A company that services vehicles has been prosecuted after an employee was crushed by a truck during a service activity. The worker was testing the brakes on a low-loader truck unit and trailer at a Scottish depot. No chocks were used to prevent the truck from rolling and the handbrake was not applied at the time. The trailer was raised into position with a pit jack. During the work activity the truck moved forwards, striking the worker and crushing him against the pit steps, causing him to suffer a fractured spine. Volvo Group UK Ltd was fined just over £13,333.
Vehicle Servicing Firm Prosecuted after Worker Crushed by Truck
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated, and found that the company had not provided a sufficient number of wheel chocks to be used by workers, and that it had not given training and instruction in the use of the chocks provided. It was also established that the company had failed to give the injured worker a suitable induction in relation to safe working methods.
5 tips to help prevent accidents involving rolling or moving vehicles:
- Do a risk assessment to identify what could go wrong when working on vehicles, for example during maintenance activities or servicing. Think about how vehicles could move unexpectedly, perhaps by rolling or being jolted by other vehicles, and the controls which need to be put in place to prevent that from happening.
- Develop a safe working method for workers to follow which involves the safe raising of vehicles and their parts, and the stabilisation of the vehicles to prevent them moving. Make sure workers follow the steps in the correct order and supervise the activity.
- Provide the correct equipment to stop vehicles from moving. This might involve the use of chocks beneath wheels and vehicle restraints. Make sure chocks are brightly coloured to make them easy to see, and check that drivers do not attempt to drive off before they are removed.
- Make sure workers know to apply the handbrake before exiting the vehicle, and that they park on flat, even surfaces.
- Give training to workers on the safe use of the equipment provided for work involving vehicles.
The above accident could have been prevented if the worker had received the right training and information, and if the correct equipment and safe working practices had been used. Make sure that your workers know how to both park securely and work on vehicles safely.