It is not recommended to use fixed or pivoting lever binders because they can cause serious injury when applying or releasing lashings. However, despite several major transport companies announcing that they will stop using them, the practice continues. One company shares its motivations for implementing an alternative solution.
Load restraint had been a big issue for Daryl Dickenson Transport for a number of years. Although the company had been working to improving load restraint on its fleet for some years, action accelerated when a major customer implemented load restraint guidelines for each of its products.
Deciding to change load restraint devices was the simple part - putting it into practice on a daily basis was a much bigger challenge. Daryl ended up trying a variety of load restraint devices, but found that while some were quicker, they were more expensive, or they were too heavy or too bulky.
Entirely new risks can also be introduced when traditional equipment and methods are changed - for example, working higher above the ground or using heavy load restraining equipment.
Daryl's advice is to keep persisting and find out what best suits your particular business needs and load requirements. He found trying to get devices to suit different loads was a challenge and each driver did things differently.
"It's difficult enough to make the change," Daryl said. "It's more difficult to get the drivers on board. Consultation and training was vital in making the transition. A consultative approach ensured it was a shared effort to make the change. The training was not simply a show and tell session - it involved ongoing hands-on demonstrations by drivers who had become familiar and experienced with the equipment."
Daryl is proud of his drivers, especially when they are unsure about a complicated load because now they put in that extra effort to check the load restraint guide to make sure it's right. He accepts that safety has a cost and that it's not always easy competing with those that choose not to comply with safety laws. But Daryl says: "I'm clear about this - you do what's right and go by the rules".
It was a challenging transition for Daryl Dickenson Transport, but well worth it. Daryl says that the impact of change is much better than the impact of someone being hurt when you know it's avoidable.
"You can't be complacent, incidents do happen. And it is not just about the numbers, it's personal. If your workplace has a serious incident, it's horrendous," he said.
Learn more on load restraints.