Secondary Guarding for Scissor Lifts

UK based powered access lift company Kimberly Rentals group has launched a secondary guarding system for all of its scissor lifts. The system which is called SkySecure can be installed on all diesel and electric scissor lifts.

The company says that the system is the first of its kind designed for use with scissor lifts, and that it completes its secondary guarding range. Kimberly launched the SkyAlarm electronic system for boom lifts in 2012 and made it standard equipment on all boom lifts in its fleet the same year.

The SkySecure system has been developed with contractors, operators and third party certifiers and has been put through comprehensive live trials. The system features a self-test on machine start up, and a spring loaded wrist rest that will stop the machine when it is activated. Upon activation a siren will sound and blue emergency beacon will be triggered on. If it is accidently activated it can be reset at height by the scissor lift operator. The machine’s emergency controls can still be used to lower the platform should it be necessary.
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When the wrist rest is depressed the machine will stop and emergency signals will activate

Chief executive Geraldine Unsworth said: “The SkyAlarm system we introduced in 2012 has been successfully received by our clients, so it has been a priority to develop a system that will assist in the prevention of scissor lift crushing. We have extensively tested this new system with our clients and received a very positive response”.

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The idea is that if an operator is pushed down on the controller his forearm will activate the system

The company has also installed a proximity device that can be fitted to scissor lift controllers, which automatically cuts the travel speed to slow when the controller is outside of the platform – ie being used by an operator walking alongside the machine for loading, passing through a doorway etc…

Vertikal have said of the SkySecure device:

The SkySecure device has been created in response to demands from safety conscious contractors. Crushing incidents can and do occur with scissor lifts though thankfully they are very rare as dangerous operational factors on boom lifts, such as boom bounce and amplified basket movement while driving as well as having to operate the lift with your back to the direction of travel, are not usually present in the normal operation of a scissor lift.

Changes to scissor lift controller design, already made by most, if not all manufacturers, ought to prevent serious crushing incidents on their own. However the argument goes of course that if a device such as this can prevent even one fatality, then it is worth installing, particularly given that it looks as though it would not cause any inconvenience to the operator.
It will be interesting to see how or if it catches on.