JLG President Calls for Use of Smart Technology to Improve Safety | Industry News

In a recent speech to about 250 members of the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), JLG President Frank Nerenhausen asked the audience to imagine ways that advanced technology might help make workplaces safer.

In one example, he described how the use of smart vests with built-in signaling devices could warn mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) that a user's harness was not properly connected to an anchor point. The system could even be set up to prevent operation if the lanyard wasn't snapped into place.

In another example, Nerenhausen spoke about machines with sensors that could help prevent equipment from venturing into proscribed areas, or help avoid collisions with other equipment, obstacles, power lines, or people--technology already available in automobiles.

He also mentioned the possibility of heads-up displays built into safety glasses that could provide a wealth of information for an operator, such as inspection information, reminders from the machine's manual, wind-speed readings, workplace assessment guidelines, or any other information the operator might need.

At the same time, however, Nerenhausen underlined the value of human education in safe operation of aerial work platforms and other equipment: “Training must continue to play a prominent role as our industry advances,” he said.

To that end, he also spoke about ways that virtual reality technology and advanced 3D capability, and 360° simulators might enhance training by giving trainees a more realistic feel of operation.

Nerenhausen made his remarks in the keynote address at IPAF's 2015 international summit, held March 26th in Washington, D.C. The event, held in the United States for only the second time, brings together leaders from the worldwide aerial work platform industry.

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) is a not-for-profit members’ organization that promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide. Members include rental companies, manufacturers, distributors and equipment owners.

Presentations from the IPAF Summit are available at the Resources section of www.ipaf.org.