In heavy construction and demolition there is always a certain amount of risk to workers. Some common causes included flying debris, poor visibility, collapsing material, falls, inhalation of noxious fumes and exposure to vibration and noise.
Integrating electric remote-controlled equipment into a construction fleet can help minimize dangerous situations while adding value and peace of mind.
The radio 4-1-1
Cordless remote-controlled equipment operates via radio communication through a control box harness worn by the operator. The control box sends a digital data stream to the machine where it is transferred into analog signals that control the various valves and servos on the machine. The radio signal eliminates the need for the operator to be tethered to the machine during operation.
Additionally, some remote-controlled equipment includes an added safety feature embedded into its radio signal to prevent possible overlap when several remote-controlled machines are on one site. Manufacturers will assign a unique identity code to each machine.
When the digital signal is transmitted from the control box to the machine, it contains a series of bits. Every third or fourth bit contains the identity code for that particular machine. If the identity code is missing, the machine will shut down.
Stand over there
When working overhead or underfoot with breakers, jackhammers or other demolition tools, there is always a possibility for flying and falling debris. Projectile objects injure eyes, puncture skin and can cause serious bruising and bleeding. However, when standard equipment is replaced with remote-controlled machines, operators are allowed to stand a safe distance from any possible debris danger.
In addition, radio range allows operators to gain maximum visibility of the work area. Sitting in the cab of a standard piece of equipment often limits line of sight. With remote-controlled machines, operators can position themselves a safe distance away from any falling/flying debris while maintaining an optimal view of the project.
Excavation and trenching applications are common practices in construction zones. However, they also pose a very real cave-in threat to workers using equipment down in the holes and trenches. There is no amount of protective apparel that can save a worker from several cubic yards of earth collapsing on top of them. Keeping equipment operators out of deep holes and trenches through the use of remote-controlled equipment allows for a much safer environment.
Working with gas- or diesel-powered machines in underground and tunnel construction zones without proper ventilation can cause the often-overlooked respiratory injuries. The absence of gas and diesel exhaust fumes allows for a cleaner air environment and reduces respiratory problems among operators.
Vibration and noise are inevitable with most pneumatic hand-held tools. In addition, hearing loss from constant exposure to excessive noise is a problem. Electric remote-controlled equipment eliminates any such vibration and noise.
Construction and demolition workers face many obstacles and possible injuries due to construction zone dangers. Manufacturers are answering this need by producing equipment that removes operators from areas with immediate danger.