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Key to boosting safety

12 December 2012

Access management provider and loading bay supplier devise solution to the perennial warehouse issue of truck driveaways Loading bay supplier Easilift Loading Systems has joined forces with access management system man

Access management provider and loading bay supplier devise solution to the perennial warehouse issue of truck driveaways

Loading bay supplier Easilift Loading Systems has joined forces with access management system manufacturer Traka to offer a solution to the problem of drive-away accidents.

Called the Anti-Drive-Off - Loading Bay Management System, the solution synchronises the dock door and associated control equipment with an electronic key control system.

The system, which can be retro-fitted to current installations, ensures that not only are drivers prevented from moving their vehicles, but that the dock doors are only opened by qualified staff. Furthermore, it provides companies with an audit trail, giving management a concise record of loading bay activity.

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that loading bays are accident hot-spots. There are 246,000 workplace accidents every year and 12 per cent of those which are rated as fatal or major occur while unloading or loading, with falls and crushing the two main causes of injuries.

Accidents occur for a variety of reasons, including the unfamiliarity of drivers with the loading bay layout or operational system, lack of due care and attention, a simple breakdown in communication, or a combination of these factors.

The Anti-Drive-Off works from the moment a vehicle arrives on site. The driver is assigned a specific loading bay, parks up and goes to the transport office, where he or she hands over the vehicle keys, which are then attached to a Traka iFob corresponding to the dock number.

The iFob is an intelligent key which is shaped like a bullet and contains an electronic chip. It is inserted into a Traka key cabinet by the transport manager and a related iFob is removed and handed to the driver as a receipt.

It is only when this second iFob is removed that the doors to the dock can be opened. The cabinet sends a message to the dock door controller which illuminates a green LED light, showing that the door is live.

Just as iFobs can only be inserted into the cabinet by a qualified person, controlled by their ID card or unique pin, so only an authorised person can open the dock door, by inserting their own iFob into the dock door controller.

Loading or unloading can now take place safely. Drive-off accidents are prevented because the driver does not have the vehicle keys and although the doors can be closed at any time, they cannot be opened again until the same initial procedure is followed.

When loading or unloading is complete, the door is closed, which sends a signal to the control panel in the transport office.

The driver then hands back the iFob, this is inserted into the cabinet and the iFob attached to his keys is removed. The iFob is unclipped, the driver is handed the vehicle keys and is free to leave.

There are a number of other existing vehicle drive-away prevention systems available, but Easilift sales director David Whyatt believes the Anti-Drive-Off is the best there is.

He says: "Given the high vehicle and personnel activity and movement levels in and around the loading bay in a busy warehouse, it is perhaps no surprise that drive-away accidents do sometimes happen.

"As a leading specialist supplier of total loading bay solutions, we were determined to find a practical and cost-effective answer to this on-going problem and are therefore proud to have worked together with Traka to develop what we believe is now the most technically advanced anti drive-off system on the market." John Kent, chief executive of Traka, adds: "Drive-away accidents are a major concern in the materials handling industry and so we are delighted to have joined forces with Easilift to develop the Anti-Drive-Off.

"It offers a host of benefits, of which health and safety is certainly the most important, but when you factor in other valuable considerations such as its ability to offer operational data, you'll realise why we believe it is, without doubt, the best and most comprehensive solution on the market today."

At the show Easilift will promote the system at the IMHX 2010 exhibition at the NEC Birmingham from November 16 to 19 and will be present alongside Traka on the Traka Stand - M185 in Hall 18.

An animated presentation of the Anti-Drive-Off - Loading Bay Management System in operation is available to view at www.easilift.co.uk/intelligentaccessmanagement.