Many workers are injured each year by moving work vehicles that either didnt see them or started unexpectedly. Take the time today to check your vehicle management plan to ensure that your workers are protected.
Tips to Prevent Accidents Involving Employees and Workplace Vehicles
- Undertake a risk assessment to determine where the hazards involving pedestrians and vehicles are. Walk around your site to identify where vehicles are or could potentially be in the vicinity of employees and others. Identify how someone could be run over, reversed into or even crushed against a building or another vehicle.
- Prevent the need for vehicles to reverse whenever possible, by using one way systems and the correct signage to make the routes clear. If using a banksman, make sure they are trained and competent to do the job.
- Always aim to keep vehicles and pedestrians separate. Provide designated walkways for workers to use, and install barriers to keep vehicles away from these areas. Ensure that vehicle routes have good visibility, and introduce speed limits.
- If workers need to approach vehicles such as excavators, prevent the vehicle moving by ensuring the driver puts the handbrake on and removes the ignition key.
- Don’t allow drivers to use mobile phones whilst using workplace transport, or for them to have headphones on these are both a major distraction. Ensure that drivers have good visibility in the cab/driving seat check that windows are kept clean, that wipers work properly and that reversing sensors and alarms are working correctly.
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Ladders are often useful pieces of equipment for short-term, low risk jobs, but serious (if not fatal) accidents can occur if they are not used correctly. Take the time before starting any job to check that your ladder procedures are fit for purpose.
Tips to Ensure Ladder Jobs are Carried Out Safely
- Do a risk assessment for the task you intend to carry out that involves working at height. From looking at the risks involved, check whether a ladder is the correct piece of access equipment to use. As a general rule, ladders should be used for no more than 30 minutes duration for low risk work, perhaps in hard to reach places where other access equipment would not fit.
- Plan the work properly and include step-by-step instructions for workers to follow. Communicate to workers and contractors what jobs can be carried out on ladders, and the conditions under which they can or can’t be used – for example, preventing their use outside in windy weather.
- Train workers to use ladders safely. Make sure they know to position them correctly on the ground to ensure stability, and that they know to check the floor for contaminants such as oil first.
- Ensure workers know how to check ladders before each use, to look for any faults such as missing rungs, broken platforms or damaged feet. Make sure they are clear on how to report these ladders as faulty straight away so that the equipment can be fixed or disposed of accordingly.
- Supervise workers who use ladders and make sure they maintain three points of contact on the ladder at all times.
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It is imperative that you always comply with any enforcement given by the HSE, if directors and company owners fail to do so they could end up with a prison sentence.
Tips to Ensure Your Premises are Safe for Workers and Members of the Public
- Check the boundaries of your premises to ensure that there are no gaps or holes in fencing and hedging. Lock up your workplace securely at the end of the day and when the site is unoccupied.
- Remove the keys from transport and machinery when not in use by trained workers, to prevent unauthorised use.
- Lock up gas cylinders in a cage or other similar device, to prevent them being damaged or set fire to. Store flammables such as paint or solvents in a suitable area away from ignition sources, and dispose of waste properly.
- Cover up holes and trenches with boards and put guards and barriers around any areas which persons could fall into, including water.
- Remove ladders or cover them up with boards to prevent trespassers climbing onto structures and falling from height.
- Maintain machinery, work equipment and lifting equipment properly. Stick to defined maintenance and testing schedules, and repair any defects or faults straight away.
If you require advice, please contact us.