Diesel Spills Kill – Blyth MAG

blyth-diesel-spillsAs Blyth Valley MAG Local Rep I try and get members of our group to participate in events and campaigns as much as possible.

Recently I have begun a campaign for replacing manhole covers with non-grip ones. I’ve put a folder on our Facebook page for people to upload pictures of offending manhole covers to. I am also hoping to launch a page for potholes as well. I might get storm drain covers included.
There is one near to where I live that is recessed far enough to park a bus in.

One of the most important MAG campaigns for this time of year, with the weather changing so rapidly is the Diesel Spills campaign. The importance of this issue came home to me recently when Jane, a long time North East MAG member and one of the stalwarts of the Stormin’ Committee, took a bad fall from her bike near Dorna Castle (the castle on all the short cake boxes and in the Highlander film). She was on a ride up to a rally on the Isle of Sky when she slipped on diesel and suffered serious injury.

Now I have worked for Nexus Rail for 24 years and have noticed how keen management is to publicise its credentials as a caring and considerate employer, willing to embrace Health and Safety regulations. With that in mind myself and the Health & Safety rep, Paul Strachan decided to approach management with the idea of putting the yellow Diesel Spills stickers on their road vehicles and fuelling stations.

Stickers where supplied and Paul explained the idea of the Diesel Spills campaign to the management committee. The committee explained that it had to be passed to the legal department of our company for consideration. Paul then received an email saying that the company embraced the campaign but would only allow stickers and posters to go onto the fuel point and selected areas of our HQ.

Since the MAG name was on the bottom of the stickers they would not authorise their use as they felt there might be issues of legal liability. Myself and some of the members of BVMAG attended an EGM in Durham, at which I brought the subject up and got some great feedback from members. One simple idea to emerge from our discussions was to cut the MAG information off the bottom of the sticker.

I emailed the manager concerned with this idea but our offer was still declined as he said that if everyone who worked for Nexus Rail wanted to put stickers on vehicles then it would probably get out of control. He did feel that the campaign was a good one however. He thought that not only would it save lives but also maybe even save the company fuel if drivers were more careful when filling their vehicles.

Myself and Paul Strachan were summoned to attend a photo shoot for our company paper, The Nexus Times, in front of our fuel station, along with the senior engineer concerned.
Hopefully all the posters and stickers around our depot will raise the awareness of our 40 drivers.

Maybe we’ll even save the lives of our colleagues as many of our fellow employees are bikers.

Tony Reay Blyth MAG Local Rep