This month’s health & safety theme is ‘Vehicles on site’. Construction vehicles are the cause of many unfortunate accidents in the workplace, and have resulted in workers being killed and seriously injured. Everyone who enters a construction building site is at risk if construction vehicle activities are not properly controlled and managed. If you do happen to drive a vehicle on site, particularly heavy plant, such as site dumpers, excavators, A40 Volvo trucks etc. you should consider doing a risk assessment to examine what could cause harm as a result of your work activity, this will allow you take the necessary precautions to prevent a potential accident.
How do I carry out a risk assessment?
There are five steps to a risk assessment:
1. Look at the hazards.
2. Decide who might be harmed and how.
3. Evaluate the risks and decide whether the existing precautions are adequate or whether more should be done.
4. Record your findings.
5. Review your assessment
Health and safety authority tips to be mindful of when dealing with vehicles on site:
• A traffic management plan (including vehicle and pedestrian routes, loading and parking areas) must be in place and brought to the attention of employees
• Vehicles and pedestrians entering the site must be controlled (using barriers, gates, signs), with only authorised vehicles allowed on site
• Where possible, the site entrance must be set back from public roads/footpaths with warning signs on approach, and public road approaches must be kept clean
• Vehicles and pedestrians must be kept apart and routes adequately lit and signed
• Site vehicles must be fitted with flashing beacons, mirrors, reversing alarms and reversing cameras, as required
• Vehicle routes around the site must be suitable for plant and vehicles, and must be kept clear of hazards (e.g. excavations, scaffolding)
• Avoid reversing e.g. by using a one-way system or dedicated turning area
• Obey the site speed limit
• Do not overtake
• Make sure site vehicles are suitable for the task, not overloaded and all loads are secured
• Site vehicles must be maintained and serviced according to the manufacturer’s instructions
For more information visit www.hsa.ie