ReachMaster Rolls Out Anti-Entrapment Safety Systems for Compact Aerial Lifts

ReachMaster is now offering anti-entrapment safety systems on all their Falcon and Bluelift compact aerial lift models.

While many scissor and boom lift manufacturers have introduced these systems on their models, the Houston-based company is claiming to be the first to do so in North America for the compact lift segment.

“We have witnessed how these systems saves lives and how Europe, and in particular the UK, has adapted to these new systems on a larger scale,” said Ebbe Christensen, president of ReachMaster.

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) had a major impact on the development and integration of the systems in the U.K., and Christensen said the organization was instrumental in bringing the systems to North America.

“With our involvement in IPAF, it has been a natural priority for us to add these safety features also to the compact segment,” said Christensen, who was recently elected as chairman for IPAF’s North American Regional Council.

The anti-entrapment safety system has an activation bar across the control panel. If it’s pushed down by the body of the operator, the unit will immediately stop its movement and move in the opposite direction of its last operator input. At the same time, an alarm will sound at the ground controls, alerting people on the ground that there is a critical situation.

If the entrapment situation rectifies itself by the automatic reverse movement and the operator is safe and unhurt, the unit will reset and the operational functions will resume so that the operator can lower himself to the ground. If the operator is incapacitated or hurt and continues to lean on the bar, the unit will remain nonfunctional, only allowing the crew on the ground to lower the units through the emergency lowering systems.

The systems will be offered as an optional feature the for Falcon and Bluelift models.

“We have decided that the customers should make that decision initially, so we will not offer it as standard, but rather a highly recommended option,” said Tom McKendree, national sales manager for ReachMaster.

However, McKendree says he believes that the system is likely to become standard equipment in the future.

ReachMaster will be offering the system for new units and also as after-market kits that can be applied to most existing models.