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March 23, 2011

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Cement firm’s invention eliminated work-at-height risk

Lafarge Cement has developed new technology for its road haulage fleet that it says improves safety for its drivers and also reduces the environmental impact of transporting materials.

The firm is the first UK cement company to develop and incorporate safer ground level coupling technology across its entire fleet of 130 articulated vehicles. The new technology allows drivers to couple up air and electronic lines at ground level, whereas previously they had to climb up vehicle platforms to couple up trailers, which presented a fall from height risk.

The initiative means there is no longer a requirement for vehicle body access equipment on each vehicle, which has reduced the overall tare weight of each lorry. With increased space available on each vehicle this has allowed the firm to cut its CO2 emissions as fewer deliveries are required.

Lafarge Cement transport manager, Andrew Brodley, said: “Across Lafarge Cement’s UK operations it was calculated that during the coupling of semi-trailers there were approximately 900 fall from height near misses each year. By designing our new trailer technology, drivers are not required to work at height, therefore we eliminated the risk for our employees.

“The company has made considerable investment in improving the environmental performance of its supply chain and this is another example of Lafarge Cement’s commitment to improve sustainability across its business.”

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