Tuesday, November 26, 2019

A Decade on Alcolocks Still Not Universally Adopted by the Road Haulage and Freight Handling Sectors

Lamentably Slow Take Up May be Spurred Into Action by New Fork Lift Trial
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE – It is more than ten years since we praised the coming of 'alcolocks', those devices which require a driver to give a breath sample before he or she can start whatever vehicle they are responsible for. We predicted at the time that the technology would become universally accepted by the road haulage and freight handling communities but, up to now, there has been a lamentably slow take up.

That original article mentioned the input of Lion Laboratories, which has been involved in breath analysis technology since 1967 and now supplies its equipment to over 70 countries. Now it seems there is a little more interest on home territory, and from a point not that far from the Lion factory in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The Forklift Training Engineering Centre (F-TEC), which is based in Swindon, is a joint-venture of the forklift industry's leading trade associations, the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) and the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) and the centre was created to address the training needs of the forklift truck industry. Karl Baum, managing director of F-TEC commented:

"F-TEC are trialling the use of a Lion DS-25RS, breath alcohol Interlock. This is a hugely important to F-TEC as we continue to develop and work in synergy with new and emerging technology applications such as these."

The trial is being managed by RpM-i who are an authorised distributor for Lion Laboratories for alcohol Interlock detection and safety systems who have a specific focus on the material handling industry. RpM-i are working with F-TEC and Lion in raising the awareness of alcohol in the workplace and improving the safety, duty of care, corporate responsibility and liability within the warehousing, logistics and material handling industry.

Fork lift trucks have the potential to cause immense damage to both people and property if operated in an incorrect manner and feature prominently in work site accidents. Every year there are about 8,000 lift truck accidents, some of which are fatal, according to an article on the TUC website entitled ‘Driving lift trucks', one of many reports on the site involving deaths caused by such handling equipment.

Clearly, as with drivers on the road, alcohol is one thing which must be avoided when operating any such machinery and now Lion Laboratories, pioneers and introducers of the world's first electrochemical breathalyser, says it has designed, developed and manufactured the Lion DS-25RS Interlock, which interrupts the signal from the ignition to the starter until a valid breath sample is provided so declaring the driver / operator fit to operate the fork lift.

The Lion DS-25RS breath alcohol Interlock is a breathalyser for use on a wide range of vehicles. In order to use it the driver has to blow into the mouthpiece fitted on the DS-25RS device before starting or continuing to operate the fork lift truck. If the resultant breath-alcohol concentration analysed result is greater than the programmed blood alcohol concentration, then the device prevents the vehicle from being started, as it is directly connected to the fork lift trucks ignition system.

Clearly there is a need for more widespread use of such technology and it is to be hoped that the message will be received by both van and truck manufacturers, as well as those producing materials handling equipment, to fit such devices as standard to all newproducts.