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A Practical Guide to Enhancing the All-Round Awareness of Plant Operators

Dr David J. Edwards, Mr Neil Loxton and Mr Barry Robinson

Product Information:
A Practical Guide to Enhancing the All-Round Awareness of Plant Operators
Item Code:  PUB-005
ISBN:  0-947974-26-1
Published:  2004
Publisher:  Off-highway Plant and Equipment Research Centre (OPERC), Loughborough University Press.
Pages:  25 (Softback)
Price:  £30.00   
(Member Price: £20.00)
Produced in association with Construction Plant-Hire Association (CPA), Contractors Mechanical Plant Engineers (CMPE), National Plant Operators Registration Scheme Ltd (NPORS), Merlo and Roger Bullivant.

Accident rates associated with the operation of plant and equipment continue to plague industry. A significant portion of these accidents involve people being hit, or being run over, by a moving vehicle. Where in such accidents the plant operator is at fault, then this calls in to question the training, competence and supervision arrangements of that individual. In this respect, useful benchmarks are provided by OPERC’s Voluntary Codes of Practice for Operator Training and Best Practice Guide for Instructors.

However, in seeking to minimise such accidents careful consideration should also be given to the condition of the machine being operated, particularly regarding the aids used to raise the operator’s level of awareness and perception of their operating environment. One should question whether such aids are appropriate – and functioning correctly – they should at least alert the operator to the presence of pedestrians, (e.g. banksmen or signallers) who may encroach upon the machine’s operating envelope. These aids are collectively referred to as All-Round Awareness (ARA) aids and include: mirrors, radar, sonar audible alarms and rear view cameras.There are currently a wide range of legislative requirements and International Standards, which combined, provide detailed and comprehensive guidance on individual aspects of ARA. Nonetheless, there is a lack of a concise text of the subject area designed specifically for the busy practitioner.

This publication aims to fill that gap. It has been produced to inform practitioners of the various ARA technologies, and how these technologies can be employed to improve operator awareness. The publication deals with the use and functionality of ARA aids, highlights practical applications and identifies limitations of ARA devices. In so doing, it is hoped that the extent of pedestrian / vehicle accidents referred to at the outset, can be reduced.