Shining on: Civil construction

Safety has always been a major focus for Auto Electrical Imports.

As construction hours are extended to adhere to new safety regulations and winter daylight hours restrict sight, lighting for projects is ever more crucial. Auto Electrical Imports explains the importance of implementing the right lighting configurations.

Lighting is one of the most important factors in occupational health and safety on construction sites.

Whether it is for fatigue prevention, improving visibility or increasing safety through awareness of moving objects, lighting is an essential factor for all construction works.

In 1974 Norm Haupt, opened an electrical shop which began to boom around the time of the Commonwealth Games and World Expo. The business grew and eventually Haupt sold the shop before going into wholesale business. Starting with two people he grew Auto Electrical Imports to a team of 48.

“Ensuring safety for clients is the biggest part of our business. A lot of the growth we have had is on the back of occupational health and safety,” Haupt says.

“We made a conscious decision in the 90s to step away from rotating parts and focus more on safety products because that is where we could see the growth and it hasn’t stopped since.”

The company is now a supplier of electrical products for plant and machinery, with expertise in the area of lighting. It is also the main distributor for NORDIC LIGHTS, a major lighting manufacturer based in Finland.

“Our lighting expertise is something the company has learnt over the years. Most staff here have a background in auto electrical engineering. Since the mid 2000s lighting has become increasingly important and we have gained our knowledge as the technology evolved,” Haupt says.

He says one of the main concerns for industry, when it comes to lighting is fatigue. As many construction projects work through the night and fatigue can be a real threat to safety.

“If you haven’t got the right colour temperature lighting it can strain the operator’s eyes and fatigue the operator. With the introduction HID’s in the early 2000s, lighting was able to come up to a level close to that of natural light which the sun produces this took away the strain from operator’s eyes reducing fatigue,” Haupt says.

“Another advantage to having the correct lighting configurations is that if the operator has better visibility of the site, they are less likely to damage machinery. So it’s a win for safety and for cost savings.”

Haupt says it’s important to consider maintenance costs associated with lighting as well.

“You only want to buy quality lighting. When you are working at night and a light fails, work may have to stop leading to major costs in downtime of machinery and staff.”

Luke Kindt, General Manager of Operations at Auto Electrical Imports says the company’s range of lighting for civil construction is broad.

“For a civil environment we have emergency lighting including beacons, lightbars and directional lights which capture the attention of road users and operators on-site. We then have worksite lights to increase visibility for the operator and prevent fatigue,” he says.

“Being able to offer a comprehensive range that can be tailored to suit specific requirements, is one of our real strengths. We have all areas of lighting available and when it comes to safety and support, we have all of those areas covered.”

Starting with two people Norm Haupt grew Auto Electrical Imports to a team of 48.

The business also has a manufacturing division that can customise products or build products for customers, adding value to the product for specific requirements.

“Along with this we can offer a computer generated light simulation for contractors to work out what lux and patterns they need for their machinery on any given site,” Kindt says.

The company’s latest worklamp from Nordic, the Scorpius PRO LED 445, is well suited to civil applications. Its compact body, shock and vibration absorption properties enable it to perform well around heavy machinery.

“It’s a light model with four different lenses that can be tailored to produce different light spreads and patterns,” Kindt says.

“The light is unique in a couple of ways, rather than simply including more LED lights to increase light output they have created a more efficient design, using cutting edge LED’s which has allowed them to increase output while also keeping heat down and reducing the body size.”

The light was developed by Nordic over the course of three and a half years and uses a brand-new Nordic light lens material called Grilamed which has exceptional heat tolerance.

“Civil construction operators traditionally have had to use multiple smaller bodied lights to achieve the light output desired. With the Scorpius PRO LED 445 you are getting more output from a smaller unit. Meaning operators will require less lights per machine,” Kindt says.

“Most of the Nordic lights range is developed with a mining environment in mind, so with high vibration or high shock levels, these lights are designed to fit and work in those environments.”

In conjunction with safety lighting, Auto Electrical Imports also offer a range of innovative safety solutions through their leading IONNIC brand.

From reversing alarms to reversing cameras and monitors and even birds-eye-view cameras, the company provides a range of safety equipment for civil construction.

“We introduced to the Australian market a reversing alarm with broadband output so that it produces directional sound and focuses on the specific area where a warning is needed,” Kindt says.

The company is also developing a radio frequency tagging system which will alert machine operators to the proximity of potential hazards. Workers will carry a small tag in their pockets and operators will be warned if they are getting close to any workers.

“We want to give as many visual and audio aids to the operator while focusing warning into areas where they are needed,” Kindt says.   

For more information about the next generation Scorpius PRO 445 call 1800 724 690 or visit the website here

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