Following a tragic accident that led to a worker having both legs amputated, a mid-Wales landfill company has been fined £180,000 plus costs of over £7,600.
Sundorne Products (Llanidloes) Ltd were prosecuted when the unnamed worker was hit by a shovel loader while walking across the company's yard. The injuries were so severe that both legs had to be amputated at mid-thigh, and the victim spent six months in hospital.
The fine followed an HSE inspection, which found that the company had failed protect its workers from the site's high volume of traffic. Inspectors also revealed that the company was fully aware of the risk to its workforce and knew the measures necessary to prevent such accidents. They had simply failed to implement these measures.
Keeping workers safe around vehicles
- Identify the risks. How easily can vehicles run over workers or reverse into them? Remember the danger from shovels, booms and other moving parts.
- Improve lighting and train every driver and all other workers to be aware of the hazards you've identified.
- Make vehicle reversing as rare as possible and fit vehicles with reversing alarms.
- Introduce a one way system and use signage to ensure that all drivers follow them.
- Set a maximum speed limit with clear signage, and emphasise it in every induction and briefing.
- Create segregated pedestrian walkways and crossings with barriers to keep vehicles out.
- Ban headphones and mobile phone use on site. Anything that reduces on-site awareness in fact.
- Make sure pedestrians can be clearly seen. Fit all vehicles with suitable mirrors and install CCTV where appropriate. Insist that workers wear hi-vis on site.
- If using banksmen, ensure that only well-trained staff are doing the job.
Far too many serious and fatal injuries result from people being hit by a vehicle in the workplace. Yet protecting your people and your business can be as simple as talking to Phoenix about risk assessment and securing the right training for all staff.