Australian company Equipment Safety Systems Pty Ltd (EQSS) is introducing its OverWatch safety system in Asia. This innovative secondary guarding solution aims to prevent injuries or deaths from crushing and trapping incidents on scissor lifts.
According to EQSS, OverWatch has been installed on more than 6,000 scissor lifts in Australia and New Zealand since 2020, helping construction companies deliver various projects.
The system is now available globally. Following the successful completion of trials in the UK by a number of major contractors, including Sir Robert McAlpine, EQSS will soon start OverWatch trials in Asia – with the first phase expected to take place in Singapore this year.
Overwatch is CE certified, with approvals from the MEWP manufacturers, making it suitable for the Asian market. The system is planned to be displayed at the upcoming IPAF Asia Conference & Showcase 2022, scheduled to be held in Singapore from 28 to 29 July.
To have a demonstration of the OverWatch, interested parties may contact EQSS directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
How does OverWatch work?
The system uses a LiDAR sensor, which features an infrared light beam to track the operator’s movements. OverWatch is also equipped with Wi-Fi enabled processor running EQSS-proprietary AI and advanced sensor fusion algorithms.
The system analyses the operator’s position and movement in relation to the motion of the scissor lift. It can then determine when an operator has moved abruptly or is in a dangerous position – either of which will immediately stop the machine.
EQSS noted that the OverWatch’s operator-centric approach to reducing the harm of a crush accident, in conjunction with its advanced technology that works in all types of jobsites, has led to the widespread adoption of the system in Australian rental fleets and on Australian construction sites.
Many large rental companies have led the way. “Secondary guarding reduces risk and I’m committed to installing it on the 4,000 scissors that we have,” said Peter Davis, executive general manager for asset services at Australia’s leading hire company Coates. “The OverWatch meets our needs and we value the fact it can be fitted on each of the brands we have in our fleet.”
Earlier this year, OverWatch was nominated for the 2022 IAPA (International Awards for Powered Access) Innovative Technology Prize.
Site trials in UK
Prior to its arrival in Asia, OverWatch entered the European market, with initial launch in the UK.
Five UK contractors have run construction site trials this year, deploying scissor lifts from two of the UK’s largest rental fleets. This gave operators a chance to test the OverWatch out in the real world on the construction site.
Craig Hook, head of McAlpine Lifting Solutions at Sir Robert McAlpine, said his company was pleased to be one of the first in the UK to get the OverWatch on their machines.
“Sir Robert McAlpine is very keen to use technology to support safe operational use of MEWPs. The OverWatch system, as part of a safe system of work, promises safety without impairing the use of the machine for the planned works. Historically, protection of occupants of scissor lifts has been problematic, so we are trialling the new system to assess for the broader benefit.”
Between 2016 and 2020, there were 27 trapping incidents on scissor lifts around the world, 19 of which proved fatal, according to the IPAF Global Safety Report 2021. Most of those incidents occurred in the construction and facilities management sectors.
“Preventing such tragic incidents is what drove the industry to demand secondary guarding on all mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs),” explained EQSS. “But previous protective devices have not been suitable for all types of scissor lifts, nor in all types of conditions.”
For that reason, EQSS went on to develop the OverWatch system that can operate no matter the elements or type of jobsite. “An effective secondary guarding system can mean the difference between an incident and a tragedy,” highlighted Ross Bowden, managing director of EQSS.
Watch the video below to have a better understanding of how EQSS OverWatch system works.