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Global Scissor Safety

Global Scissor Safety

By Katie Holt


OverWatch, a secondary scissor lift guarding solution, is rapidly being introduced and implemented worldwide. 

Equipment Safety Systems (EQSS) is celebrating the delivery of its 10,000th OverWatch, a secondary guarding solution for scissor lifts.

The device monitors the operator’s position and stops the machine if the operator becomes at risk of being crushed against the scissor lift controls.

Based in Melbourne, Australia, EQSS designs and produces computer safety systems for mobile machinery in construction, mining, and logistics.

They use modern and cutting-edge technology to create modular safety systems, ranging from AI image processing to LiDAR sensing devices. 

Ross Bowden, managing director of EQSS, said, “We take comfort in knowing that 10,000 scissor lifts are now fitted with OverWatch secondary guarding. When we consider that multiple people can jump onto a scissor each day, it is a high number of workers who have been protected by OverWatch.”

“Secondary guarding was initially introduced more than 10 years ago on boom lifts and is now the industry norm. It is so important that scissor lift operators have that same level of protection,” Bowden said. 

EQSS has received the approval of all major aerial lift manufacturers to install OverWatch on their machines and is CE certified and ANSI compliant. 

Haulotte now offers OverWatch globally as a factory-install option on their latest generation of scissor lifts produced at their facilities in France and China.

Keith Clarke, general manager of Haulotte Australia, said, “At Haulotte, we have always had a very strong focus on safety and are always looking for new ways to protect workers and reduce risk. We have partnered with EQSS and their OverWatch system, which is not only effective, but lightweight and cost-effective.”

Another scissor lift manufacturer who has embraced OverWatch is Sinoboom. Mitch Ely, general manager at Sinoboom Australia understands first-hand the importance of integrating technology into MEWPs that help protect workers from both a manufacturers and rental perspective.

An advocate for secondary guarding solutions, Mitch was involved in the roll-out of secondary guarding for boom lifts during his time in the U.S. working for Genie as director of global services. 

After returning to Australia, Mitch held the position of chief operating officer at Access Hire Australia, part of Access Group International, prior to his current role leading the Sinoboom Australia subsidiary. 

Speaking on their decision to install OverWatch, Mitch said, “Meeting the expectations of our customers is critical to our business. Tier 1 builders have very specific technical requirements and EQSS has delivered on all fronts. 

“With approval from major construction companies like CPB and full integration of OverWatch into the Sinoboom control system, EQSS has developed a product that is suitable for large OEM’s like us with an innovative product that fits completely into our upper control box allowing our customers flexibility to move the system around.”

Ross added, “Every single OverWatch that is installed onto a scissor lift is one more step towards helping workers return safely to their families at the end of each workday.”

Launched by EQSS in 2020, many of the OverWatch devices in operation are currently within the Australian rental industry, however EQSS is building upon its success in Australia by expanding into international markets. 

International Expansion

OverWatch was one of the first viable secondary guarding solutions for scissor lifts to be brought to market. 

Now, it can now be found on construction sites across the globe. Currently, rental companies and major contractors are introducing OverWatch to scissor lift operators
in the U.S., U.K., Singapore, Japan, and Europe.

It has been met with the same positive reaction as in Australia, with companies keen to address the risk of crushing and protect their employees at all times. 

Bowden stated the push globally is just beginning for continued adoption of the safety device. 

“We have trials ongoing in the snowy mountains of the U.S. and in the humid skyscraper apartments of Singapore. Rental companies are looking to upgrade their fleets to meet the demands of their customers - the contractors and builders.”

“The reaction has been very positive,” Ross adds, as EQSS continues to showcase OverWatch in multiple countries worldwide.  

According to Ross, every contractor that EQSS has spoken to in the U.S. and U.K. has said that incidents and near misses are occurring, but they are unaware of a solution that works effectively on scissor lifts. 

“Once they see OverWatch in action, they immediately see the benefits and the protection it provides,” Ross said. 

Recognizing the Need

To address the entrapment hazard on scissor lifts, EQSS began developing a solution. 

They consulted with major contractors and leading rental companies, who actively supported the project by arranging trials and validating the design. 

Through this cooperative approach the high-tech development of OverWatch was fast-tracked and quickly brought to production. 

Ross said that he company has now sold enough systems to know how it is used and what the operators expect. 

“It is important that time is taken to explain to workers how OverWatch works and how they need to adapt to better use the scissor lift. The benefit is that operators adapt really well and like any tool once they understand how it works, they adjust and work smart to get the job done,” Ross explained. 

OverWatch utilizes a LiDAR sensor to detect the operator’s position and movements. 

It does not interfere with normal operation of the scissor lift, instead it continuously monitors the operator’s position using an infrared light beam. 

The system can determine when an operator has moved abruptly or is in a dangerous position, either of which will immediately stop the lift.

“Improving operator safety is at the core of everything we do here at EQSS. We take a rigorous and unrelenting approach which ultimately drives the development of innovative and reliable systems that are truly effective in real-world conditions.  He continued, “OverWatch is proven in this market with contractors and rental companies, and we are confident that it will continue to be positively received on worksites around the world.” 


Lift & Access is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.