What is Entrapment and how Secondary Guarding can help
Entrapment by definition is the state of being caught in or as in a trap. When used in relation to MEWPs - what does it actually mean?
It refers to when the operator becomes “entrapped” between the MEWP and an object. This can be caused by many elements however two key factors that commonly lead to “entrapment” are:
- An operator is not watching in the direction that they are moving to
- An operator drives over an object (or uneven ground) resulting in sudden unexpected movement of the platform or basket
How to avoid this hazard and its potential outcomes?
- Competent trained and assessed operators e.g., IPAF PAL card program
- An emergency and rescue plan that is job and task-specific
- A “pre-use inspection” (site and MEWP conditions) is required to be performed by the competent operator prior to MEWP use.
- Correctly maintained and repaired equipment (competent technicians)
- Secondary Guarding
What do OEMs Call Systems That Help With This Hazard?
The answer - Secondary Guarding! This functionality can be referred to by different names by the OEMs such as Contact alarm, Sky Sense, Sky Guard, Control panel protection etc.
How it works?
Secondary guarding systems are usually comprised of electronic or electromechanical devices that are linked to the MEWPs operating system and they provide a “free movement zone” or “wiggle room” for the operator/s should they suffer an entrapment situation. More recently developed systems that utilise newer technology use Ultrasonic sensors, Electromagnetic sensors or Radar. These newer systems can provide enhanced “prevention capability” including increased protection zone area, and object approach speed reduction.
One of the most important features of “secondary guarding” is its ability to bring awareness to those at ground level that something has gone wrong in the air. This is frequently a significant contributor to more serious incident outcomes with entrapment…. The delayed response to an emergency. Secondary guarding raises the alarm via a horn, or siren, and frequently a flashing light to bring awareness to persons on the ground. and permitting the “emergency and rescue plan” to be deployed early on.
KEY TAKEAWAY - No system is foolproof and good planning and competent operators are key to prevention. Learn more during one of our certified IPAF training courses at any Manlift location across the UAE, Qatar and India. Contact us now to book!