By Jena Williams

Jack Belmont

Jack Belmont, Owner, Belmont Enterprises Inc.

To most of us, the status quo is comfortable and change is, well, less comfortable. But some people aren’t willing to accept that the status quo is as good as it gets.

Jack Belmont, owner of Belmont Enterprises Inc. in Tumwater, Washington is one of those people who doesn’t accept that how business has always been done is how it needs to continue.

Here are a few of the changes he’s made to make his company safer, both for his employees and for the motoring public.

Belmont Enterprises hauls raw glass sheets, known in the industry as “stoce.” Stoce sheets are hauled in nearly vertical stoce racks that traditionally were strapped into place by a driver that climbs a ladder to hook straps and place guards over the stoce.

 

Old method of attaching straps by climbing ladder, and reaching over sharp edges of (stoce) glass.

Old method of attaching straps by climbing ladder, and reaching over sharp edges of (stoce) glass.

Jack used to lie awake at night worrying that a worker would fall and slice themselves on the stoce. Then it came to him: there was no need to climb a ladder and to attach straps! He could design a system of permanently attached straps that could keep the worker off of the ladder.

Jack’s system is now in place and works perfectly. Using an aluminum rake, a worker can manipulate the straps and lift the guards into place while standing on the trailer bed.

Aluminum rake for adjusting straps

Swivel top, no ladder, tie down system is adjusted using an aluminum rake from trailer bed level.

Aluminum rake also lift stoce guards

Aluminum rake also lifts stoce guards into place.

Jack also listens to his employees when it comes to how to get the job done safer. There’s nothing more frustrating and harder on the shoulders than when a trailer curtain get snagged up. One day a driver suggested to Jack that it would be better if there were sleds on the top of the stoce rack to keep the curtain from snagging. The employee made wooden ones to test and Jack created the aluminum ones. The sled is another simple solution that saves time and prevents injuries.

Sled suggested by an employee of Belmont to prevent the trailer curtain from snagging on the stoce rack.

Jack is also willing to go above and beyond to protect the motoring public. He shared that a standard load of stoce is strapped to the frame with just two straps. He notes that so many things can go wrong in a scenario with just 2 straps. If one strap loosens in transit or if a driver forgets one of the stoce guards, the load can be lost on a public highway.

First, Jack addressed this scenario by adding a cut-proof cable to the tops of his straps. Then he went even further by challenging a general belief in the glass hauling industry: most companies stick with 2 straps because they believe that the glass needs to be able to flex in transit or it’ll break. Jack tested a third strap. It worked great and now they have the extra insurance of a backup strap.

Early in his career, he assisted in the cleanup of a spilled load and was willing to do anything to prevent another. He didn’t give up until the problem was solved.

Safety doesn’t happen by accident. Thoughtful solutions are waiting to be found.

What solutions have you developed to make your job safer? Share them in the comments.

Link to more information on the swivel top, no ladder, tie down system: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6eJDtSAGQHNVGxGNHVZWm1OUEE/edit?pli=1

Link to company profile on Jack Belmont: http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/safetymaterials/901472014.pdf