reversing alarms and cameras on forklift trucks

Improving safety by fitting hazard detection systems

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services related technology around the world. In the UK, one of its companies at Ramsgate in Kent, assembles power generators for a diverse customer base.

Health and safety is of paramount importance to all Cummins operations across the globe. At the Ramsgate plant, as part of the continuous improvement process, a project team was set up to upgrade the traffic management around the plant, introducing new routes for greater safety and efficiency. There was a requirement to fit reversing alarms to the forklift trucks used on the site that would have a different sound to the large cranes used to move heavy equipment along the assembly lines. As the trucks would be working both inside and outside the plant, alarms with variable sound levels would be an advantage. In addition, it was decided to take the opportunity to fit camera systems to the forklifts to eliminate any blind spots when the trucks are reversing.

Brigade Electronics’ consultants were invited to recommend a solution to meet Cummins’ requirements. They then undertook a two day feasibility trial at the plant with the Cummins project team, a total of ten people, using a variety of Brigade safety products. As the forklift trucks varied in size from five to twenty tonnes, each vehicle had to be assessed independently.

Brigade’s unique bbs-tek® White Sound® broadband reversing alarms were chosen for fitment to all the forklifts, in particular the SA-BBS-97 that automatically adjusts the sound level to 5-10dB above the ambient noise level. In this way the alarms would be equally effective inside and outside the plant without causing nuisance by being too loud or not being heard by being too quiet. Also as the bbs-tek® alarms make a “ssh, shh, shh” sound instead of the shrill beep of a traditional tonal alarm, the warning sound was distinctive and instantly identifiable inside the noisy plant.

The VBV-750 reversing camera system with 5″ LCD colour monitor was also fitted to a selection of the vehicles. This provided a back-up to the instruction for all drivers, to look back when reversing, which is taught to all drivers through regular health and safety assessments.

The SA-BBS-97 reversing alarm is ideal for vehicles such as trucks, buses, coaches and refuse vehicles. This self-adjusting White Sound® broadband reversing alarm is tough, durable, dust and waterproof and can be steam-cleaned or pressure hosed. bbs-tek® alarms are approved by the Noise Abatement Society for their ability to eliminate noise nuisance.

The VBV-700C colour, flush-mount camera has a wide field of vision with a stay-clean lens coating. The VBV-750 monitor is ideal where space is limited, with up to 3 camera inputs and mirror/normal image switching.

Health, safety and Environmental Manager, Jeanette Deaney is pleased with the results of the fitment. She said: ‘We have certainly noticed the difference in noise and everyone clearly recognises the reversing alarm sound. The drivers are also glad of the backup provided by the camera to overcome any blind spots behind the forklift.’