Genie has launched a new “Lift Guard” white noise alarm that will be available as an option on Genie equipment worldwide. The device provides an alternative to the traditional tone alarm that reduces noise emissions by about 45 percent. The normal tonal alarm will remain for all other alarms such as tilt and overload warnings.
The white noise alarm option is now available on scissor lifts, Runabout self-propelled mast lifts and AWP push around masts, as well as telescopic handling to ANSI specifications, and will be available on boom lifts and rough terrain scissor lifts during the first quarter of the following year. Retrofit kits will also be available for many existing models.
The new alarm operates in exactly the same way as the standard alarm sound when the aerial work platform is moving, raising or lowering. However, instead of the usual beeping sound, the white noise alarm emits a “beep,” a noise that is easy on the ear especially for those near the device, but still provides a distinct warning, but dissipates faster than a tonal alert for those far away.
Product Manager Brian Williams said: “In busy worksites, employees can become less sensitive to competing alarms coming from a variety of equipment. However, because a white noise alarm sounds directional rather than penetrating, it is much clearer where the sound is coming from. As a result, it is only audible to people in close proximity to the device and serves as an instant reminder to be vigilant.”
The idea of quieter, more bearable motion alarms has been around for over 30 years. At the time, the focus was on smart alarms that adjust their volume to background or ambient noise. But very few of them have been installed, either they are expensive or unreliable. The truth is, no one is going to pay extra for the feature, especially in North America. Not everyone has bought into the benefits of quieter machines, and while quieter machines are appreciated, they aren’t enough to impress those who pay the bill. The preferred solution to the obnoxious alarm was to cut and silence the wires.
That has all changed, and in addition to the increased pressure to reduce emissions, there is now a strong movement against excessive noise. Smart companies have also discovered that a quieter workplace is undoubtedly quieter and safer. The idea of sabotaging a security feature is no longer tolerated – even when it is possible.
This new alarm clock sounds very interesting and should work well, but it will need a few heroes to adopt it and get the end users to experience the benefits.
Emergency alarms, of course, should be obnoxious.
For those of you interested in this topic, the following old video from Brigade Electronics offers some interesting and useful background – although it doesn’t look like the new alarm clock from Genie. Be warned that it is commercial, very long, outdated and cliched, but still informative, well-researched and relevant.