February sees the re-launch of a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) campaign that warns about the dangers of falls from vehicles. This type of incident involving workplace transport is a major cause of injuries and costs industry over £35 million each year. The campaign will highlight the many cost effective ways that exist to stop these falls happening.
Last year more than 1600 workers were injured and 4 were killed by falling from vehicles.
Marcia Davies, HSE Director of Injuries Reduction said: “We are running this campaign to raise awareness and to help to stop these needless and sometimes tragic injuries. Falls from vehicles even from a relatively low height, can cause severe and life-changing injury and most are easily preventable.
“Those responsible for managing and planning work with and on vehicles should try to minimise the extent to which tasks have to be carried out at height as one obvious way to prevent falls. There are often easy alternative ways of working to eliminate the need to climb to a height. Also it is vital that when new vehicles are purchased or rented, buyers look for design features that make access safer and think whether working at height can be avoided by ordering equipment with ground based controls.
“The campaign is focusing primarily on those who decide what type of vehicles are used and the way they are used, rather than the people using them. This is because so many injuries are caused by poor vehicle design and inadequate delivery arrangements. There are simple cost effective solutions that businesses can take to manage and drastically reduce the risk of falling from vehicles”
Falls from vehicles are the second most common vehicle-related accidents in the workplace. It is essential that everyone responsible for working with transport is aware of the risks and the consequences of falling from these sorts of heights and the need for precautions.
When companies are investing in new fleet vehicle buyers should require basic safe design features. HSE advises that the specification for access to vehicles should include safety steps, handrails/hand holds and slip resistant floors.