A 200 percent increase in the use of mobile, boom-based construction equipment has had far-reaching effects in the construction industry. For instance, workers get more work done in a shorter amount of time. However, increased productivity, in this case, also brings increased danger. With boom-based machines, this danger comes in the potential contact with overhead power lines. These high voltage lines can cause electrocution and lead to death. In fact, between the years 1980 and 1992, 7% of all work-related deaths were attributed to electrocution.
Berkeley Engineering And Research (BEAR) wanted to better understand the cause of these electrocutions. They also wanted to see if an early warning device might prevent these hazards. Below is an overview of the research BEAR did and how Sigalarm was a part of the process.
Testing with Sigalarm
BEAR focused their research on two incidents in San Diego, California that happened approximately one year apart. In both instances, a worker was electrocuted after the hydraulic boom on the back of their flatbed truck came into contact with an overhead power line.
BEAR’s hypothesis was that an early warning device would have provided a significant signal to prevent these deaths. As a result, BEAR purchased an off-the-shelf Sigalarm along with two other early warning alarm systems.
An Early Warning
BEAR noted a few special features of the Sigalarm that made it a valuable tool:
- Sigalarm offers seven different levels of sensitivity. These levels allow the alarm operators to calibrate the warnings based on varying field strengths.
- Sigalarm comes ready to install and is very easy for a single operator to use.
- Sigalarm’s sensing antennas were able to detect electric fields regardless of orientation; thus, it can be perpendicular or parallel to the power line and still work effectively.
Staying Safe At Work
The Berkeley Engineering And Research team determined that Sigalarm is an effective and efficient early warning device for high voltage power lines. To find out more about Sigalarm and our early warning devices, please contact us today for more information. For more details on the BEAR white paper, please click here.