Haulotte has launched an ‘active anchorage’ device that can detect if and when a harness lanyard has been attached to the main anchor point on the platform of a boom lift.
The system, that Haulotte calls ‘Fastn’ is different to anything currently on the market, and particularly Nationwide’s (Loxam UK) recently launched Harness On system. The Haulotte device has more in common with the seat belt warning system in cars or other vehicles. If a lanyard is not attached, the system will emit a beeping noise. After a pre-set time, if the operator doesn’t attach their lanyard, a downward facing blue light flashes.
One end of the Fastn harness attachment mechanism is connected to the platform’s main anchor point, while the other end has the spring loaded lanyard attachment ring, which is pulled out with a nylon strap so that the lanyard can be attached quickly and easily.
Fastn’s cylinder mechanism has a built-in motion sensor which detects certain types of movement. Trying to cheat it with a spare carabiner or screwdriver will only work for around 30 seconds, as the absence of any movement activates the alarms. The same feature can also detect an inert person. For example, should a lone operator suffer a medical emergency and pass out in the platform, the lack of any movement on the lanyard attachment will trigger an alarm after 30 seconds, alerting colleagues on the ground to the situation.
Conversely should the operator be ejected from the platform, the Fastn system will detect the sudden movement and constant tension on the spring loaded anchor, triggering the alarm and flashing lights, drawing attention to the incident.
The system’s compact, guardrail mounted ‘nerve centre’, also records activity - or lack of it - storing the information for later download via a USB port. There is also a three light signal panel to indicate system status.
Haulotte claims the Fastn system can be installed in around 10 minutes with two plug-in type connections and be fitted to any type or make of machine as long as it has a dead-man foot pedal. The wire connection to the foot pedal is the only link to the machine’s electrics, so no need to open or drill into the boom’s main control panel. The device has a high level anti-corrosion treatment and is sealed to IP69K levels.
Only one anchor point can be equipped with the Fastn system, so only one person can be attached. However, Haulotte says that it is the responsibility of the person in charge of controls to ensure that anyone else in the platform is fully harnessed and attached to the other normal anchor points. The argument goes that if the lead person in the platform protects themselves with a harness and short lanyard, the others will want to do the same.
The system is a development of Haulotte’s independent Intrapreneur and innovation team - Maxime Girard and Catherine Perrier.
This looks like an excellent solution for those seeking a way to ensure lanyards are attached - while providing additional benefits. It is quick and simple to install and use and imitates aspects of the car seatbelt warning systems that we are all very familiar with. It doesn’t remove any control from the operator and provides greater protection while gathering useful data for site managers and safety officers. Looking to the future it will at some point be tied into the machine’s on board telematics and remote diagnostic set up.
The next step for the current product will involve field testing. If the interest shown at APEX is anything to go by, Haulotte should have no shortage of companies willing to participate in trials or purchase the device. So how much does it cost? Haulotte has not yet disclosed the price, but we were told that it would be relatively inexpensive.
We look forward to reporting on how this solution is received and works out once it goes into production and mainstream usage.