A logistics firm has been prosecuted after one of its drivers was hit when parked at a dairy. The worker was conducting pre-use checks on his own vehicle when a reversing vehicle struck him. PCL Transport 24/7 Ltd was fined £150,000 and ordered to pay costs of just over 17,649.
Read on to find out more about this prosecution, and to read our top tips on ensuring worker safety when conducting pre-use checks on workplace vehicles.
The accident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It was established that safety controls for the procedure existed, yet they were not being followed. One of the primary safety controls was that of using an allocated area for undertaking pre-use lorry checks, which if used may have prevented the driver being in the vicinity of the reversing vehicle.
6 tips to help ensure workers stay safe when conducting pre-use vehicle checks:
- Do a risk assessment to determine the likely hazards, such as workers being struck by moving vehicles or run over. Consider the controls necessary, such as segregating moving vehicles from drivers who are undertaking checks on their own vehicles.
- Designate a safe area for the checks to be done. Make sure drivers know what to look for when conducting the checks, and that they know where to stand safely. Consider using painted lines to demarcate pre-use check areas and parking spaces. Make sure there is enough room to move safely between each parking space, and that the areas are suitable for the size of the vehicles used.
- Keep other vehicles away from the area by providing alternate routes and parking spaces. Use one way systems to alleviate the need for reversing procedures.
- Ensure good visibility in the pre-use checking area. Provide adequate lighting throughout the year, good housekeeping around vehicle parking areas, and suitable road service conditions. Mend any pot holes and prevent workers falling into areas lower than ground level such as loading areas – put barriers around the edges of any changes in surface level.
- Give drivers adequate time to do their checks so that they do not rush. Give them a suitable checklist to follow in a methodical order.
- Ensure drivers doing checks wear high visibility clothing to make sure they are seen by other drivers operating vehicles.
Many fatal accidents happen each year when workers are hit or run over by vehicles in the workplace and often it is during a reversing procedure. Take the time today to check that the hazards in your workplace associated with vehicle pre-use checks have been identified, and that your workers are segregated from other vehicles when undertaking these tasks.