OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – EM’s cleanup at Oak Ridge is supported by numerous vehicles that ship waste, transport personnel, and deliver items. With so many types of vehicles operating in a variety of work spaces, there is a potential for accidents.
The Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) and its cleanup contractor, UCOR, are implementing new technologies to ensure employees who operate machinery and vehicles or perform work around them remain safe.
UCOR is installing a new blind spot technology on all its commercial vehicles to prevent accidents and keep drivers, spotters, and people on foot safe by eliminating blind spots and providing a 360-degree survey of surroundings.
The technology involves the use of small radar sensor boxes attached to all four sides of a vehicle or trailer. The sensor box determines the location of any people or objects within a set distance of a vehicle. A signal is sent to the driver through a display with varying colored lights and sounds indicating the distance and location of the people or objects, and whether they are moving.
“The biggest benefit is enhancing worker safety, first and foremost,” UCOR Environmental Safety & Heath Operations Manager Bobby Alred said. “Once an incident happens, you can’t take it back, and providing the best tools available to reduce the risk of injury is an important step to enhancing worker safety efforts.”
UCOR is also implementing the MyZone Technologies Worker Alert Systems. With this technology, a transmitter is affixed to a vehicle, and workers wear small receivers. When an employee gets close to a vehicle, the transmitter emits a signal causing the receiver to vibrate. The vibrations alert workers when they are within a preset range of the vehicle.
These technologies differ in who receives notifications. Drivers are notified through the blind spot technology, while My Zone notifies those near vehicles. For certain types of work, UCOR is able to use them together.
“Employee safety is our top priority when performing any task in the field, and having these technologies to supplement existing procedures and safety systems helps to ensure this continues,” OREM Operations Management Division Director Larry Perkins said. “Identifying and implementing technologies like these is another way we are protecting our workforce and maintaining safety excellence at the site.”