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How to Keep Loading Ramps Safe Through AI

By Nancy Rowling

clock Jun 14, 2022
bookmark 6 min
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Loading docks and ramps can be dangerous places. Even employees trained in workplace safety can get complacent about safety amid interactions between trucks and drivers, forklift operators, and pedestrians. Each year, thousands of workers are injured or killed working on loading ramps.

Loading ramps are active places with constantly moving parts. Companies need to take proactive measures to keep workers safe. This includes training on ramp safety and forklift safety as well as tech solutions to prevent accidents.

Potential Danger Zones on Loading Ramps

Ramp safety requires paying attention to the key areas that pose potential dangers. For example, as trucks approach the ramp, there may be pedestrians entering the area between the ramp and the truck. This can lead to workers being pinned and crushed.

Trucks need to be properly parked and chocked to avoid movement while at the ramp. Failing to follow industrial safety procedures such as this can cause trucks to lurch or move, resulting in accidents.

As forklifts are added to the equation, they create another layer of potential danger. There are more than 7,200 reported forklift accidents each year and between 75 and 100 fatalities. While the majority of incidents occur when forklifts overturn, forklift to pedestrian accidents are also common. If trucks aren’t parked and properly secured, opening the ramp doors can also create a dangerous situation for forklift operators while they enter the truck to load/unload with the forklift.

So, how do you provide the safest possible environment for workers? Trio Mobil offers a solution for the safety of loading ramps.

How AI Helps Keep Ramps Safe

Trio Mobil’s state-of-the-art computer product with an AI camera visualizes and monitors events in real-time and provide warnings to prevent accidents. AI camera continuously monitors conditions and compares them to known threats, tracking interactions between vehicles, humans, and machines. As a result, it provides warnings in case of violations through edge processing and deep learning.

The product has the advantage of faster alerts and precautions in case of violations compared to other solutions that utilize existing security cameras. Trio Mobil solution does all the image processing on itself, and it does not transmit data to the cloud, process it in the cloud. The product does edge processing so that all the image data is processed on it so that it can give much faster reactions in case of violations.

Trio Mobil’s AI-enhanced system detects movement and interactions, providing multiple ramp safety improvements and warnings of potential dangers. System components include:

  • Safety Controller: This is the brain of the whole system that orchestrates different equipment.
  • Electronic Wheel Chock: This chock is inserted behind the truck wheel after it is parked properly. The system will not trigger the dock to start opening before the chock is inserted.
  • Tire Detection Sensor: This sensor detects if the chock is inserted, and the tire is locked properly at the ramp.
  • Vehicle Detection Sensor: This sensor detects if the vehicle is parked properly at the ramp.
  • Site Monitoring with AI Camera: The AI camera continuously monitors the ramp area.
  • Human Detection with AI Camera: The AI camera detects any humans while the vehicle is approaching the ramp through site monitoring.
  • Vehicle Detection with AI Camera: The AI camera detects if a vehicle is approaching the ramp through site monitoring.
  • Configurable Audio Alert System: Alert system such as traffic lights and audible alerms is triggered in case of any violations.

Here are some scenarios that explain how these components work together to improve industrial safety in various scenarios.

Human Detection

When a worker is detected by the AI camera and the chock is plugged into the wall, traffic lamps and inside panel lamps turn red. Loading ramp doors cannot be opened. In this case, it is not safe for the vehicle to approach the ramp. When workers leave the area, the light will turn green, letting drivers know it’s safe to dock the trailer.

Human and Vehicle Detection

As trucks approach the ramp, the Trio Mobil AI camera continuously monitors for pedestrians. If a worker is behind the truck or in the parking zone, it will trigger alarms to prevent collisions. Audible alarms tell workers to leave the area and traffic lamps and inside panels turn red. Loading dock doors will also not open until trucks are parked and chocked.

Vehicle Detection

When the AI camera detects a vehicle and the chock is plugged into the wall, the traffic lamp will flash green indicating movement. The inside panel lamp remains red to prevent workers from opening the dock and exiting. Audible alarms let everyone know the vehicle is moving.

Vehicles at Dock

When vehicles are at the ramp, an audible alarm will remind workers to plug the wheel chock behind the tire. Traffic lamps and inside panels remain red and the dock cannot be opened until the chock is in place to prevent movement.

Ready for Loading/Unloading

After the vehicle is parked, the chock should be placed at the tire of the vehicle for maximum safety. Once the system recognizes that the chock is not detected on the wall and a tire sensor has detected the chock in place, the inside panel lamp turns green and allows the loading docks to be opened. This allows forklifts to enter the vehicle to load or unload.

Various Configurations of Loading Ramp Safety Solution

Safety is a subjective concept that can be enhanced by an endless number of precautions. One other configuration of the solution described above is to use hydraulic shocks that rise from the ground. The hydraulic chock locks the vehicle’s tires during parked position as well as it locks the vehicle’s tires instantly in case of a violation such as a human is between the vehicle and the ramp. This solution brings more enhanced safety relative to electronic chock. However, it also requires excessive construction work. That’s why it is more preferred by companies that own the facilities.

Trio Mobil TRUE-AI Solution Enhanced Ramp Safety

Trio Mobil’s AI solution does all of these things automatically without requiring drivers or ramp workers to trigger manual events. This reduces human error while providing constant reminders about worker and ramp safety.

A quarter of all industrial accidents occur near loading docks. By using AI cameras, organizations can take proactive steps to mitigate accidents and protect workers. To learn more about Trio Mobil AI, contact Trio Mobil today and request a demo.

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