Accidents at Work | Recycling & Waste Industry
Date: 30th October 2017 | Categories: Health and Safety
In 2016/2017, the HSE reported that the highest incidence of accidents at work are from workers being struck by a moving vehicle. Over the past 5 years within the waste industry, 8 people have been killed after being struck by a moving vehicle.
According to the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 Section 17 (1) “Every workplace shall be organised in such a way that pedestrians and vehicles can circulate in a safe manner” Under these regulations, a traffic route is defined as “a route for pedestrian traffic, vehicles or both and includes any stairs, staircase, fixed ladder, doorway, gateway, loading bay or ramp”.
The recycling and waste industry has the highest rate of workplace injuries compared to any other sector and the HSE are proactively targeting their inspections to look at how health and safety can be improved within this sector to ensure the activities workers carry out are effectively managed and controlled.
H&S Breaches Cause Life Changing Injuries
This month, Jack Moody Recycling Limited was found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 after a worker suffered life changing injuries.
On December 5th, 2014, an employee was struck by a shovel loader whilst carrying out his litter picking duties. The employee was stood next to a wall at the plant and the driver of the shovel loader mistakenly thought he had hit the wall. The driver got out of his cab to check for damage and identified that he did not struck the wall but the employee.
The employee was air lifted to hospital where he underwent surgery, but consequently, suffered two leg amputations just below the knee. The employee now has to live with life changing injuries which could have been prevented if the company had proper risk management controls in place.
The company was fined more than £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17, 641.62.
Do You Have Effective Health and Safety Measures in Place?
Accidents at work like this highlight the severity of what can happen when organisations do not implement effective management control measures. Any route that requires the movement of pedestrians, vehicles or machinery must be organised in such a way that it is suitable for people and vehicles to use them safely.
If pedestrians and vehicles are required to share a traffic route then there must be effective segregation between them including:
- Clear markings on the ground highlighting the route for pedestrians and vehicles.
- The use of barriers to physically separate pedestrians and vehicles where visibility is poor to the driver, to protect building entrances and exits and on corners of routes.
- Implementing one-way systems.
- Use of mirrors around the premises to enable the driver to have a better view of their surroundings.
- Pedestrians to wear hi-visibility clothing.
- Warning sirens on vehicles when reversing.
- Eliminating the need to reverse.
These measures are good examples of controls that can be implemented into workplace transport safety procedures and Risk Assessments.
All organisations have a legal duty of care to their employees and others whilst on their premises, employers should regularly review their workplace transport procedures to ensure that pedestrians are unlikely to be struck by a moving vehicle. As we have seen from the statistics being struck by a moving vehicle is one of the biggest causes for workplace fatalities.
To conclude, have a look at your procedures for managing the movement of vehicles, machinery and pedestrians on-site and consider whether you have done all that is reasonably practicable to protect your employees and others on your premises from being struck by a moving vehicle.
By Angela Laycock – Wirehouse Health and Safety Advisor