Three (four) "Defences"- (Administrative Controls) +Operator Visibility / Proximity Detection / Collision Avoidance

Published Thursday 8 Oct, 2009 by Peter Woodford

LSM Technologies has been involved for some years now assisting Industry to mitigate fatalities, injuries and HPI's, associated with Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle to Person (V2P) and Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) interactions utilising their ORLACO Viewing Solutions in accordance with the ISO 5006 / 16001 Standards for Operator Visibility made a "recommended" (mandatory) Standard in November 2008.

LSM Technologies has been involved for some years now assisting Industry to mitigate fatalities, injuries and HPI's, associated with Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle to Person (V2P) and Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) interactions utilising their ORLACO Viewing Solutions in accordance with the ISO 5006 / 16001 Standards for Operator Visibility made a "recommended" (mandatory) Standard in November 2008.

LSM Technologies has provided numerous presentations to Industry and Safety / Health Authorities regarding the new ISO Standards- a few being:

  • QME Mines Inspectorate Brisbane offices in November 2008.
  • Mine Haulage Conference Dec 2008.
  • Quarrying Safety / Health Conference- Townsville April 2008.
  • Quarry Safety  / Health Conference- Brisbane June 2008.  
  • Queensland Mines Safety / Health Conference- Townsville August 2008. 

 Also during 2009, at LSM Technologies behest, the QME (DEEDI) Mines Inspectorate hosted throughout Queensland, 4 x 2 day Operator Visibility / Proximity Detection and Collision Avoidance Workshops  during August and September which were well received, with an estimate of more than 500 attendees.

The Workshops attracted enormous support, with attendees from the Mining / Quarrying and Construction Industries, not only within Queensland but from many other Australian States.

In addition, suppliers of Visibility, Proximity Detection and Anti- collision Technology's from AustraliaEurope and USA also attended and provided presentations.

The Workshops brought Technology and Industry together to share knowledge, discuss needs and provide awareness, that will hopefully lead to the primary objectives of ALARA / Zero Harm relating to Operator Visibility (blind spots) issues that contribute and / or cause fatalities, injuries and HPI's, associated with Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle to Person (V2P) and Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) interactions.

The following news article is provide the reader with some "food for thought" when considering their strategy in implementing technologies to mitigate safety issues associated with Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle to Person (V2P) and Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) interactions- primarily caused by restricted Operator Visibility / "Blinds Spot" around machines / vehicles / equipment.

1. First Step- Risk Analysis.

When considering technology to mitigate Fatalities, Injury and HPI's, associated with V2VV2P and V2I interactions, there is some trepidation as to where to start and what technology should be implemented.

It is acknowledged that the first step is to complete a thorough and detailed RA (Risk Analysis- Assessment) in providing a solution that can meet ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) / Zero Harm objectives.

Whilst many aspects of safety involving machines and human asset interaction are common, there are some different requirements when dealing with under- ground and above- ground Mining / Earthmoving Operations.

2. Identifying Major Causes and Contributors.

It is acknowledged worldwide that approximately 80%- 90% of Fatalities, Injury and HPI's involving V2VV2P and V2I interactions are a result (or a significant factor), of restricted Operator Visibility around vehicles / equipment- "blind spots"- and they occur predominately:

  • At low speeds of 0- 10 kilometres / hour.
  • In situations where there is close proximity.
  • Primarily rearward travel.

3. Compliance / International Control Measures.

The ISO 5006 Standard for Earthmoving Equipment- Operators Visibility has been developed over nearly 20 years and was made a full standard in 2006 and recommended (mandatory) in November 2008, after a two (2) year amnesty period.

The ISO 5006 (and 16001) is specified / endorsed / enforced internationally to mitigate "blind spot" incidents by many safety / health authorities and industries.

A few examples and links are:

In addition, the ISO 5006 / 16001 is already adopted / adapted in many specifications for various equipment / vehicles not only in the Mining / Earthmoving Industry but also Materials Handling (eg Forklifts), Construction (eg Cranes), Waste VehiclesTransport, etc.

The ISO 5006 clearly states: "The purpose of this International Standard is to address operator's visibility in such a manner that the operator can see around the machine (360 deg) to enable proper, effective and safe operation that can be quantified in objective engineering terms.

Subsequently, it is clear that the ISO 5006/ 16001 should be one's first starting point as "Defence #1", so as to:

  • Mitigate 80-90% of such related incidents.
  • Reduce the risk of litigation / legal ramifications in non- compliance to "recommended" International Standards and accepted Industry Control Measures. 

For more detailed information and links, please also read our news article: Are you compliant to the new ISO 5006 / 16001- Earthmoving Equipment / Operators Visibility?

4. Defences- What technology to implement?

The following is a what we view as the lines of "Defences" that should be considered when endeavouring to mitigate Fatalities, Injuries and HPI's involving associated V2VV2P and V2I interactions:

Defence #1: Operator Visibility:

  • Implement the ISO 5006 / 16001 to eliminate "blind spots" with the use of "Visual Aids" such as Mirrors and CCTV Systems.
  • This should mitigate more than 90% of such incidents and so your primary Defence technology.
  • Are stand- alone systems, require little maintenance and no separate infrastructure to support them.  
  • Investment is minimal.

Defence #2: Proximity Warning / Detection Systems:

  • Short and Long Range Radar (RF Tagging for personnel / equipment- underground).
  • These devices however, augment Defence #1 and as stipulated by the ISO 5006 (16001) are a "Hazard Detection" device and can only be used in "exceptional" circumstance in place of CCTV / "Visual Aids".
  • The ISO 5006 (16001) is clear- a "blind technology" should not be utilised to mitigate a "blind spot" Operator Visibility issues.  
  • Hazard Detection (HD) are a good secondary devices to complement Defence #1 so as reduce Operator interaction (changing camera views) and to "prompt / warn" the Operator or to automatically initiate a camera view should an object be detected.
  • One also needs to consider the risk in using such devices as a primary Safety defence, as they are not a safety device on their own and are classed as a "backup up assist" (HD) devices only.  
  • Hazard Detection / Proximity devices are stand- alone systems, require little maintenance and no separate infrastructure to support them.     
  • Investment is minimal.

Defence #3: Collision Avoidance / Awareness Systems:

  • Are usually RF and / or GPS communication / positioning systems.  
  • These systems are primarily utilised for Fleet Management information on positioning of plant.
  • Will provide management information for vehicle congestion, dedicating no- go zones (eg blast areas, overhead power lines, etc), non- compliance (contravening speed, intersection stops), mapping of haul roads, etc.
  • May provide some degree of safety but only for less than 2-5% of incidents and these situations can be mitigated better by other methods and procedures (eg high speeds / intersections- removal of light vehicles on haul roads, etc).  
  • There is no accepted / known Safety Standard for their use.
  • These devices / systems require costly maintenance, service support contracts for software / data / hardware updating. extensive support infrastructure and personnel to monitor / report data.  
  • Initial investment is high, as well as on- going servicing costs.
  • Are suitable / designed for primarily HME / LV but and do not address close proximity or equipment such as Telehandlers, Forklifts, Tyre Handlers, Motivators, Drag- line / Shovel operations, Cranes, etc.  
  • Also consider Operator "information overload" and the associated risks of an Operator distracted by reading a screen- whilst moving.
  • There is a considerable latency in attaining real- time information from these types of systems.
  • Subjected to interference and "drop outs" by solid objects (eg workshops / buildings, etc) and other site RF communications.

Defence #4- Procedural  / Non- Technology Mitigation.

Really this is the "first line of Defence" that is not "technology based" and should be assessed / implemented initially.

Part of the initial RA is to also consider what Administrative / Non- Technology / Procedural tools could also be utilised to mitigate Fatalities, Injury and HPI's, associated with V2VV2P and V2I interactions.

For example:

  • Berms at intersections to stop HME from "cutting corners".
  • Road rules for overtaking.
  • Elimination of service vehicles and personnel from Haulage roads.
  • Pedestrian bermed walkways- especially in Park- up areas.
  • Restriction on number of intersections- Haulage road design.
  • Restrict rearward travel where possible (eg forward only into / out of workshops.
  • Etc. 

A combination of all these "Defences" will also need an on- going scrutiny and evaluation so as to achieve ALARA and meet "Zero Harm" objectives.  

5."Park- up" Policy- Quality / Robustness / Fit- for- Purpose.

The Mining / Earthmoving / Construction industry is a recognised as an arduous operating environment and so one needs to ensure that they select their "Defence" Technologies carefully and that they are "fit- for- purpose".

Reliability, Durability and Performance are all key criteria in selecting your technology and their importance can not be overlooked. Not just because of the high costs of maintenance / replacement but also the net effects on Safety, Equipment Damage and Productivity.

A significant and primary aspect to consider is- what is you "park- up" policy should any of your "Safety Defence Technologies" fail?

As an example: Should a Camera / Radar (RF Tag) / RF- GPS fail then as a Safety device / Control Measure- should the Operator "park- up" and await replacement / repairs?

The issue with not utilising quality "fit- for purpose" technologies is if they do fail then:

  • No "Park- up" policy: Should the machine continue to operate then safety may be compromised and a high risk that an incident could occur- with substantial duty- of- care ramifications.
  • "Park- up" Policy: Should the defence / device fail frequently then there will be a substantial risk of equipment damage and also loss of productivity.    

The ISO 16001: Earth-moving machinery -Hazard detection Systems and Visual Aids -Performance Requirements and Tests, will assist you in the correct selection of both Visual Aids (VA) and Hazard Detection (HD) Safety / Control measures, so as they are of suitable quality and provide fit- for- purpose performance criteria. 

Ensure your technology providers meet the ISO 16001 Standards and that they support their devices with minimum 1-2 year warranties.

A common expression: "There is alway a cheaper alternative- as long as the end results and consequences are ignored"

6. We have implemented our Safety System - What now?

Once the chosen technological (and Procedural) "Defences" are in place, one needs to then record / log data / video for analysis and validation- especially if an incident were to still occur. 

Collection and recording of the amount / type of data remotely (to a base) from Defence #3 can be completed simply without taxing bandwidth and available storage  / collection (GPRS- RF- Wifi, etc) or adding additional technology Infrastructure. Defence #3 information is usually deemed "non critical" and so can be downloaded with some latency via "hot spot" download points.

Contrarily, recording of Defence #1 and Defence #2 would require extensive technology, network bandwidth and would overload common transfer system (GPRS, Network, Wifi, etc)- which would also have incipient latency- when considering the need to attain real- time storage / collection of Video Images / Radar Data.

Subsequently, a more effective solution (Defence #1 / Defence #2), both technically and commercially would be to implement an End- Point "Black Box" device mounted in the vehicle that could collect and store in "real- time" both Proximity Warning (Radar) / CCTV Imaging data and also be robust enough to survive an incident for post analysis.

7. More than Safety! Productivity + Equipment Damage Control.

Sometimes new Safety / Health initiatives can be met with initial resistance due to high costs. However, mitigating incidents associated with V2VV2P and V2I interactions- especially resolving Operator Visibility / Blind Spots- will not only increase Safety but also reduce Damage and will enhance Productivity

No only is the initial investment is such Safety technologies provide an immediate return but also enormous savings in:

  • Reduction of damage: vehicles, berms, stationary objects, buildings, Excavator / DTruck impact, etc.
  • Avoidance of obstacles: on road that can damage vehicles and also tyres.
  • Quicker turn- around: of vehicles- eg DTruck Fill- Dump cycles.
  • Increased Operator awareness / lower fatigue.

8. Share Value / Investor Returns / Loss Productivity.

It is becoming more of a requirement (legislated in some industries already), to record, disclose and report HPI's Injuries and Fatalities- not only to Health and Safety Authorities- but also to Investors.

Besides the human loss, substantial costs are involved in Safety incidents with litigation, fines, compensation and loss of productivity- even permanent closure of sites / company's.

As detailed in a recent report completed by CITI Group- Safety Spotlight June 2009, there is a direct link to Company's Share Value and Investor Returns involving Safety and Health incidents.

9. Summary / Conclusion.

There is still much more to consider (Integration of various systems /  devices, transfer of technology between equipment / sites (eg Contractors), redundancy, reliability, training, etc).

There are challenges in achieving ALARA  / Zero Harm in Industry but they are far unsurmountable- both technically and commercially. 

In Summary:

  • Risk Analysis: Complete a thorough RA for your equipment and operations and determine technology and non- technology mitigation.
  • Defence #1: Implement ISO 5006 Operator Visibility to mitigate more that 80- 90% of Fatalities, Injuries and HPI's associated with V2V, V2P and V2I interactions.
  • Defence #2: Hazard Detection Devices- augment Defence #1 where applicable.
  • Defence #3: Implement- but consider the relationship to Safety and primarily objectives for such technologies.
  • Defence #4: Implement unconditionally- some options that will cost less and be as (or m ore) effective then technology.
  • Quality / Performance: Ensure supplier conforms to ISO 16001, equipment is fit- for purpose" and your "park- up" policy is in place.
  • Recording Data / Video: Consider the need for collecting / storage of data and video images- one will need to validate an incident- if it still occurs.
  • Company Value: Not only is there a responsibility / accountability to the worker but also to the investors, in not only maximise productivity, lower costs but also the well- being of the Safety and Health of people in all industries and workplaces.

10. LSM Technologies / References.

LSM Technologies are committed to the on- going development of technologies / systems as an industry champion to continually improving our clients objectives of enhanced Safety (Health), Equipment Damage Control and Productivity.

Below are links to the presentation provided by LSM Technologies as well as this link to the relative video clips which can be downloaded or viewed on our web site.

For more information or technical advice please either email or contact us