How does Proximity Alert System help in workplace safety?
Published On: December 12, 2022 Revised On: May 4, 2023

How does Proximity Alert System help in workplace safety?

A proximity alert system is a safety device that alerts the material handling equipment (MHE) when getting close to a worker who might be in danger. This safety equipment can be installed into equipment such as forklifts, reach stackers, and gantry cranes.

Forklift accidents often occur in crowded or noisy workplaces, and the workers on site are the most vulnerable in workplace accidents. Accidental collisions may happen when a worker is unaware of a nearby vehicle operating.

There are other safety systems, such as a monitoring system but in this article, let us share more on the proximity alert system to help improve workplace safety in a warehouse.

What is Proximity Alert System, and how does it work?

Proximity Alert System is a vehicle-to-individual and vehicle-to-vehicle proximity warning technology created to prevent accidents involving workers and heavy equipment operating near one another close by.

The primary technology proximity alert systems use to protect and detect in any warehouse is frequency magnetic fields. A HIT-NOT component can recognise the presence of other devices and provide the relevant message or alert to workers on the ground.

The Magnetic Field Generator (MFG) and the Pedestrian Alarm Device (PAD) are the two most noticeable parts of the HIT-NOT Proximity Alert System. Each forklift has MFG fitted, and workers are required to wear PAD during their shifts.

The HIT-NOT devices create visual and audio alerts to inform drivers and employees of impending danger. The MFG notifies forklift workers, while the PAD warns employees nearby.

Most proximity alert sensors will provide a binary (on/off) signal when near an object. This signal will immediately convey the readings from the proximity alert sensors or at a specified interval (such as every five seconds).

Forklift truck movement makes it nearly difficult for operators and companies to prevent workplace mishaps. Without question, there are high human costs. However, forklift accidents also cost money. Due to the various causes of forklift accidents, technological advancements like RFID-based forklift safety systems substantially impact accident rates.

Radio frequencies are used by forklift trucks with radio frequency identification tags to sound an alarm when a worker enters the area. Only RFID-tagged workers can use this technology. When a person is near a forklift truck while wearing an RFID tag, the RFID tag generates a radio signal that is picked up by the alarm system.

The RFID forklift system can be used in two different ways:

Method 1: The RFID forklift reader is mounted in a fixed position (blind spot, intersection, warehouse entrance). RFID tags are placed on elevators to alert staff members that a lift is nearby, and when a lift enters the specified vicinity, an alarm rings.

Method 2: The RFID reader is attached to the elevator, and the workers wear the RFID tags. When workers are within the specified vicinity of the elevator, the alarm and lights go off.

How can RFID-equipped forklifts minimise workplace accidents and improve productivity?

Personal safety vests with high visibility can reduce collisions but do not eliminate workplace hazards. However, RFID-enabled forklifts and RFID-enabled safety vests increase worker safety.

When a pedestrian approaches an RFID-equipped forklift, the safety vest with the RFID tag is identified. A warning siren and flashing light notify the forklift operator when a pedestrian is nearby.

Forklifts can be located more effectively and promptly by using RFID tags, which also significantly minimises workplace dangers and accidents.

The following benefits for enterprises are provided by RFID-based forklift safety systems and the onboard electronics they communicate with:

  • increasing automation to increase productivity
  • lowering workplace fatalities and injuries
  • reducing labour costs by ceasing manual barcode reading tasks
  • Recognition of the load automatically.
  • Locating forklift trucks quickly and easily
  • Knowing where storage facilities are

Why Are Proximity Switches Important for Forklift Safety?

One crucial component of forklift safety is the proximity alert sensor. For the operator, proximity alert sensors keep track of the forklift’s location and vicinity. Proximity switches are crucial because they prevent forklifts from colliding with items or persons that could injure them. By keeping everyone safe, they contribute to the creation of a more secure atmosphere.

Advantages of Proximity Alert System

  • Forklift collisions and injuries are costly. If extra care is not taken, assets like finished goods or raw materials risk being damaged. Installing a tag-based proximity warning alarm system is an affordable investment to prevent litigation and expensive repairs.
  • A few proximity warning systems offer three ways to convey potential dangers: physically (through vibration), audibly, and visually. Industrial workplaces might benefit from real-time notifications that could save lives and safeguard equipment by utilising the sensors. Industrial settings are frequently chaotic, so it’s critical to have an alerting system that is:
  1. Extremely precise
  2. Able to endure challenging circumstances
  3. Provides various alerting options to increase accessibility and guarantee that the alert is received.
  • Install a vehicle’s proximity warning system to lower the likelihood of a collision involving a forklift and either a person or an object.
  • Systems for proximity warnings are sturdy and flexible and can be installed on any vehicle, including forklift trucks and excavators.
  • The safety equipment is economical. Since it was first developed only a few years ago, RFID technology has become less expensive. Additionally, installing walkways, safety barriers, and traffic flow layouts around a warehouse or factory can be much more costly than installing proximity warning systems.
  • PtoThe comprehensive safety network package installation at your workplace may include the proximity warning system. Since RFID technology has advanced, proximity alert systems can now store data and information that can be analysed to pinpoint risky areas and near-misses.