Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses on raising awareness and improving safety practices. Making safety a priority on the roads and in our community can start with vehicle safety. Don't underestimate the value of choosing a work vehicle that is built for safety. Utility vehicles are available through OMNIA Partners and provide a safe and sustainable alternative to a work vehicle.
Here are a few reasons to choose a work vehicle that is built with safety in mind. Columbia, who provides electric utility vehicles, shares the many safety features that help ensure operator safety, injury prevention, reduced time due to incidents, and the resulting legal and economic impact of adverse events.
Safety Begins with Durability and Testing
Does your work vehicle provide the durability you are looking for, but also safety for your operator? It is important that before any vehicle reaches the production stage, the engineers' designs are thoroughly tested for fatigue, repetition stress, and ergonomics. Many manufacturer do not puts their vehicles through this level of testing before a single vehicle is produced. For Columbia, even once a vehicle has passed that stage, they continue to test and do everything possible to ensure that each vehicle is as safe as possible throughout its life.
Industry Leading Safety Features to Recognize
How do you know if a utility work vehicle is built for safety? Below are some questions to review:
- Is the vehicle designed for maximum 360-degree operator visibility? Most vehicles are designed for forward left-right visibility. In many work environments, the greatest danger is often above the operator and not left-right.
- Is the seat and steering alignments specific for that operator? Whether the operator is smaller or larger than average, some vehicle designs like Columbia will work with the customer to design the cockpit area of the vehicle to ensure maximum safety, comfort and alertness.
- Are basic operation instructions affixed to each vehicle?
- Does the utility vehicle move if you are trying to start it with a foot on the accelerator?
- Does the vehicle offers both 2-point and 3-point seat belt options for optimum safety?
- Can you purchase a work vehicle with high visibility paint options so that vehicles stand out in congested areas to ensure that workers nearby see them and avoid accidents?
- Is an automatic safety check performed each time the vehicle is engaged? Electric utility vehicles from Columbia will not move if you leave the seat with a foot on the accelerator or an operator tried to move the vehicle with the the parking brake engaged.
- Can the controller be programmable for speed to ensure that the vehicle is not being operated at speeds that are unsafe for the work-space or the operator?
- Does the vehicle have redundant braking to ensure it stops when it needs to stop?
- Are there anti-roll-a-way safety features? For ultimate safety, it is important to have auditory notifications and electro-mechanical parking brakes to ensure that it doesn't move once stopped.
- What about anti-drive away? You will want to ensure that if an operator is not in the drivers seat, the vehicle will not move.
- Is the battery for your electric vehicle designed for safety? For electric vehicles like Columbia's, the battery packs are designed not to spill their contents if there is an accident, thus protecting both the operator and the unit from additional trauma or damage as a result of an accident.
Electric Safety Features
Many fleet managers are turning to electric vehicles not only for easy of use, but electric provides inherent advantages over those that use gasoline. The most obvious advantages are no gas usage, oil, or harmful emissions. Emissions include carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons that are not combusted, nitrogen oxides and other dangerous emissions. These have been known to cause cancer, birth defects and nervous disorders. Additionally, gasoline engines produce carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming. And most importantly, electric vehicles have no combustible elements on board.
Let's make safety a priority in our communities. When looking at work vehicles, think of our supplier partner Columbia, who builds tough vehicles that do the job and withstand the rigors of a hard days work. While their tough vehicles live longer and provide superior payback, they also produce vehicles with maximum safety engineered into each one to ensure both operator and vehicle protection.
Through our partnership with Columbia, OMNIA Partners participating agencies have access to a complete selection of products, services and resources to help keep your facility safe.
Contact us for more information on how you can ensure your work vehicles are safe for our communities.