Vehicle maintenance including loading and unloading can be dangerous. Machinery can seriously hurt people. Heavy loads, moving or overturning vehicles and working at height can all lead to injuries or death.
A report by the Health & Safety Laboratory looked at 253 separate incidents relating to falls from vehicles. The study identified that drivers in the process of loading, unloading or adjusting the load accounted for 70% of accidents. Whilst staff involved in other activities such as cleaning or maintenance accounted for the rest.
To reduce the risks associated with the access or egress from a vehicle or if employees are involved in vehicle maintenance TB Davies has introduced a range of solutions to protect the operator. These include the Cargo Step, which enables easy access to the bed of any goods vehicle and is available in two sizes up to 1.4m.
The Truck Dock provides a mobile staircase and work platform solution flatbed trucks and lorries. Whilst the Windscreen Access unit has been specifically designed to provide safe access for the removal and installation of large vehicle windscreens. Double guard rails are provided to three sides with a side access gate leaving the windscreen working area free.
The Tankmaster completes the range and is a purpose built access platform for industrial applications where tank top access is necessary. Powered by a simple hydraulic ram, the Tankmaster Access Platform offers an adjustable operating platform height of between 3.0 – 4.5m, and can be easily deployed by one person.
Tankmaster is suitable for use with rigid tankers, trailer tanks and most ISO containers and are designed to ensure the operator is safe and secure whilst climbing onto the tanker and working within the safety cage.
There are some basic principles for working at height, and they apply equally to working at height on a vehicle. In law, work at height means ‘work in any place where a person could fall a distance likely to cause personal injury if no precautions are taken’. It includes getting on and off a vehicle trailer or climbing into or out of a lorry cab. Although some people might not regard work below average head height as ‘work at height’, the law requires people to consider falls from any height where someone could be injured, including falls from trailers or the tops of vans. In fact, most of the injuries reported to HSE resulting from falls from vehicles are from a fall from below head height. The most common area of the vehicle for people to fall from is the load area, followed by the cab access steps and fifth wheel catwalk – you don’t have to fall far to land hard.