In 2020 hauliers delivered 27.85 million pallets with an average weight of 380kg*. Manoeuvring such loads can be risky, with numerous incidents reported each year of loads and drivers falling from tail lifts. Research estimates the economic cost of ‘falls from vehicle’ incidents, many of which involve tail lifts, at £36.5 million**. But the human cost can be greater still, with several instances each year of serious driver injuries and even fatalities.
Tail lift danger
It’s all too easy for busy delivery drivers to lose spatial awareness while manoeuvring pallets and cages onto tail lifts. Solid guard rails have been recommended for years, but they take time to deploy and reduce the working space on the tail lift.
Now, a new innovation is helping to improve the safety of the sector.
Introducing Tail Lift Stay Safe
Tail Lift Stay Safe is quick and simple to deploy and costs no more (and frequently less) than existing, less effective solutions. Fixed retaining arms keep rear doors in position, offering full side protection from passing traffic and falls from the side of the tail-lift. Then a retractable strap across the rear of the tail-lift protects against falls from the rear.
Benefits also include the following:
Easy and inexpensive to install and retrofit to existing trucks, trailers or vans
Quicker to use than conventional door retainers, with deployment in just 30 seconds
Offers up to 350mm more unrestricted platform space than other systems
Robust, damage resistant and maintenance free
Permanently attached to vehicle body so there are no loose parts to lose or leave
A quick, simple solution that protects drivers and their organisations
Tail Lift Stay Safe was developed by Niven Whiteoak and Carol Helm who between them have over 60 years’ experience in the transport sector.
Niven said, “We were approached by a customer to design and develop a system to prevent falls from a tail-lift platform. We have developed, trialled, tested and monitored Tail Lift Stay Safe for over two years on a large fleet of 12t, 18t, and 26t rigids in the pallet network sector. The result is a retaining system that delivers safety with confidence.”
Carol added: “In addition to the obvious benefits of driver safety, the system helps protect against the wider effects of driver injury or pallet accident. Missed deliveries, the cost of lost time incidents, increased insurance premiums, and the effect of reputational damage and poor staff morale are all things that can be minimised from a system that can be installed in 45 minutes and deployed in 30 seconds.”
Dean Woodyer, Managing Director of H&M Distribution, has been putting Tail Lift Stay Safe to the test on vehicles within his fleet. “Our staff have embraced this system because it’s part of their welfare. We place great emphasis on the safety of the public, the goods in transit and, most importantly, the safety of our drivers. For us, comprehensive training, and using TLSS, means we can sleep easier at night.”