Health & Safety

 COMPASS’s Deborah Williams

Transport planning can be deadly if you don’t cover all the options

TRANSPORT operations associated with waste collection activities and at waste management and recycling sites represent the most signifi cant risk of serious or fatal accidents to workers and members of the public. ‘Struck by moving vehicle’ accounts for about only 4% of all reported accidents, however, over 40% of all fatalities fall within this category. An average of six people (workers and members of the public) died each of those years - due to coming into contact with a moving vehicle. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations require that every workplace is organised in such a way that pedestrians and vehicles can circulate safely. The main considerations for preventing transport-related accidents in pedestrian environments include carrying out a route risk assessment, to highlighting major hazards on the route(s) and indicating how they may be avoided, or the risks minimised. One example could be arranging collections to avoid certain times of the day in sensitive areas (e.g. start, fi nish and lunch times for schools).

Safe reversing and use of reversing assistants

The risks associated with reversing vehicles can be reduced by:

• Eliminating or reducing reversing manoeuvres wherever possible

• Devising and following safe systems of work

• Using reversing aids such as mirrors, CCTV, detectors and alarms

• Using trained reversing assistants only when the risks cannot be adequately controlled by the above

Waste management and recycling activities such as waste transfer stations, skip hire, civic amenity sites, MRFs, scrap yards, landfi ll sites etc involve the use of a wide range of vehicles and mobile plant. The risks to workers and visiting members of the public are similar to those posed by collection activities.

“Traffi c management arrangements should form part of routine site inspections”

Most of these sites are at fi xed locations and the implementation of a good site layout and suitable management system signifi cantly reduces the risks posed by vehicle movements. The key to reducing transport accidents in these environments is to ensure there is adequate segregation between pedestrians and moving transport/plant. To manage workplace transport effectively, there are three key areas to consider when carrying out your risk assessment:

• Safe site (design and activity) • Safe vehicle • Safe driver

Every site is diff erent, and likely to present diff erent hazards and risks. However, a well-designed and maintained site with suitable segregation of vehicles and people will make workplace transport accidents less likely. The most eff ective way of ensuring pedestrians and vehicles move safely

around a workplace is to provide separate pedestrian and vehicle traffi c routes. Where possible, there should also be a one-way system - as this will reduce the need for vehicles to reverse, and will help pedestrians and drivers.

Safe Vehicle

The correct safety specifi cations for vehicles and plant used on site is essential. Vehicle capabilities and site conditions have to be consistent with the tasks performed. A full risk assessment is required to ensure vehicle specifi cation is appropriate and the work activity can be undertaken safely. The stability and ground clearance of vehicles should also be adequate for site conditions and tasks.

Safe Driver

All drivers of vehicles and mobile plant should be competent, trained for the vehicle they are driving, and familiar with the site rules. Traffi c management arrangements should form part of routine site inspections and any breaches of rules and systems should be targeted for remedial action. Review of traffi c management assessments (and your associated transport management plan) should take place if any signifi cant changes have been implemented, or there is an accident or near miss history. Even if no signifi cant changes have occurred, traffi c risk assessments should be reviewed regularly (at intervals to be determined by site management). For assistance with carrying out a risk assessment or developing your traffi c management email: or call 01257 482256.

Deborah Williams CMIOSH RMaPS is Principal Safety Consultant at Compass Ltd.

Deborah specialises in assisting private sector organisations within the construction, waste management and extractive industries.

You can contact her on - 01257 482256 or via email: @ToolBUSINESS TBH October, 2018 27

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