Barhale fits digital ‘thumbs up’ safety signs to diggers


“Barhale is using a new AI-driven human recognition system that lights up an LED safety shield fitted to diggers to indicate when it is safe to approach plant.



The new Digital Thumbs Up lights have been fitted to 26 Kubota diggers.

The Safety Shield forms part of a suite of digital and AI features installed on the latest additions to the BCS fleet

The system lets machine drivers advise other workers wishing to approach their machines when it is safe to do so.

It also sounds an audible alarm when somebody enters its safety exclusion zone.

It takes the established ‘thumbs up’ procedure used across construction lifting it to the next level with unambiguous LED and sonic indicators.

The system can also report incidents by type and frequency allowing data to be used to help improve safety behaviours on site.

When a worker wants to approach a machine, they will give a thumbs-up to the operator.

Once the operator has seen the signal, they will bring the machine to a controlled stop and will then press the in-cab ‘Thumbs Up’ button to isolate the machine’s controls – effectively disabling it.

Steve Day, head of hire at Barhale Construction Services, believes the human form recognition cameras and Digital Thumbs Up system will transform machine site safety.

“We have been very impressed by both the human form recognition and Digital Thumbs Up systems.

“They are simple and straightforward and build on the established and familiar Thumbs Up procedure used by all our personnel already.”

BCS Group worked with Leicester-based, BTE Plant Sales to arrange the installation.

The digital technologies have been developed by artificial intelligence, autonomous, robotic and environmental solutions business Safety Shield Global.”

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