Oakley - A Case Study in working with SpanSet to protect their workforce when working a height

The background: 


Masters of the Coachbuilder’s art. 

Over 70 years ago, on the site of wartime allotments near Ware in Hertfordshire,  Oakley Horseboxes was born. Today the company has a turnover of £10+ million and is renowned for excellence throughout the equestrian world.  

Oakley do not compromise - using traditional skills and modern production techniques they manufacture the best in horse transportation. Virtually every detail, right down to the catches on the doors are manufactured on site by Oakley’s experienced, highly skilled workforce.  

The vehicles can be over 4m in height and for durability and increased payload, the boxes are hand-built with aluminium frames on a light alloy body.  This poses a potential risk of falls from height for the workforce when working on top of these tall vehicles.

In 2016 with an expanding business, ever changing Health & Safety legislation and a commitment to keeping their workforce safe, Oakley looked for expert advice on reviewing and potentially upgrading their working practices and height safety equipment and contacted SpanSet.  The two companies have worked closely together ever since.  


SpanSet have worked with Oakley to provide the complete solution for safe working on and around these tall vehicles, whether in the assembly bays using an overhead installed Horizontal Safety Line System (above) or mobile engineers working off-site.

The Oakley/SpanSet working relationship

After an in-depth survey of Oakley’s factory and various aspects of working at height, Phil Ganner an expert in vehicle height safety, recommended the installation of SpanSet’s overhead Horizontal Safety line system above the assembly bays.  A full range of fall arrest blocks, harnesses and work position lanyards were also recommended as was the necessary training and annual inspections. 

Oakley pride themselves on forging long lasting relationships with their customers and offering a comprehensive range of support services including service and repair. 

SpanSet of course hold the same values and for many years have provided a complete package of services to Oakley including Training, all Height Safety Equipment and annual Inspections.

Thanks to the strong working relationship between our two companies, the Oakley workforce are protected from falls from height as soon as they leave the ground and can work on and above the vehicles in complete safety.   

"The Safety of our workforce at Oakley is of the utmost importance. SpanSet provide us with expert advice, height safety systems and equipment, training and annual inspections so I can be confident our workforce is safe and all working at height problems have been solved.  This allows me the freedom to concentrate on other aspects of our business."

Andrew Oakley MD


Products and Services Supplied


1.  Horizontal Safety Line System


The Horizontal Safety System is a permanently installed, overhead, high tension line suitable for continuous unsupported spans of up to 40m – an industry first.  It’s ideal for use in vehicle loading bays, workshops and other large unsupported areas where protection for work at height is required.  Designed to provide hands free travel along the length of the 8mm marine grade pretensioned cable providing comprehensive overhead protection for a team of up to 4 workers.  Suitable for both fall arrest and work restraint.

  • A premium product – designed and manufactured in house by SpanSet UK - Height Safety Specialists.  
  • Permanently installed, high tension, horizontal safety system suitable for continuous unsupported spans of up to 40m – an industry first. 
  • Innovative, unique and industry leading shock absorber with 2 options of 12kN & 18kN for tailored performance according to the application 
  • HT-8 tensioner with extended travel ensuring the optimal high tension in the wire of up to 400kgf and no sagging – even over a 40m single span.
  • Marine grade stainless steel components and performance coatings for maximum lifespan. Suitable for use in harsh internal and external environments including low temperatures and exposed locations. 
  • Easy and versatile to install. Can be installed on inclines up to 15 degrees from horizontal and fixed to a variety of substrates, concrete, steelwork etc. 
  • Provides protection from falls from height for a team of up to 4 workers (each up to 140kg) and allows hands free operation. 
  • Low maintenance when inspected in accordance with BS7883:2005 at intervals not exceeding 12 months and the manufacturers recommendations. 
  • Tested and certified to the new EN795:2012 TYPE C Anchor Devices Standard and meets and exceeds the requirements of PD CEN/TS 16415:2013 for systems. 
 Simple, Safe and Intuitive to use:
  • No complicated mechanical operation. 
  • Smooth hands free travel along the length of the horizontal lifeline as no intermediate brackets in a single span of up to 40m.  
  • The ease of travel along the rigid cable ensures the retractable fall arrest block will always follow the worker during work at height operations.  This ensures any dynamic fall arrest event would be within the correct operating parameters of the device and reduce the chance of injury caused by swing falls. 

2. Fall Arrest Blocks, Harnesses & Work Position lanyards

3. Restraint Kits (Used by Oakley's mobile engineers when working on vehicles off-site)

4. Training

Horizontal Safety Line System/Fall Arrest Blocks

The Driver Fall Arrest Harness 

Looking for a Height Safety solution?

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