New warning over loading shovels after nine fatal accidents


The traffic commissioners said operators of wheeled loading shovels must ensure they have looked at new guidance issued on the safety of their operation, after nine fatalities in the last four years.

Six of the deaths were within the waste and recycling sector and the health and safety executive (HSE) said poor visibility was a significant problem.

Larger capacity buckets have been fitted to some machines, which the TCs said further reduced forward visibility.

The new safety notice reminds duty holders of the need to fully assess and actively manage the risk of vehicle-pedestrian collisions.

“Traffic commissioners expect operators to ensure that they have regard to guidance and advice issued on the safety of their operation and that risk is properly assessed and measures taken align to the available advice,” they said.

The HSE said the engine at the rear of wheeled loading shovels also caused visibility problems, with some of the deaths caused by a vehicle reversing.

“The use of larger capacity buckets, which has become common practice where low-density material is being moved, makes forward visibility significantly worse,” it said.

Tim Small, HSE head of waste and recycling, said: “Poorly planned use of wheeled loading shovels can have fatal consequences.

“This safety notice reminds duty holders who use these machines of the need to fully assess and actively manage the risk of vehicle-pedestrian collisions.

“Currently, the only effective control measure is strict segregation of vehicles and pedestrians.

“If you cannot ensure segregation, you should not use larger capacity buckets or wheeled loaders but employ alternative work methods such as using different machinery and/or site management arrangements,” he added.

The notice can be found here.


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