FPSS gains backing from government and regulator

Victorian Government and WorkSafe praise industry-led initiative to improve safety for truck drivers working at height

By Ruza Zivkusic | December 2, 2011

Yesterday’s launch of the Fall Prevention Safety System (FPSS) attracted a full house of industry operators, with the Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Edward O’Donohue praising the initiative.

Stepping in on behalf of Transport Minister Terry Mulder, O’Donohue says the FPSS curtain trailer, designed by the Metropolitan Express Services and Vawdrey Australia, is a "fantastic initiative, which the government is happy to support".

"Victoria is the leader in safety and we’re always looking for innovation in safety. This is a fantastic innovation that should improve safety in Victoria and as it develops it might increase through Australia," O’Donohue says.

"As a government we want to encourage this sort of innovation and productivity and safety – if those three can come together we will have more efficient business, a safer business and a safer state."

WorkSafe Director of Manufacturing, Logistics and Agriculture Ross Pilkington says he is pleased the industry established such a system without a push from the regulators.

"It’s been pushed by the industry and what’s so fabulous about that is that they’ve seen there’s a need and they want to make a safer environment," Pilkington says.

The FPSS is designed to provide a working-at-heights safety solution for flat-top rigid and semi-trailers. The trailer curtain can be activated by the driver and has minimal impact on the load capacity of the vehicle.

"This innovation will give the drivers the ability to stop from getting on top of the truck until they actually have the full prevention barrier in place," Pilkington says.

"What traditionally happens is that they’re just on the open truck, they work up there and the next thing you know is they take one step and they’re on the ground. What this will do is increase productivity and allow people to get up on a truck safely."

Vawdrey Australia National Sales Manager Justin Simmonds says it took 18 months to create the system.

"From an image perspective it will certainly clean up the industry, it will allow for some exposure on the side of the curtain and you’re not going to see that unsightly looking steel handle," he says.

"It is a complete side rail on top of the vehicle and once it’s in the upright position it has a series of uprights with a handrail and you have the curtain fixed to it which is the full prevention. It is something that the steel industry has been searching for quite some time."

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