Ringways & Penny Hydraulics Lifting Safety Standards for Highways Maintenance
Highways Maintenance company Ringways and crane manufacturer Penny Hydraulics have developed an innovative new crane to address one of the most common manual handling issues within the industry.
Ringway one of the largest highways companies in the UK,provide a comprehensive range of integrated highways services– from routine and winter maintenance to manufacturing and installation of signs, production and laying of roadmarking materials and specialised surfacings.
Working from the bed of the vehicle on highways projects is a given with tasks such as loading and unloading equipment and materials such as wheelbarrows, tools, sand and earth. According to the latest statistics from the HSE, falls from height were the most common cause of fatalities, accounting for almost a third of fatal injuries to workers (31%). In 2012-2013 there were 46 fatal injuries to workers involved in falls from height.
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 dictate that those in control of those working at height (such as on the bed of a vehicle) need to avoid this type of work where they can, use work equipment to prevent falls this work cannot be avoided and ensure work equipment is properly inspected and maintained.
At a strategic level, Ringway see promoting and protecting health and safety as a key business objective. In addition to this, innovation is key to the way in which Ringway operates as a business, choosing to innovate in order to improve the performance of the business and the service delivered.
It is therefore no surprise that Ringway were quick to identifythat working from the vehicle bed was an activity which should be avoided wherever possible. Having worked with Penny Hydraulics, a UK manufacturer of lifting equipment on lifting equipment projects in the past, they contacted the company to develop a solution to one of their most common manual handling problems; loading and un-loading spoil and equipment to and from the bed of the vehicle to the road side.
Following detailed consultation with Sam Smith from Ringways Highways Maintenance Department, the Penny Hydraulics design engineers developed an innovative fully hydraulic, crane and hydraulic spoil box for this exact application. The new FV300/2has a maximum capacity of 300kg to easily lift loads of spoil onto the bed of a truck from ground level and benefits from hydraulic slew, boom raise, lower and extension for controlled, precise and safe handling.
Its compact design, robust construction and light weight ensure the FV300/2 can be installed in a wide range of commercial vehicles to provide reliable and flexible load handing capabilities.
Fixed proportional controls at ground level allow controlled and precise handing, eliminating the need to work from the vehicle bed and allowing operators to remain at ground level. A hydraulically powered spoil box can be opened and closed using the same controls allowing spoil such as earth and sand to be unloaded from the box onto the vehicle bed at the touch of the button.
A prototype crane and box were installed at Penny Hydraulics Ltd on a Ringways vehicle which then went to Ringways for testing. Both parties are delighted with the finished product which will be rolled out to 20 more vehciles within the Ringways fleet in 2014.
Sam Smith from Ringways comments on the project,“The safety of our employees is paramount to our business. We are always on the look out for innovative new work equipment to improve the safety of our operations and the FV300 & spoil box is a solution to a common manual handling activity that we face as a company. We will be rolling the project out with 20 more vehciles being fitted with the equipment next year.”
Penny Hydraulics designs, manufactures and services lifting and load handling equipment for use in a wide range of applications. Products include the Swing Lift range of medium duty cranes for use on pick-ups, drop-sides and flat-beds and the Step Lift, Load Lift and Tail Lift lifting platform ranges for use on pick-ups, drop-sides and vans. The company also manufactures the Mezz Lift for handling loads between ground floor and mezzanines and specialist equipment for handling wheels, tyres and barrels in vehicles and at customers’ premises. All products are designed and manufactured by the company in the UK.