Southampton is well known as the launch place of the infamous Titanic, and sitting on the doorstep of the New Forest with one of the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture, heath and forest in Southern England. No wonder it is the historical home of naval shipbuilding, doubtless making use of the local resources to create the “heart of oak” ships that departed from it’s quays.
Balfour Beatty who operate the Southampton Council Highways contract, operate a stringent “duty of care” policy for their workers, so they asked Econ to add some “extra” health and safety features into the Multipurpose vehicles that they ordered in December 2019, adding another 3 to the order in December, which have just been delivered.
“The Unibodies are used throughout the season for road re-instatement and backup salting duties, but with such a temperate climate, the gritters went out 3 times last winter, so it is the road mending features that we use most” says Gary Burrows, Commercial Vehicle Operations Engineer at Balfour Beatty.
“The safety of our operatives is really important to us, so we wanted some additional health and safety features adding into the build to make the vehicle even safer for the teams as they used the vehicles for road re-instatement duties. So, improved working visibility of verges, reduction of manual handling and increased safety when operating off the bed were added to our “vehicle spec” when we briefed Econ”.
“Poor light conditions can pose a real trip hazard, so the addition of ‘scene lighting’ to the underneath of the vehicle was the obvious solution to improving visibility” comments Kevin Yale, Econ’s account manager for Balfours “The integration of the automatic sheet re-instatement with a fold up fall arrest system gave us a little more pause, as the two solutions were not automatically complimentary. But the Econ design team are well versed in mechanical and engineering problem solving, so the conflict was quickly resolved to the customers satisfaction” concludes Kevin.