recognised national or international standard which has been written solely for the purpose of assessing hazards and risks for a particular type of machine and setting down the specific essential safety requirements to be embodied in its design and testing procedures. Over the past ten years or so, groups of
experts have drafted a number of European harmonised standards for machines used in the waste industry which deal with the essential safety requirements of refuse collection vehicles and associated waste containers. There are no such standards for skip loaders.
CHEM study In November 2003, member companies of the Container Handling Equipment Manufacturers Association (CHEM), which manufacture and supply skip loaders, decided to begin an initial group study of the hazards and risks associated specifically with this type of vehicle. The study was prompted by continuing reports of accidents notified to CHEM by HSE. Examples of accidents included skip loaders moving on an incline when lifting a loaded skip; slips, trips and falls associated with getting on and off the bed of the skip loader; entrapment of hands and arms and unstable vehicles. The group began its work early in 2004 by
collating the assessments of member companies and compiling them into a single document. This was then studied in detail in relation
to assessment guidelines as set out in BS EN 1050. Further information was extracted from HSE guidance documents. As a result additional hazards were identified and added. The next step was to carry out a risk rating
taking into account the level of injury likely to be sustained, the frequency of exposure of the operator or exposed person, the probability of an incident occurring and assessing whether design changes should be implemented to avert danger to the operator and exposed person. It was decided to model the standard on
recently published European standards for refuse collection vehicles as they provided a
ready made structure which could be applied to skip loaders. The standard was completed in June 2010 and implemented from 1 January 2011. It carries reference TS16 and is entitled ‘Vehicles for the collection and transportation of wastes in bulk. General requirements and safety requirements. Skip loaders’. Information on some of the more significant
features introduced by CHEM members resulting from publication of the standard is given below.
‘Runaway’ skip loaders A hazardous situation can arise when a loaded skip is being lifted and the skip loader is standing on an incline. If the rear stabiliser rollers are lowered to a
point where the vehicle handbrake operating on the rear wheels becomes ineffective the vehicle with its skip will run down the incline. The operator is outside the cab and is unable
to stop the vehicle and it careers away until it crashes into an obstruction which stops it. In one such incident the skip loader crashed into the railings of a school. TS16 requires rear stabilisers to be fitted
with footplates (see main picture on opposite page) so that in the event of the handbrake becoming ineffective the vehicle will not run away. It is possible to specify roller stabilisers but for this to be permissible the vehicle must be fitted with a hand brake that operates on the front wheels of the chassis as well as the rear.
Viewing the danger area The danger area can be defined as the space at the rear of the vehicle occupied by the skip during loading and off loading and the space alongside the vehicle into which material can fall from the skip. The CHEM group considered this to be a potential hazard because the driver, standing on the off side of the vehicle, has little or no vision of the near side. The standard requires the fitting of a device which gives the operator a view of the near side while loading, tipping and offloading. The device may be in
the form of a mirror fixed to the near side edge of the cab guard and positioned so that the operator, standing at the control station, is able to see if there is a person or object at that side of the vehicle which could present a hazard.
Controls The levers controlling the hydraulic functions must be of the hold-to-run type and automatically return to the neutral position when released. Also, controls in the vicinity of a trap or crushing point must be designed and installed so as to require two handed operation so that no part or limb of the operator can suffer injury. This applies in particular to the hydraulic cylinders which operate the lift arms. These are just three of essential safety
requirements included in the standard. The complete standard contains, in chapter
5, a comprehensive analysis of the hazards which could arise and follows this in chapter 6 with the detailed essential safety requirements to be included in their design and testing. The standard also includes a listing of terms
and definitions related to skip loaders and a listing of information given to the end user about their use and maintenance.
FURTHER INFORMATION on CHEM standards may be seen on its website www.ch
by clicking on literature and technical standards. It should be noted that all previous
CHEM standards have been written for the waste industry and provide dimensional and constructional information on static compactors, compaction containers, skips and hook lift containers and sub frames. CHEM standards are generally recognised
and adopted by all those working in the waste industry and by container and skip manufacturers. They do not have the status of national standards. CHEM is a member of the HSE`sWaste
Industry Safety and Health Forum (WISH) dedicated to reducing accidents and advising on issues of health & safety in the waste industry. WISH has produced 25 good practice guidance papers for the waste industry. These are free to download and can be accessed from the CHEM website by clicking on health & safety. Scroll down and click on the HSE link which will go straight to the WISH pages.
Recycling & WA S T E W O R L D www. r e c y c l i n gwa s t ewo r l d . c o . u k October 27 2011 7
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