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Laser Guided Vehicle Accidents

Published on December 11th, 2013

Laser Guided Vehicles (LGV), sometimes referred to as Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV) are being used increasingly in manufacturing facilities as a replacement for human operated forklifts. While there are benefits in terms of efficiency there have been tragic accidents that are becoming more widespread due to increased usage of the LTV’s.

I am currently representing an individual who was seriously injured when the LGV operating in a warehouse where he was employed failed to stop in time thus causing him severe crushing injuries. Anyone considering representing a client in a LGV accident must be familiar with the American National Standard Institute’s Safety Standard For Driverless, Automatic Guided Industrial Vehicles (AGV) which also applies to LGVs, which is merely a different name for the same technology. These standards are put forth under the copyright of the “Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation.

ANSI B 65.5 – 2012, Sec. 4.1.2 states: “Automated guided industrial vehicles can cause injury or damage if improperly used or maintained and if the potential risks specified in user training associated with hazard zones and restricted areas are not respected by persons within or adjacent to these areas.” The risk associated with LGV use is clearly understood and addressed in these standards.

ANSI B 65.5 – 2012, Sec. 4.3.1 deals with stopping distance and, in part, states: “…The prime consideration is that the braking system in conjunction with the object detection system and the response time of the safety control system shall cause the vehicle to stop prior to impact between the vehicle structure and other mounted equipment, including its intended load, and an obstruction being sensed in advance of the moving vehicle in the main direction of travel.” There is an exception to Sec. 4.3.1 and it should be printed prominently in all locations where LGVs and/or AGVs are in use.

EXCEPTION: Although the vehicle braking system may be performing correctly and as designed, it cannot be expected to functions as designed and specified in para 4.3.1 should an object suddenly appear in the path of the vehicle and within the designed safety stopping distance. Examples include, but are not limited to, an object falling from overhead or a pedestrian stepping into the path of the vehicle at the last instant.

There are several sections of the ANDSI standards dealing with Travel Performance-Sec 8.7, Braking System and Functions-Sec. 8.8, Warning Devices- Sec. 8.9 and Object Detection Devices and Controls- Sec.8.11. These standards provide a basic framework with what the industry believes should be the the standards for Manufacturers and Users of these Automatic Guide Vehicles. These vehicles are here to stay, but there are multiple safety issues that have yet to be addressed. Last year there were fatalities and serious injuries caused by the LTVs or ATVs and most could have been prevented.

If you or a family member have been injured as a result of LGV or AGV use in an industrial setting, fell free to contact Edmund Scanlan toll at 877-494-1309 for a free consultation.

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