Leading commercial vehicle company, Marshall Fleet Solutions (MFS) has launched an innovative new Working at Height platform that will be fitted to its fleet of engineer vans to ensure maximum safety for employees working at customer sites.
Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries. These include falls from ladders, slipping and falling from loads and access steps, and falls from fragile surfaces.
The safety-tested platform, which is an industry-first solution designed and developed by MFS, has achieved a 90% reduction in the need to work from a ladder thus reducing the risks of falls from height, lower limb fatigue/discomfort and is a significant ergonomic improvement especially when replacing heavy or cumbersome parts.
The UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines working at height as ‘working in any place where, if there are no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury’.
“Risk reduction and the safe guarding of contractors whilst they are working on your site has to be a business priority. We are leading the way and challenging the norm with the implementation of our Working at Height platform which significantly reduces the reliance of working at height access via ladders and subsequently reduces the risk of injury, helping maintain a safe site” said Colin Wilkinson, Head of Health & Safety at MFS.
Working from ladders has sometimes been the only option to our fleet engineers until now. We developed this platform because we recognised that this was a wide spread issue that needed to be addressed and we had a responsibility to find a safe, sensible, and low-risk solution for our engineers to use daily as an alternative to using ladders.”
The new platform is easy to deploy and reduces the manual handling risks associated with carrying ladders as well as providing shelter from variable weather conditions and most importantly allows engineers to work at height from a strong, stable, and ultra-safe environment.
The development process explored a wide range of situations outlined in WAHR that could potentially compromise worker safety, including location, duration, and frequency of usage.
Colin Wilkinson continues: “The development has been an in-depth process of trialling and testing with reviews and assessments towards continuous improvement in order to arrive at the production platform we have today. Our customers have been very supportive throughout the entire process.”
Ivan Sutton, Lead Engineer at MFS and the first to trial and use the new platform, said: “We have been using the platform on a daily basis for a number of months now and it has received very positive feedback from our engineers. No one in our sector has gone to the trouble of designing a vehicle-access platform that keeps engineers safe and reduces risk for our customers, so we are pleased to be the first.”
Mick Pethard, Head of Engineering at Gist, said: “Working safely at height is of the utmost importance to our daily working practises. We have been actively involved in the process of trialling and testing this cutting-edge platform developed by Marshall Fleet Solutions and see it as an essential and welcome addition to health and safety in our sector.”