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Proximity Alarm System on the Job at Alaska Marine Lines

by | Feb 26, 2021 | News, Transportation

Lynden

Alaska Marines Lines recently implemented a new safety device to increase awareness of the movement of people and equipment in Seattle and Southeast Alaska yards.

SEEN Safety’s Infrared Retroreflector Identification System (IRIS) is keeping employees and customers safer each day and protecting freight and equipment from damage.

The system uses light and radar to measure distances by illuminating the target with a laser light and measuring the reflection with a sensor. The IRIS sensor is designed to detect reflective material on safety equipment in proximities ranging from 28 feet wide to 25 feet deep and can be mounted on forklifts and low-speed vehicles. An audible alert signal is heard if the sensor lands within the detection zone.

IRIS can detect reflective material on safety vests and works in all weather conditions, including rain, darkness and intense glare from sun or snow.

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Alaska Business September 2021 Cover

September 2021

“We also added reflective tape to the counter-weight of the forklifts to help prevent collisions, which has already proven effective during barge operations,” explains Joe Purcell, Alaska Marine Trucking Operations Manager.

The advantage of SEEN Safety’s alarm is the adjustability. With varying barge operating conditions in Southeast, it is vital to be able to adjust the proximity beam to suit each port.

“For example, when Ketchikan works a barge it is always full, so we adjusted the proximity to a smaller zone compared to Juneau where the barge is more than half empty,” Purcell explains.

“One of the major risks in Alaska Marine Lines’ operations is mixing personnel working on the deck of our barges with 50-ton forklifts,” says Don Reid, Alaska Marine Lines Vice President of Operations.

“The Alaska Marine Lines safety team has been exploring solutions for many years and this proximity alarm technology is a major step toward mitigating that risk and keeping people safe on the barge deck.”

Alaska Business Magazine September 2021 Cover

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Fifty years ago, as the Watergate scandal swirled around then-President Richard Nixon, he signed into law the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). It was the largest land claims settlement in the nation’s history and a stark departure from agreements forced on Tribes in the Lower 48.

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