Ferrovial has tested a proximity warning system to improve the safety of its workers. Its goal is to eliminate accidental interactions between personnel and heavy machinery.
The system, known as SensorZone, features proximity sensors in vests, helmets and other devices. The sensors link to machinery on site. The system triggers a triple alert – physical, visual and acoustic – to avoid an accident if it detects a hazard.
British firm GKD Technologies developed the system. Ferrovial’s US subsidiary, Webber, tested the technology early last year (see video below). In October 2022, GKD announced that Webber was set to roll out the technology. GKD described that roll-out as “one of the first, if not the first, large-scale deployment of a proximity warning system in a construction environment in North America”.
Ferrovial then undertook further trials on the Club del Mar expansion in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and on the Oporto Metro extension in Portugal.
A Ferrovial spokesperson told BIMplus: “The system works perfectly from a technical point of view, and the feedback from the users from both tests was very positive.”
The spokesperson added that Ferrovial suggested “some potential interesting upgrades” following the trials. It is in discussions with GKD about rolling out the SensorZone system.
The testing and deployment of the wearable sensors is part of Ferrovial’s Safety, Health, Wellbeing Innovation Lab. The lab is an innovation programme that focuses on improving the safety of employees and infrastructure users with new technologies.
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