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Two industrial vehicle incidents

Though these two incidents do not pertain to the marine environment, the underlying issues involved – traffic management and separation, planning and safe systems of work, risk assessment, work at height etc. – are of relevance and interest to IMCA members.

Incident 1 – Driver fatally crushed

What happened?

A visiting HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) driver was delivering materials to a site when he was crushed to death as a forklift truck overturned whilst lifting a load from the trailer of the HGV.

What went wrong?

Investigation revealed that the forklift truck had been overloaded and that visiting delivery drivers were not kept at a safe distance from the loading and unloading operations.

The company was fined £1.2 million. The HSE inspector said: “Standing too close to where loading or unloading work is being carried out can put people in harm’s way so people, such as delivery drivers, should be in a position of safety when forklift trucks are operating. This tragic incident could have been avoided if the company had implemented a safe procedure to ensure that pedestrians were kept at a safe distance during loading and unloading work.”


Incident 2 – Employee falls from bonnet of vehicle

What happened?

An employee fell from the bonnet of a tar laying machine. He was standing on the bonnet of the machine to cut the branches of overhanging trees when he fell from the bonnet into the tar hopper. He sustained a fractured back and damaged spinal cord causing permanent paralysis from the waist down.

What went wrong?

Investigation found that the company had failed to plan the task in hand, resulting in an employee using the bonnet of the tar laying machine which was not a safe place to work.

Serious and life changing injuries could have easily been prevented had the company planned the work at height, including an assessment of the risks and either avoidance of working at height using long reach tools or measures being put in place to prevent a fall.

Members may wish to review the following incident:

Safety Event

Published: 12 December 2017
Download: IMCA SF 30/17

Relevant life-saving rules:
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