Penny Hydraulics wins safety awards with innovative ‘Grid Lift’

A hydraulic machine called 'The Grid Lift' has won two awards in recent months for its ability to remove and replace heavy drain covers without manual handling.

The device, manufactured by Penny Hydraulics, won the Highways Agency Health & Safety at Work Award at the CIHT Awards in June, and the Highway Operative & Site Safety Initiative Award at the Highways Magazine Excellence Awards in October.

According to the company, a hydraulic cylinder with a special frame attachment is mounted vertically on the end of a crane, and a knuckle joint configuration allows it to be positioned anywhere within an 835mm radius of the mounting point for precise and accurate lifting. Once in position, the frame is connected securely to the gully cover using simple twist locking keys that can accommodate different profile castings. The cover is then lifted upwards and the whole device swung to one side to provide operatives with clear and unobstructed access.

Since it installed the first Penny Hydraulics Grid Lift on its gully tankers in Somerset three years ago, Atkins has introduced the device into five more contracts it operates for local authorities throughout the UK.

"Winning these awards recognises the achievements we've made in bringing health and safety to the fore for our operatives in Somerset," said Simon White, contract director at Atkins. "We've reduced reportable accidents related to gully cleaning operations to zero."

Laura Hopperton

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