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News » Plant » Prize for Nationwide's SkySiren » published 15 Mar 2012

Prize for Nationwide's SkySiren

Powered access hire company Nationwide Platforms has won an industry award for its SkySiren anti-entrapment system.

SkySiren has won the Construction Health & Safety Group (CHSG) Beaumont Safety Trophy, awarded annually in recognition of the best new working methods for the prevention of construction industry accidents.

The SkySiren safeguard has already been used on more than 30 sites across the UK, including at Heathrow Airport, Crossrail and the Scottish Hydro Arena.

As the cause of at least eight deaths between 2003 and the summer of 2009, entrapment in mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) is one of the construction industry’s most troubling safety issues. Entrapment incidents, also known as trapping or crushing, can occur when an operator is pinned between an object (from above or behind) and the access platform’s control panel.

In these situations the two most likely causes of injury are the initial entrapment crush forces, which can be considerable, and asphyxiation. It is quite possible that, in cases where the initial crush force is not “critical”; an operator could be “pinned” between an overhead obstruction and the control panel, unable to breathe.

In response to this, the SkySiren was launched in partnership between Nationwide Platforms and BlueSky Access, which was acquired by Nationwide’s parent, Lavendon Group, in 2011.

The SkySiren works by reacting to pressure on a sensitive rubber strip placed between the operator and the MEWP control panel. The pressure is converted into a signal to stop the MEWP immediately and trigger an alarm and flashing beacon.

The launch of the retro-fit solution in November 2011 prompted Skanksa UK to mandate anti-entrapment systems, with further contractors expected to follow in 2012.

Ove Arup & Partners and the Yellow Mat Company (JRL Group) were highly commended in the Beaumont Safety Trophy category.


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This article was published on 15 Mar 2012 (last updated on 15 Mar 2012).

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