Manufacturers relentlessly strive to enhance the safety features of these specialised machines, prioritising the well-being of operators and maximising productivity.

Access equipment is critical for conducting safe and efficient work at heights. Manufacturers continuously strive to enhance the safety features of these specialised machines, ensuring the well-being of operators and maximising productivity. In this technical article, Souma Ray, Director of Haulotte India Pvt. Ltd., will explore three fundamental safety features in access equipment: the tilt cutoff mechanism, descent cutoff of scissors, and active shielding system.

Tilt Cutoff Mechanism: safeguarding stability and Operation

The tilt cutoff mechanism is a top safety feature in access equipment. Its primary function is to prevent operations when the chassis incline surpasses the designated limit defined by design specifications. This mechanism detects the machine’s inclination or tilted position, turning off all functions to mitigate potential safety risks. Although the tilt cutoff feature presents challenges during loading operations, drivers can overcome this scenario by enabling the functions only when the boom elevation exceeds a designated threshold. By adhering to this safety measure, the stability and safe operation of the equipment are ensured.

Overload Cutoff

Once the platform is loaded beyond its nominal load-carrying capacity, the machine will cut off all functions. It is only possible to retrieve the machine from its stowed position using override controls, which effectively reduce the speed of the machine to safely retrieve operators from the platform.

Outreach cutoff

With the requirement of machines accessing higher heights and constraints involving their overall dimensions, manufacturers must come up with a solution to keep the machine stable in a reduced footprint. This is achieved by employing sensors, which help the operator keep the centre of gravity within the footprint, avoiding the risk of overturning. Once the machine is nearing its radius (outreach), the machine, through its logic, doesn’t allow any further movement, which may cause a destabilising effect on the machine.

Outrigger cutoff

For machines like Rough terrain scissors and spider booms, which need to be stabilised to reach their maximum height, the industry uses various methods of achieving it.In Scissor lifts, primarily, the use of Outriggers is employed, and in Spider booms, it is done by extending the footprint of the machine. Adding to this, there are cut-offs provided that wouldn’t allow the machines to reach full height without stabilising them.

Drive Speed Limitation on Elevation

When the machine is elevated and requires adjustment of position through driving, it can be quite unsafe in such a condition. Hence, a restriction is in place to reduce driving speed. This allows safe operation and movement of the machine in elevated conditions.

Descent Cutoff of Scissors

Specifically designed for scissor lifts, the descent cutoff feature ensures safety during the platform’s descent after completing tasks. When the scissor lift reaches a height of three meters, it pauses for three seconds. This deliberate pause allows operators to assess their surroundings and provides ample time for nearby individuals to move away from the descending platform. By mitigating the risk of collisions or accidents caused by insufficient awareness during the descent process, the descent cutoff feature enhances safety in scissor lifts.

Mitigating entrapment risks with Haulotte Activ Shielding Bar 2.0

One of the notable safety features of modern access equipment is an anti-entrapment secondary guarding system like our Active Shield Bar 2.0. This innovative system, pioneered by Haulotte as a manufacturer, aims to prevent entrapment incidents and improve operator safety. If an operator becomes trapped, the active shield bar activates, immobilising the equipment and restricting further upward or forward movement. This patented technology empowers operator or his fellow worker at the ground control panel of the machine to lower the platform and return to a secure position safely. By addressing one of the significant causes of accidents in the access industry, namely falls and entrapment, the active shielding system significantly reduces risks and enhances overall safety.

Haloutte India

Haulotte Active Lighting System 

One of the major challenges when it comes to AWP is the way they are operated, where the wheels are farther away from the control station. Quite often, there may develop a situation where the operator, while operating the machine, is completely unaware of the surrounding area near the wheels due to low ambient lighting conditions. Such situations can be dangerous which may involve extensive damage and, sometimes, fatality.

Haulotte innovation of the Activ lighting system, which is unique to Haulotte, measures the ambient light and automatically lights up the machine, including both control stations, so that the operator is fully aware of the surrounding conditions near the machine. This feature comprises ten integrated LED lights positioned strategically throughout the equipment. The active lighting system serves multiple purposes, such as facilitating work during nighttime operations and improving visibility in low-light conditions. With enhanced operator visibility, this system ensures maximum safety, especially during loading and unloading procedures conducted in challenging lighting environments. 

Access equipment manufacturers like Haulotte continuously prioritise safety and productivity by incorporating advanced features into their machines. The tilt cutoff, overlaod cut off, outreach cut off and descent cutoff mecchanisms, and  Haulotte specific features like Activ Sheild Bar 2.0 and Active lighting system are vital innovations that significantly enhance safety in access equipment.

By ensuring safety, promoting operator awareness, mitigating entrapment risks, and optimising visibility, these features empower operators to work at heights securely and efficiently. The ongoing advancements in access equipment safety features ultimately contribute to a safer and more productive working environment. 

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