Safety First for Bromley
By Jane Undery
Health & Safety is a serious matter which, in the light of recent fatal accidents, has now become a key issue for many involved in grounds maintenance. It certainly played a major role in the joint decision making process which led contractors, Enterprise plc and their clients, The London Borough of Bromley's Environment and Leisure Services to choose Etesia's Attila A180 all terrain ride-on for mowing the borough's large number of grass banks and slopes.
This is the very first Attila A180 to be put into service in the UK - its unique feature is its automatic self-leveling system which keeps the operator and central body of the machine safely in the vertical position whilst the fully floating wheeled cutting decks follow the terrain's contours. The machine's stability allows the operative to mow confidently and safely on banks, slopes and uneven ground. Working upright also makes the operator 'feel' safe and eliminates the bodily stress, strain and risk of back injury often associated with ride-on bank work.
The Etesia is being supplied through SGM Hire who, during the initial investigative process were asked to suggest and demonstrate a number of bank mowers from different manufacturers prior to selecting the Attila A180. Commenting, Andy Grover, Contracts Manager of Enterprise plc says, "Working closely with SGM Hire has meant we are now able to meet our Health & Safety obligations as well as achieving our quality service objectives.
We were all impressed the Attila, including the Client, and look forward to monitoring its performance over the coming season. On banks and uneven ground, the operator sits level at all times and an alarm warns when the 27 degree maximum is reached. The quality of finish is excellent, and its efficiency in operation means we can use it to its full potential."
Bromley is London's largest green borough with 152 parks and open spaces. Its undulating terrain reveals a large number of banks on recreation grounds, schools and highways. Head of Parks and Recreation, Patrick Phillips takes an active interest in grounds maintenance activities within the Borough, having been present at all of the SGM Hire demonstrations plus the installation of the Attila. "This mower represents a major move forward for grass cutting safety - we are over the moon that Enterprise has gone down this route and that the first Attila A180 is being put into service in our borough.
Our serious concern is not only for the safety of Enterprise's operators but also for the members of the public who use our facilities." he says.
SGM is a national hire company and will be carrying out servicing from their Kent depot in Northfleet as part of the hire agreement.
Operator training and day-to-day maintenance procedures were covered by Etesia during installation. This induction will be backed by an on-going refresher training programme run by Enterprise plc. The company aims to maintain a zero tolerance policy on accidents.
In addition to being an extremely productive mower Etesia's 180cm Attila A180 all-terrain mower efficiently clears large areas of scrub and overgrown vegetation. Powered by a 30hp Yanmar diesel engine, the machine is highly manoeuvrable, with easy-to-use hydrostatic drive, power steering and good all-round visibility.