather a highly recommended option. That may sound contradictory to the purpose of offering the system, but one needs to remember the difference between a typical compact lift application and a main stream boom lift application. The majority of applications for main stream products are construction related where the environment is much more hectic, typical with a lot of other machinery in operation at the same time, higher boom speed and with unfinished conditions. All are elements that can easily distract an operator, whereas the compact units are primarily used in maintenance situations, where - given their very unique nature as lifts that can reach areas that no other lift can reach - there is an almost built-in higher awareness element when operating these units. Also, the boom and lift functions on a compact unit are typical slower than an outdoor boom lift, giving the operator a larger range of reaction time.”