New bespoke trailer aimed at reducing health & safety issues surrounding loading and unloading

Palletforce has teamed up with double-deck trailer specialist, Trailer Resource Ltd, to develop a bespoke trailer aimed at reducing health & safety issues surrounding loading and unloading. Figures for the past year show that slips and trips by transport drivers and operatives across the whole industry resulted in an alarming 6,352 reported injuries during 2008 and 2009.
Some 815 of the injuries proved to be major and 2,361 involved employees taking more than three days off work costing UK businesses thousands of pounds in lost manpower and decreased efficiency. The trailer is the brainchild of Trailer Resource Ltd managing director Des OConnor, who developed the idea having seen a rise in the number double-decks being used in the industry over the past two years.
Des explained: Since double-decks exploded onto the scene they have brought with them some huge benefits, but as they have become more and more popular, we have noticed health and safety concerns that many people werent first aware of. The major concern that needed addressing was access. This involved coming up with a design that would minimise the risk to the end user when getting on and off the trailer and how to safely access and work on the top deck. By working in conjunction with Palletforce we believe we have come up with a cutting edge solution that will educate the whole industry.
Already on the road with Palletforce member Stones Distribution, the trailer incorporates many of the Health & Safety Executives main focus points including areas with three points of contact to the vehicle, which is vital for access to the beds of trailers. One of the other main features of the cutting edge trailer includes a non-slip ladder and grab handles incorporated into the front partition to aid safe access to the top deck.
Once on the top deck, the users risk of injury is minimised further by securing straps which have been placed on both sides and at either end of the trailers roof struts. This will allow the user to clip on a safety harness and be able to work freely and safely without the risk of falling from height.
Other safety features of the trailer are said to include:
Improved offside access to the trailer step area.
Greater nearside access to trailer step area via a pull out ladder.
A step incorporated into the side guard providing access to the front of the main trailer bed from either side.
Safer access to the back of the trailer via a step integrated into the rear frame.
Access to the rear of the trailer main bed via side mounted rear step.
Mesh flooring on the top deck for easier checking of load security and better vision for forklift loading.
Elasticated strap lift hooks which clear the bottom of the rave to avoid snagging when drawing curtains.
For easier loading/unloading the curtains can be stowed across the back of the trailer to leave the sides clear.
All safety features marked with reflective yellow stickers to ensure they can be seen and used safely at night.
Palletforce health, safety, quality and facilities manager, John Rothery, said: Creating a safe and secure working environment for all our members and employees is vital, especially those transporting, loading and unloading goods. People dont need to fall far to seriously injure themselves and this industry-leading trailer design comes with a whole host of extra safety features to minimise that risk.
Phase one of the trailer design complete, Trailer Resources are now developing a series of additional safety features to add to the design. These include hard hat warnings on the outside of the curtain, contact telephone numbers clearly marked on the curtain in case of emergency and a store for gloves, hard hats and fire extinguisher to ensure users are fully protected at all times.
Palletforce, which was founded in 2001 to offer an express delivery service for small consignments of palletised freight, has grown to become one of the UKs leading distribution networks.
Palletforce offers a range of express distribution services typically of between one and 10 pallets across the UK and Europe. Services include next day, timed options, and economy for both standard and oversize consignments.
Nearly 100 depots across the UK make up the network which recently opened a 30million state-of-the-art distribution Hub in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, the largest of its kind in the UK.
A specialist IT system is used to ensure rapid turnaround times, optimum loading efficiency and that goods are tracked and traced throughout the entire distribution process.
Palletforce also offers warehouse and fulfilment services providing a complete distribution solution.

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