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New A-Plant initiative to reduce Falls from Vehicles

A-Plant Enhances Safety Features For Personnel To Reduce Risk Of Falls From Vehicles

A-Plant is enhancing the existing safety features on new vehicles added to the company's transport fleet to reduce the possibility of falls from height by staff working on the vehicles.

Across all industries, approximately 2,000 workers are seriously injured and on average five lose their lives every year as a result of falling from a vehicle. The danger posed by falls from vehicles has been recognised by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in its Falls from Vehicles campaign.

As part of the company's commitment to increasing health and safety levels for its own workforce and for workers in all the industries it serves, A-Plant has taken the lead in the hire industry, where a fall from a vehicle is one of the main risks that personnel face on a daily basis. For the industries served by the company such as the construction industry which accounts for around 10% of Falls from Vehicles incidents (Source: HSE 2007), A-Plant has an ongoing campaign to inform customers of the dangers of falls from vehicles and how to avoid these dangers.

In future, A-Plant vehicles will feature a new metre high headboard with handrails fitted which better accommodate the variation in people's heights, increasing safety for all personnel, when working on the vehicle. In addition, A-Plant has incorporated a slide-out step, which again improves safety and allows easier access onto the floor of the vehicle bed if required. The step simply slides back into its socket and is secured by a spring loaded bolt. For all crane vehicles, A-Plant has also designed a safe storage space for ladders.

All new A-Plant vehicles, 18 tonnes and above that are delivered to the company after January 2008 will be fitted with the new headboard and step and, where required, the ladder storage system.

As indicated above, A-Plant is providing very active support in the markets it serves, for the HSE Falls from Vehicles campaign by producing a number of items, including a detailed booklet, posters, signage and an informative section on the A-Plant website at www.aplant.com. All these activities are designed to raise awareness of the risk of falling that workers are exposed to when accessing and/or Working at Height on vehicles and the actions that should be taken to minimise these risks.

A-Plant employees have also been provided with a vast amount of information surrounding the HSE Falls from Vehicles campaign, including presentations adapted from the HSE presentation that will assist staff with their knowledge of the dangers of falls from vehicles and advise them of what can be done to avoid these dangers.

The comprehensive fleet of safety products from A-Plant forms part of what is believed to be the best hire service in Europe as reinforced by the company's website, providing a definitive online guide for the equipment hire industry. The ongoing investment in the A-Plant fleet ensures that customers can always hire equipment which meets or exceeds the required safety standards. A-Plant forms part of FTSE 250 company, Ashtead Group plc, the leading UK and US equipment outsourcer.