A Bristol-based fencing manufacturer, along with the owner of the yard where the business operates, have both been fined following the death of an employee at the site.
- The employee was working on foot in the same vicinity as a telehandler when the accident occurred.
- The load on the telehandler exceeded the safe lifting height, causing the vehicle to tip over.
- The falling telehandler knocked over a load of stacked timber which fell onto the pedestrian, causing his death.
- An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that a safety device, designed to prevent loads being lifted too high was faulty and hadn’t worked for a considerable time. This critical fault had not been picked up during routine maintenance.
- The fencing company and the site owner were fined a total of £53,000.
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Tania Nickson said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply ensuring that the vehicle in question had been properly maintained and thoroughly examined.
“This failure was compounded by PA Fencing Ltd not ensuring their yard was set up to safely store timber or that their drivers were properly trained and appropriately supervised.
“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
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Keep up with inspection schedules
Throughout the many industries using work equipment – be it materials handling, agriculture or construction for example – there remains a great deal of confusion regarding Thorough Examinations. This doubt could lead to accidents like the one above, as well as prosecution and life-changing consequences for operators and businesses.
Thorough Examinations are required by law and are essential for ensuring that machinery is in safe working condition.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states:
“Thorough examination of industrial lift trucks is required under health and safety law: LOLER 1998, which covers lifting equipment, and PUWER 1998, which deals with all other safety-related items, such as brakes, steering and tyres. Your regular inspections as part of a preventive maintenance scheme or scheduled service are not a thorough examination.”
Roughly equivalent to a car’s MOT, a Thorough Examination must be conducted at least once every 12 months, or even more frequently depending on factors such as truck type, environment and hours used.
CFTS – the industry’s accrediting body for Thorough Examinations – offers an in-depth inspection that not only assesses lifting parts in line with LOLER, but also brakes and steering as required by PUWER.
Find out what is checked under LOLER and PUWER in our Safety Drive article here.
Competent Persons and Training
Thorough Examinations must be conducted by an individual with the relevant training and expertise – known in the industry as Competent Person.
Training courses are available, including: