From an early age Bruce Johnson has always been concerned about the health and welfare of others. As a veteran truck driver with more than 30 years experience in the transportation industry, it was Bruce Johnson’s concern for the health and welfare of others that soon inspired him to start a business aimed at providing safety and ergonomic solutions for this industry. His personal experiences and observations of the needs of other transportation workers inspired him to design, manufacture and patent the “Fuel Hose Drainer”.
The inspiration for Bruce Johnson’s invention and subsequent business start-up came when he sustained a back injury in 2000 while performing his work as a fuel delivery driver in the petroleum industry. His injury made him realize that if the repetitive bending, stooping, squatting and lifting workers must do to do their job could be reduced or better yet eliminated, drivers would be able to perform their work not only faster, but more safely as well.
After prototyping a tool for his own use and then allowing others to try it out, he realized that he had discovered something great. But it was after reviewing his invention idea with his wife Jacqueline, a Certified Professional in Disability Management and Accommodations, that he realized that what he thought would just be a job aide for drivers, could actually also benefit employers too. According to Jacqueline, his invention had the potential of reducing employer’s costs associated with aging and injured workers by mitigating the stresses that fuel delivery job tasks place on the drivers.
In 2004, the Johnsons started their first business, Western Washington Safety Consultants, Inc. This business now holds two patents for the Ergonomic Fuel Hose Drainer, a product that reduces the need for bending, squatting, kneeling, and lifting heavy fuel filled hoses and eliminates the need to empty the hoses using the risk of injury plagued methodology of the “hand- over- hand” lift and drain technique. The product is entirely made in the United States and is adjustable for length and can be used by either left or right handed drivers. It is sold and shipped from their business location in Federal Way, Washington to destinations within four continents.
The Johnson’s product has also found other applications. Other truck drivers have found it useful to move and empty hoses. Fire departments have found it can be used to lift and move fire hoses. Barge operators have found it can be used to lift and move heavy duty ropes. Employees who have responsibility for moving bundles of electric cords and cables have found it supports this work as well. A Washington State workers compensation entity purchased the tool for a driver returning to work and a fuel truck manufacturer purchased the tool to accompany their trucks at time of sale.
Today Johnson continues his work in the transportation and safety industry. He currently holds a certification as a safety consultant from the National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP) and serves on the Safety Board at his current place of employment.
To learn more about Western Washington Safety Consultants, Inc. and the patented Fuel Hose Drainer tool, visit http://www.wwscinc.com/.