A commercial vehicle safety firm is helping companies put wellbeing first with the launch of its welfare vans.
Leeds-based SM UK has invested £200,000 to develop the vehicles, which offer workers a safe and Covid secure environment to eat and keep clean while working on remote sites, and are the first production line of their kind in Yorkshire.
Each welfare van is equipped with features such as sanitising stations, toilet facilities, a kitchen area and seating for up to seven people.
Steve MacDonald, SM UK managing director, said: “Safety is at the forefront of everything we do, from our crash tested seats to hand sanitising stations.
“There is a growing demand for welfare vans as a result of Covid and this will help us reach new markets, as well as expand our offering to existing clients. A lot of our customers work within the construction industry and these vehicles are a valuable asset for sites.
“They provide a great, Covid secure base for anyone working in highway maintenance, rail, utilities, remote locations, or those working across different sites.”
Alongside welfare areas, vans will be equipped with SM UK’s roof-mounted solar panel, a unique feature which means users can reduce emissions, oil use and engine wear.
Each vehicle will also be fitted with the firm’s innovative Scene Lighting system, which lights up the surrounding area of the vehicle.
As well as developing its own fleet, SM UK is also offering conversions for firms with their own vans.
Steve said: “We expanded into bespoke van conversions a few years ago, offering customisable solutions from a single van to a nationwide fleet.
“Now, with the addition of the welfare features, we can install racking, lighting, safety equipment and more while taking into account the van’s uses, allowing us to transform it into exactly what the company needs for business.”
Established in 2000, SM UK works with some of the UK’s largest fleets to ensure their drivers have improved visibility of blind spots, reducing accidents and making roads safer.
The firm, which employs 60 people across its Leeds head office and workshops in Leeds and Tamworth, also has significant growth plans having recently signed for a new 35,000 sq ft HQ. It also expects to create ten new engineering and office-based roles in the next year.
Steve added: “The new building is three times the size of our existing Leeds workshop and will support our plans to grow, expand our engineering team and diversify our offering.
“The transport industry has played a vital role throughout the pandemic, and we’ve been proud to support them throughout with services such as the welfare vans.
“It’s a really exciting time here at SM UK, and I can’t wait to see where the next year takes us.”