Every year, there are accidents involving transport in the workplace, some of which result in people being killed.
People are knocked down, run over, or crushed against fixed parts by vehicles (eg HGVs, lift trucks and tractors), plant and trailers. People also fall from vehicles – whether getting on or off, working at height, or when loading or unloading.
In very recent news, a transport company has been fined £255,000 after a worker fell from a lorry and fractured his skull.
The man, who was working as a delivery driver, had been delivering glass to a customer when the incident occurred in Leicestershire in 2020. No forklift truck was available, so the man was passing panes of glass from a stillage in the lorry to another worker on the ground.
The man then fell from the lorry, fracturing his skull, left hand, nose and right eye socket. He also sustained two bleeds on the brain, a 12 centimetre gash on his forehead and dislocated his right elbow.
He spent five days in hospital following the incident and has to make significant adjustments to his day to day life. He struggles carrying out normal activities, including lifting moderate to heavy loads and carrying out DIY tasks in his home. He also experiences pain on a daily basis as a result of his injuries and feels a lot of uncertainty about what the future holds.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the transport company had failed to put in place appropriate control measures for unloading activities.
Risks had not been considered and the work was being carried out unsafely.
Preventing falls from vehicles
Employers and duty holders must make sure that vehicles used in the workplace are: safe, driven safely, and regularly maintained, repaired and inspected.
- Preventing falls from vehicles
- Key messages
- Falls from vehicles avoiding falls are among the most common accidents involving workplace transport.
By law, employers must take suitable and effective measures to:
- Prevent anyone from falling a distance that is likely to hurt them
- Prevent anyone from being hit by a falling object
Causes of falls include:
- Slipping and falling from loads and access steps and ladders
- Broken ropes or torn sheets causing overbalancing
- Inappropriate footwear
- Bad weather
- Lack of awareness and training
HSE guidance can be found at: Loading & unloading Vehicles safely (hse.gov.uk)
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