At Northern Mat & Bridge, we have a comprehensive safety-training program, an HSE team dedicated to developing safety throughout our company, encourage the empowerment of our employees and execute diligent follow-up on safety issues when they occur to create a climate of safety.

A prime example that conclusively demonstrates our company-wide commitment to safety was that in 2014 our HSE Department gathered the operations manager, superintendents, field supervisors and equipment operators and sat them down for a series of roundtable discussions. Together they came up with the Power Line Complacency Resistance System, known as the “magnetic grapple.”

The Power Line Complacency Resistance System is a straightforward concept with that places a huge role in minimizing complacency. The magnetic grapple is merely a magnet with a flag on it, which sits inside the operator’s machine. However, the important part is that anytime one of our operators is working near a power line, they have to physically get out of their machine and stick the magnet containing a flag onto the head of the grapple.

This simple corrective action has created a behavior that makes the operator more aware and eliminates complacency while working in a high hazard zone. Since 2014, many companies throughout the industry have adopted the magnetic grapple system to their safety programs.