Customized trucks improve safety

Loading equipment on and off of a vehicle can be physically demanding work for our gas crews, who are frequently involved in moving equipment, like compactors and street saws, from our trucks each day.

“Even with proper stretching, flexing and lifting techniques the potential for soft tissue injuries still exist,” said manager Mark Scaparotti. “We’re always looking for ways to reduce strain and improve safety.”

National Grid customized truck with platformNew vehicles joining our fleet over the past year are designed to do just that. With the help of input from the New England Transportation Committee (which is made up of employees who use the trucks daily), our fleet asset team has worked with our vendors to develop a newly designed truck that makes work safer for our gas crews.

A new platform affixed to the back of the truck with narrower steps for safe movement is what makes the design unique.

The platform makes lifting heavy equipment from the vehicles easier on crew members – it allows two people to lift the equipment at waist level onto the ground instead of bending and twisting to do it directly from the back of the truck to the ground. It also makes it easier for heavy equipment to be attached to a strap and lifted from a backhoe if necessary.

NG-vehicle-with-platform-2The narrow stair design forces a person to use them like they would a ladder, going down backward and using the handrail to support them as they go up and down, using three points of contact.

We have about 20 of these vehicles already in our fleet and we plan to add more across our jurisdictions as older trucks age out of the system and need to be replaced.

The newly designed trucks are just one way that we’re taking steps to make the workday safer for our crews. It’s a good example of how we’re thinking outside of the box and involving employees who are on the direct lines of the work to make safety improvements and to drive change.

NG-vehicle-with-platform-1

 

One Comment

Kevin Lantry

Will the driver be able to tell if someone decides to take a joyride on the platform?

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