Baltimore, Maryland-based A-SAFE Inc. has been given a New Product of the Year award by Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) magazine for TrailerKerb, a temporary barrier (or kerb) that provides resistance when forklift trucks get close to the edge of flatbed trailers during loading and unloading operations at the dock.
A-SAFE, a manufacturer of protective guarding for warehouses, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities and other workplace environments, launched TrailerKerb last year, since when it has been supplied directly to end users and to the reseller / distributor marketplace. Like other products in the range, it is made from A-SAFE’s Memaplex material, the company’s patented blend of eight materials and rubber additives that, practically, absorbs impact without incurring damage.
Paul Barlow, CEO at A-SAFE Inc., said: “This is a satisfying and significant moment for TrailerKerb, especially since this product was designed locally here in the U.S., specifically for the U.S. market. The award gives recognition of the efforts by the U.S. company to develop unique products for its local market, following the pioneering ethos of the business.”
A-SAFE, which won in the Safety Barriers category, was among 26 companies that will be recognized with awards and covered in the November / December issue of the magazine; they are also featured on the website at ohsonline.com. The contest was judged by an independent panel of highly-qualified professionals that selected one winner in each category.
Sydny Shepar, editor of OH&S magazine, said: “OH&S has been celebrating innovation and products optimized to keep workers safe for over 10 years. This year, safety products and services are being recognized on a global scale, bringing greater awareness to the important work completed by manufacturers in the industry. This year we are recognizing outstanding products in 26 award categories. Now more than ever, it is of the utmost importance to keep workers and employees safe from emerging and existing workplace hazards.”
Filling a Gap
TrailerKerb filled a gap in the U.S. market for a product that enhances safety where loading of flatbed trailers is required from a dock. As Barlow explained, construction materials, for example, are commonly loaded from a dock, but as typical sites don’t have such docks, product must be shipped on flatbed trailers to facilitate unloading by telehandlers or other equipment. There are inherent hazards associated with operating forklifts on flatbed transportation without sides or means of protective guarding.
A single section of TrailerKerb weighs just 22 lbs., measures 5 ft. 10 in. in length, and is rated at 3,000J. They will usually be supplied in sets of 12 with the option of a transport rack that can carry all pieces securely via wheels or lifted by forklift. In a typical application, all 12 pieces will be installed from aboard the trailer then as the load is moved back, two pieces of the TrailerKerb are removed at a time. The process can be repeated in reverse if a flatbed is to be unloaded at a dock. TrailerKerb pieces are designed with two handles for ergonomic use in all instances.
Barlow said: “There has been a lot of interest [in the product]; we’ve sold over 500 units now, including to roofing material manufacturers and small mobile plant equipment manufacturers. Obviously the interest comes from companies that are loading flatbed trailers from a dock. We have now begun stocking the product locally in the warehouse to reduce lead-time. TrailerKerb is now on the second design iteration, with the addition of a rack for holding and transporting the product from dock to dock available as well.”
Judge Linda Sherrard, MS, CSP, safety consultant II at North Carolina Department of Public Safety, said: “Safety is all about the best. We train, we plan and we, as safety leadership, purchase the very best equipment, PPE and related resources. This year’s award provides just that—thoughtful, timely products that will enhance your program and improve workplace safety, often at the fraction of the cost of one on-the-job injury. 2020 has an exceptional group of new products in many categories.”
To be eligible for the 2020 awards, products must have been introduced to the market between July 2019 and July 2020.