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Clear vision with Sentinel forklift technology

Forklifts account for a quarter of workplace transport injuries. Because of this, it’s crucial to make workplaces safer, and one of the potential solutions is to install camera safety systems, says vehicle safety specialist Sentinel Systems.

Each year, 1,300 people in Britain suffer life-changing injuries as a result of a forklift truck accident. Forklifts are the most dangerous form of workplace transport, and account for 25% of workplace transport injuries. 

But for employers the headache doesn’t stop there, as the fallout from an accident also has a lasting effect on the injured person’s family, friends, colleagues as well as the business. Because of this, it’s crucial to identify and implement ways of making workplaces safer, and one of the best ways to do that is by installing camera safety systems on the forklift trucks, says Sentinel. 

A 360-degree solution

“We want staff working with and around forklift trucks to feel safe”, says Sentinel’s sales director, Allan Robertson, “It’s so important for site managers to put safety measures in place when it comes to the dangers of operating forklift trucks in confined spaces. Installing cameras is easy to do, isn’t expensive and really will save lives.”  

Sentinel’s 360° camera system offers drivers an enhanced view around the outside of their vehicles. It can be combined with Sentinel’s DVRs, allowing for up to 30 days of footage to be recorded on either SD card or HDD memory storage devices. In front of the driver a seven-inch high definition colour monitor is installed giving high image clarity so that anything around the vehicle is always visible to the driver.  

Alternatively, for exterior applications exposed to the elements a waterproof monitor can be provided with built in recorder. The cameras not only reduce the risk of any damage to the vehicle, but also lower the risks of injury to personnel. With a Sentinel system, the camera and monitor can be connected by a wireless connection with no physical cable required. Either a fixed, or moveable magnetic base mounting camera can be adjusted to suit different operational requirements which increase both operational efficiency and offer better long-term reliability. 

According to figures from the HSE, five workers in the UK are seriously injured in accidents involving forklift trucks every working day. By installing cameras on the vehicles and making simple changes – such as ensuring that the staff working alongside lift trucks are aware of the dangers associated with operations – is key to running a safe site. 

A need for training

Employees need training to improve their lack of awareness of workers on foot, especially as pedestrians account for 57% of those injured by lift trucks. In order to educate forklift operators, Sentinel’s camera system helps workers to be more aware of the main risks, such as people not being seen. 

Many managers and supervisors find it hard to keep up with ever changing standards and legislations and are unsure of where to begin in terms of improving safety. In order for a safety strategy to work, it needs to be clear to everyone who enters the site, whether that is a full-time employee or someone who is just there for the day. HSE research revealed that over a four-year period 49 incidents involved visiting lorry drivers, with 78% of them being struck by moving forklift trucks during loading and unloading.  

Additional factors

Poor working conditions, equipment problems and incorrect signage can also play a part in workplace accidents. Time pressures can lead to carelessness and the abandoning of safe practice in favour of completing a job on time. Another factor can be complacency, where experienced operators or drivers consider themselves to be familiar enough with the working environment so don’t think there is any danger. Camera systems can make it easy, as when placed around the lift truck, they will identify any potential hazards and take away the worries that come with manoeuvring in tight spaces. 

“For those who work on sites every day, the danger doesn’t seem as real,” says Allan, “But the safety of visiting workers must be taken into consideration as they don’t know the site. The amount of incidents occurring is far too high, and with systems like ours in the market there’s no excuse for not having them installed.”  

Sentinel’s experience with industrial vehicle and plant safety means operatives see more. Its safety solutions include advanced camera and reversing systems which improve driver vision and make manoeuvring safer, with successful installations including the likes of Hormann Doors UK, Pulse Environmental, DP World (reach stackers) and Allied Bakeries. 

Sentinel Systems’ safety camera package can be customised to meet the individual requirements of each fleet, depending on the size and operations of each vehicle. The system can be created using any number of Sentinel’s cameras including forward, rear and side facing cameras for a 360° view of the vehicle’s surroundings. 

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