Zero deaths, zero injuries and zero ruined lives. That’s quite a goal – but it’s one that global infrastructure group Balfour Beatty is committed to achieving by 2012. The target was set two years ago by Chief Executive Ian Tyler – and in the words of Steve Farmer, Managing Director of the company’s Plant & Fleet Services Division: ‘Failure is not an option.’
Balfour Beatty Plant & Fleet Services deliver wide-ranging operational solutions to companies nationwide, incorporating both Contract Hire and Fleet Management. Helping customers to reach the highest levels of safety is at the heart of the division’s operations, something that’s self-evident in the specification of seventeen new Iveco Eurocargo 75E16K tippers supplied to the company recently by Sherwood Truck & Van. Fifteen are now with North Yorkshire County Council; two are being operated by Rochdale County Council – and all include innovative safety features with Zero Harm firmly in mind.
All feature Thompson steel tipping bodies fitted with alloy/plastic sides to make lifting and fixing easier for the driver. All have three-point access systems, a feature developed by Balfour Beatty to allow the driver to have three points of contact when accessing the body from any angle. All have fall protection – effectively a safety bar system that prevent falls from the body when working on the vehicle. And all have colour reversing cameras, audio warnings and axle load indicators to minimise the risk of overloading.
There’s more. Ten are fitted with sleeper cabs, an unusual feature on council-operated 7.5 tonne tippers. These have been converted to house in-cab tool kits and provide more space for the storage of Personal Protective Equipment. This can be hung up to dry when wet, so it’s immediately available to operatives at all times. And one vehicle is trialling a new tyre pressure monitoring system to ensure that tyre pressures remain at optimum levels at all times.
‘High spec? We like to think so,’ said Balfour Beatty’s Fleet Services Director, Mike Brown. ‘But against a target of Zero Harm, there is simply no alternative. It’s costlier to have accidents than to deliver innovative vehicle solutions with safety – for the driver, for the operative and for the public at large – built in as their first concern.’
‘We operate a mixed fleet, and we’ve been delighted with Iveco and Sherwood’s willingness to work with us in designing and supplying these innovative 7.5 tonners.’
‘That’s one of the reasons we went to Sherwood. We know them of old – they share our values in terms of responding and looking after the customer …’
Construction services are a specialisation for Balfour Beatty Plant & Fleet Services. The division currently operates some 3,000 LCVs and 1,000 HCVs including a variety of specialist vehicles for operations such as road gritting and surface dressing. The company has its own network of support workshops, as well as a team of mobile vehicle technicians offering immediate back-up for customers UK-wide.