We have seen recently that one of the world’s largest producers of adhesives for the construction industry has been fined over £173,000 for failing to manage transport risks properly. This resulted in a man dying when he was pinned against a fork lift truck by a reversing lorry. He had been moving pallets in the yard and had left his fork lift truck to move something; at this time a lorry driver was asked to move his vehicle and unknowingly reversed into the man.
The HSE investigation highlighted significant failings to manage transport safety and to keep vehicles and pedestrians separated. There was a system in place for lorry drivers to hand in their keys on arrival but for some reason this did not apply to all vehicles. The HSE concluded that Mapei UK Ltd had considered transport safety as a low priority despite a number of safety reports telling them otherwise.
The frightening thing is we see this in many businesses all over the country; it seems that management become complacent to the dangers of people moving around vehicles and therefore don’t apply the necessary controls. Only recently we have advised a number of business of the need to keep pedestrians and forklift trucks separated; as per usual we face barriers as to why this can`t happen. Clearly the outcome of a person being struck by a forklift truck or lorry is going to be serious and result in major injuries being inflicted; so it’s imperative to make sure it can’t happen.
However as Mapei found any control has to be consistently applied otherwise there is no control and things can go wrong. We have been involved in a number of accident investigations where people have been hurt because of controls being little more than fingers crossed – let’s hope nothing goes wrong. Don`t let this happen in your business and take transport risks seriously before it’s too late and the HSE come to investigate.