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Charles Ransford, Timber Merchant


Charles Ransford & Son implements pedestrian detection systems on loading shovels.

Charles Ransford & Sons process around 85,000 tonnes of logs yearly at their Bishop’s Castle facility in Shropshire. In recent years, they have invested over £20m in their facility with state-of-the-art equipment, incorporating 3D laser scanning and optimising technology with an enhanced emphasis on sustainability to ensure every part of the log gets used.



The timber specialist pinpointed significant safety risks from large vehicles operating in the timber yard. Each large loader has many vehicle blind spots making it difficult to spot pedestrians working nearby. And, due to the noisy working environment, pedestrian workers also found it difficult to hear any approaching vehicles. With multiple vehicles constantly in operation, reducing the risk of collisions between pedestrian workers and moving plant machinery was a crucial aspect of improving site safety.


The Solution

Helping to ensure maximum safety throughout the site, the proximity warning solution chosen was ZoneSafe Vehicle to Person Alert. Each large-wheeled loader had a vehicle sensor unit (antenna) fitted to the outside of the vehicle and a ZoneSafe control unit installed inside the cab next to the driver. As part of their PPE, every pedestrian worker on site would wear a ZoneSafe Vibratag. ZoneSafe also provided five bay chargers in the weighbridge to ensure tags could be kept fully charged and operational.


How Does It Work?

ZoneSafe Vehicle to Person Alert detects everyone wearing a ZoneSafe Vibratag up to ten metres away from each vehicle (adjustable between two and ten metres). When the vehicle sensor unit detects a Vibratag, an audible and visual alarm via the in-cab control unit warns the driver of any pedestrian workers in close proximity to the vehicle, whilst at the same time, the Vibratag also vibrates, alerting the pedestrian worker to any approaching vehicle.

It’s worth noting that tags are detected through walls and around obstructions helping to ensure the safety of pedestrians even when they can’t be seen – an essential part of the safety solution due to the nature of the site and the noisy working environment.


Safety Procedures

After installing the new safety solution, Ransford’s created a new safety procedure for all vehicles delivering and collecting from the timber yard.

Upon entering the site, all delivery drivers will be given a pedestrian tag as part of the sign-in process. New drivers are thoroughly briefed on the ZoneSafe safety system, how it functions, and why it is essential.

As they drive across the site to offload material, drivers of the large loaders are alerted to the presence of any approaching delivery or collection vehicle by the proximity warning system, whilst each driver is also alerted to approaching loaders through tag vibration.



Jason Perry, SHEQ Manager, discussed the implications of installing the ZoneSafe proximity warning detection system and the benefits gained. “After Installing ZoneSafe, it greatly reduced the risk on-site. ZoneSafe has proven to be reassuring to the employees. It’s a sound investment and something others should look into, especially if involved in transport and logistics.”

A visiting logistics contractor commented, “It gives you peace of mind, makes everybody feel that much safer… Everybody is looking out for each other – It works well!”

ZoneSafe’s early warning safety solution helps all drivers and vehicle operators to maintain vigilance and awareness of their surroundings. Increased focus on safety leads to a sense of security and peace of mind across the site.


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