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Cure for back-up blues

Construction and mining work, in close proximity to established communities, brings its fair share of headaches – paperwork, compliance and plant noise. Although the inconvenience of bureaucracy is accepted for the sake of the greater good, factors like noise pollution are not. Development and planning committees are becoming increasingly stringent with such issues.

Suburban development has meant excellent growth for construction and mining companies like Memphis Stone and Gravel Company (MS&G). The company ensures it does everything it can to ensure professional conduct and corporate responsibility. One of MS&G’s top priorities is reducing noise pollution, and switching its existing reversing alarms to bbs-tek broadband sound back-up alarms has been a positive step. “bbs-tek offers numerous benefits,” explains Alan Parks, geologist of MS&G. “These broadband sound alarms are a definite improvement on the conventional back-up alarms that we were using before. Based on employee feedback, the directional nature of the bbs-tek alarm seems to get their attention as good or better than the conventional alarms.” Permitting for building and mining work can take a long time. The initial phase is of crucial importance. This concerns the local authorities and takes into account the length of time a job site will last, and estimates potential work’s impact upon local communities.

Concerns are expressed by those affected at this stage, including local residents’ associations, local government, and property owners. However, MS&G volunteer inspection of its plant equipment, demonstrating to those with noise pollution concerns the benefits of broadband sound. “When it comes to back-up alarms, a lot of people have the impression of blaring sirens – the beep, beep, beep stereotype” Parks continues. “Installing bbs-tek broadband sound alarms to our growing fleet of mobile construction equipment has improved our dealings with the local community, removing many fears about our continued development and the effects noise may have on nearby residents. By actively addressing our noise pollution issues, the planning process has become more comprehensive.” bbs-tek alarms are made by UK firm Brigade Electronics. bbs-tek emits sound across a broader frequency than traditional reversing alarms. This allows alarm sound to be better detected in the immediate vicinity of danger. In addition, thesealarms emit an audible, directional hiss as opposed to a noisy, narrowband siren that can be heard in a wider, but less effective vicinity. The overall result is a locatable and safe solution that offers minimal inconvenience and noise pollution.

MS&G has approximately 70 wheel loaders – its first machines to be fitted with bbs-tek – as well as dozers, haul trucks, water wagons and smaller mobile machinery. Following the success of reducing wheel loader noise, the company extended usage to other equipment. Currently about 50 percent of all MS&G’s mining equipment uses bbs-tek. “Broadband sound has become a key part of a broader strategy that helps us address the issue of noise pollution without sacrificing safety,” Parks explains. “We aim to be proactive towards combating noise pollution, not just on our sites but in any area where we operate machinery. bbs-tek alarms are a tangible way of demonstrating our commitment to our neighbours and our employees.” MS&G plans a novel use of bbs-tek alarms on a variety of stationary machines. The firm is currently piloting a program – installing bbs-tek systems as start up alarms on raw material conveyor belts.

Company info

202 Delaware Ave Suite 1
Palmerton, PA
US, 18071


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