Almost 25% (the second highest cause of death at work) of all deaths in the work place are attributed to reversing vehicles. That’s the shocking statistic, published recently by the Health & Safety Executive.
The HSE says on its website that a great many of those accidents could be avoided if the right plans are implemented to ensure vehicles are able to reverse in safety whilst on site.
If reversing a commercial vehicle cannot be avoided the HSE say specific, clearly marked reversing areas should be created which warn pedestrians of the risk of reversing vehicles and at the same time keeps them well clear of areas in which vehicles operate.
Reversing alarms are popular, relatively inexpensive and highly effective safety devices recommended by the HSE, especially so when allied to synchronised flashing lights.
In-cab mobile CCTV systems, which give the driver a clear picture of his surroundings via a CCTV monitor mounted in the cab of the vehicle, are also becoming ‘must have’ equipment, particularly in local authority vehicles operating around members of the public, and in quarries, fitted to heavy machinery.
The driver simply switches on a monitor in the cab of the vehicle for a clear picture of where he is reversing.
Whilst the price of fitting such safety equipment can be a hit initially, its a lot less of a hit than if the worst happens, as Rugeley Environmental Waste Services Ltd found out to their cost when a member of staff who was hand picking waste from a skip was hit by a skid-steer which was reversing in the area he was working in.
Rugeley Environmental Waste Services Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of employees. They were fined £5000 and they were ordered to pay court costs totalling over £4300, for a gross cost of almost £10,000.
With those sorts of settlements already being awarded, is there perhaps a possibility that vehicles may not be allowed on certain sites without safety equipment, which helps with reversing a vehicle?
Marco from Finest Man Van Company says its possible, and it’s something he would support.
“Many regional distribution centres are already cutting back on man power, by requiring the driver to unload his own vehicle, a job once carried out by the unloading bay workers.
“Less men equals less eyes” he continued. “So, any electronic devices which can help me do my job without damaging members of the public, or my vehicle, can only be a good thing.”