Bridgestone South Africa

SANParks trained on tyre construction and safety

May 10, 2012
Garden Route Group

Garden Route Group

Tsitsikamma Group

Tsitsikamma Group

Frontier Cluster

Frontier Cluster

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Invasive species and tyre safety sound like unlikely bedfellows, but to SANParks, guardians of some of South Africa's most pristine natural spaces, they go hand in hand. As part of the SANParks nature conservation mandate, the organisation includes the Invasive Species Control Unit. Investigations into incidents involving ISCU vehicles revealed that poor tyre condition was a leading contributing factor.

ISCU Health and Safety coordinator, Bonny Bridgeford, turned to Bridgestone for assistance. "We identified a clear need for better tyre knowledge among our staff, and we asked Bridgestone to help us with training for ISCU workers operating in our national parks," she explained.

Bridgestone PR Manager, Mandy Lovell, said that SANParks' main concern was the safety of workers who are transported daily in ISCU vehicles. "SANParks had noted an increase in incidents involving tyre defects over the past two years," she explained. "Their main aim was to improve awareness of tyre condition and monitoring among field personnel."

Bridgestone sent a team of six tyre training and fitment specialists to conduct training for a total of 897 SANParks staff from Kruger, Garden Route and Eastern Cape National Parks. The training covered the basics of tyre construction and safety, and then proceeded to demonstrate practical aspects to the trainees, such as how to check a tyre for damage, correct pressure and adequate tread depth. Another important part of the training was teaching trainees how to identify the age of a tyre, with tyres older than five years becoming increasingly prone to cracking and sudden failure. The Bridgestone team also discussed the ISCU's current incident rate with the trainees and emphasised the importance of the SANParks daily vehicle checklist.

The trainees' new-found knowledge was soon put to good use, and a thorough check of the ISCU vehicles revealed that 10% had one or more unsafe tyres. The Bridgestone team assisted with recommendations on remedial action and also alerted SANParks to other vehicle defects which had the potential to lead to crashes or increased running costs.

SANPark's Bridgeford said she was very pleased with the results. "The training was a great success and is bound to assist in the prevention of vehicle incidents," she said. "We now look forward to the next training sessions in the Cape and West Coast Parks in the coming months."

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Bridgestone South Africa

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