Many Lives Have Been Saved By the Use of Roll over Protection Systems
Jaram Australia has been the market leader in Roll over Protection Structures (ROPS) for light (and also some heavy vehicles) for over a decade. In having identified a key need for such vehicle occupant protection, our extensive research and development in these market leading systems have proven successful in saving many lives.
Internal ROPS and their Purpose:
In a rollover there is a high chance of the vehicle cab crushing. Internal ROPS maintain the protective safety cell in such an event, preventing potentially severe head injuries.
ROPS were introduced as a result of Mining’s Zero Harm OHS policies. Safety representatives identified the lack of occupant protection in rollovers and the goal was to rectify this.
Jaram Australia were involved in the initial research and compliance testing. Jaram was tasked to create a system that would cover the following requirements:
- To conform with VSB14/LK8 specifications.
- Limit vehicle modifications.
- To provide maximum head clearance space for occupants.
- To provide a means of escape for the driver to exit the vehicle by folding the seat back.
Jaram was able to deliver on this goal becoming the leading manufacturer of the most effective roll over protection systems.
Jaram continued to work with the Department of Transport. The introduction of the current specification VSB14/LK9 and LK10 added another level of compliance which Jaram adopted. Mining Companies became heavily involved in order to provide the greatest level of safety for their drivers.
Jaram then increased the range from the single hoop system through to the dual hoop, and also the connecting brace (roll cage) structures to suit the various requirements for each mine site.
Some of the key points involved in design are as follows:
Authority and Compliance:
- Jaram has engaged registered automotive design engineers to conduct all testing.
- Results show that although a Roll Bar does slightly raise the centre of gravity, the weight is minimal and has little effect.
Effect on Air Bag Deployment:
- If the roll bar prevents the air bag deployment, it can increase the risk of head injury. Jaram undertake exhaustive testing including physical airbag deployment to ensure that airbag release is not affected by their ROPS.
Physical Proof of Protection:
- Jaram has records of a number of severe rollover accidents in vehicles. In each case, where fitted with Jaram ROPS, the cabin space has been maintained. This has almost certainly prevented severe injury or fatal injuries to the occupants.
Seat Movement Not Impeded
- Jaram ROPS do not interfere with the rearward displacement of the seats in accordance with LK9 specifications.
Head Clearance and Protection:
- Jaram ROPS are designed to clear the head strike area where possible. To gain enough clearance for side airbag deployment this is not always achievable. In this case special high density foam is used. The foam is physically tested to ensure it conforms and can safely absorb cranial contact without injury.
Affect of ROPS on ANCAP rating:
- It is independently verified via qualified automotive engineer report that Jaram ROPS do not adversely affect the ANCAP rating of the vehicle.
A vehicle with a 5 star ANCAP rating does not necessarily have a stronger roof than one that is not rated. This is because physical roof crushing propensity is not an aspect addressed by the 5 star rating.
The 5 Star rating usually does provide a lower chance of the vehicle rolling in the first place. However, vehicles may still be vulnerable to the following possibilities:
- Rolling down an embankment,
- leaving the road and rolling
- Encountering an object falling from above.
All these accidents are possible in mining environments. In such cases vehicles (even if 5 Star ANCAP rated) with rollover protection installed are less likely to experience a total roof crush than those that have no protection.