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Technologies that Advance Safe Work at Height

Blog Posts - May 21

Technologies that Advance Safe Work at Height

Jennifer Stiansen
Director of Marketing
JLG Industries

In the last decade, the rental industry has accelerated its adoption of new technologies that make some common aerial job site challenges more manageable — like working on challenging terrain, being productive in tight work areas, working continuously (without interruptions) and minimizing the risk of accidents, all while complying with the most current industry standards.

Here’s a little bit more about some of these latest features... 
Technologies that Advance Safe Work at Height at a Glance

Compliance with industry standards

Recent updates to the ANSI 92 standards, now effective in the United States, require new MEWPs to be equipped with load sensing and tilt sensing technology to make sure operators remain within the capacity limits of the machine. 

More about load sensing…

For load sensing, MEWPs must now be equipped with sensors that actively monitor the machine’s platform load and sound an alarm, as well as interrupt normal operations, if overloaded. 

This means that operators need to pay close attention to what’s contributing to the MEWP’s load. For example, it’s important to know that the machine’s load capacity is not just calculated by the number and weight of people on the platform. It also includes tools and materials, as well as the personal gear of operators and occupants, such as hard hats, tool belts, jackets, boots and so on.

The machine’s load sensors will also capture any weight added by what the machine may come into contact with at the work area, like a ceiling joist, a rafter, an overhead beam or window ledge. It will cut out at once should the weight exceed its maximum platform capacity.  

To address this requirement, JLG has built-in sensor technology that is advanced enough to allow operators to respond to an overload situation, quickly and easily. By simply removing or unloading items from a JLG® machine’s platform, for example, the MEWP will recognize when its back within its rated load capacity, enabling operations to resume without the need to recalibrate the machine. 

More about tilt sensing…

The machine tilt sensing requirements in the current standards are very similar — a tilt sensor is required. The tilt sensor sounds an alarm and disables boom and drive functions if the incline surpasses the machine’s rated slope tolerance. 

The JLG tilt sensor technology allows operators to utilize restricted functionality to return the machine to a work area within its allowable operating range. Once the machine recognizes that its back within its rated zone, operators are able to reposition the machine or grade the worksite, to complete work within the rate load and slope tolerance of the machine. 


Solving job site challenges

Recent advancements in machine suspension technology have been developed to address working on uneven terrain. For example, self-leveling (for boom lifts) and variable-tilt (for scissor lifts) technologies are designed to adjust the machine’s chassis to the ground conditions, rather than trying to adjust the ground conditions for the machine. 

With self-leveling technology, the machine is engineered to automatically level itself at all times, even when driving the unit elevated. 

With variable-tilt technology on scissor lifts, sensors monitor both the weight in the platform and the machine’s tilt to determine the allowable work envelope. The machine then notifies operators, prior to raising the machine, about how high they can elevate, removing the guesswork that often results in having to descend and try again. 


Avoiding hazardous situations

Recent safety technologies for MEWPs have also focused on developments that contribute to operators' productivity in space-restricted areas, such as helping MEWP operators be more aware on the job site by giving them a better sense of their immediate surroundings. 

An example of this is the JLG SkySense™, an electronic detection system with strategically placed sensors that provide visual and audio alerts to inform the machine’s operator that they are approaching a structure. These sensors initiate the slowing down of the machine as it nears the structure, sounding an audible beep that increases in pace the closer it gets before stopping the unit completely. In situations where the MEWP must get closer to the structure once it is stopped, the operator can override the sensor technology to inch slowly towards the structure to place the machine nearer to the desired work area. 


More digital job sites tools

Mobile apps are becoming more prevalent on job sites and many that are now available are designed to improve the operator’s experience with the machine before work begins. For example, the JLG augmented reality (AR) app can enable users to scan the MEWP’s safety decals to get the current information on ANSI standards’ requirements, as well as to see an overlay of a specific machine’s control panel with explanations of its functions prior to machine operation. 

And, the JLG mobile control app offers remote control of a scissor lift without tethering to the machine. This allows users to maneuver around obstacles while maintaining a safe distance from the machine, position it into areas with low clearance and load or unload it from a truck without the need for an operator in the platform or walking next to the machine.


Looking ahead

Technological advancements are expected to continually transform the access industry to maximize productivity and enhance safety. As demand for new technology increases, JLG will be ready to respond with innovative ways for equipment owners and operators to interact with and operate these machines.

To learn more about JLG products and solutions, click here

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