We often talk to businesses about how they manage transport risks and for many that means managing issues that are generally out of site. Statistics clearly show that far more people are injured and die on UK roads than in the workplace but most seem not to consider this in their risk assessments. It is really important that all risks should be considered and suitable assessments undertaken; if you need advice with this then the ROSPA website provide a good starting point.
For some businesses however the risks are also far closer to home; this particularly applies where fork lift trucks and large vehicles operate on a site. It is vitally important that as far as possible vehicles and pedestrians are kept at a safe distance and robust controls are in place where this is not so easy to achieve. If you have not taken the time to consider how to do this then we would urge you to as the following shows it can lead to even the most experienced staff getting hurt.
The man was a farm manager and was walking from his car across the farm yard when he was struck by a fork lift truck. He had worked for the firm for 38 years and was making his way to a potato grading shed when he crossed the path of a forklift being driven by a farm employee. He died at the scene of the incident after being crushed by the vehicle.
The HSE investigation found that Safety Consultants had carried out a risk assessment many years before (in 2003) which highlighted the need for pedestrians and vehicles to be segregated, but the firm did not fully implement these findings. Workers were allowed to park their cars in areas of the site, which meant they walked across the path of workplace vehicles when walking to, or from, their cars. Some workers even used the same entrance to the grading shed as the forklift truck
The business, Lincolnshire Field Products Ltd, of Spalding, was fined a total of £165,000 and ordered to pay £39,500 in costs after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
The dead man was the farm manager and a long-time employee so would have known the farm very well and so it shows that it could happen to anyone if you don`t take proper steps to keep pedestrians safe. Why not take a moment to think about the safety of your employees and assure yourself you have suitable controls in place both for your workplace and when employees travel around?