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Health & Safety Update - Mar 2009

forkliftWelcome to our March 2009 Health and Safety Update.

This month, we look at a £75,000 fine after a Fork Lift Truck death, changes to the Health & Safety Law poster and 'Driving for Work' risk assessments.

Changes to the Health & Safety at Work poster

We’d like to make you aware that the Health & Safety Law poster will soon be modified and will come into force on 6th April 2009 – coinciding with the next with the next Health & Safety legislation dates.

The change will mean that employers will no longer need to write the contact details for the local health and safety enforcing authority office and the Employment Medical Advisory (EMAS) office on the poster.

Remember... the old posters will not have to be replaced straight away, but you’ll have to use the latest version if you are replacing or putting any more posters up in new areas.  

Driving for Work Risk Assessments

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is taking measures to help reduce the number of fatal road traffic accidents (RTAs) involving people driving for work purposes.  The initiative seeks to identify areas of an individual’s driving that need development in the form of a ‘Driving for Work Risk Assessment’.

Risk assessments are required by law for any work-related practice which hold considerable risk – so driving a vehicle should be no exception!

Around a third of all road accidents involve people driving for work, and for every death there is an associated cost to the economy which can total billions of pounds each year. This is not acceptable and is why we are asking MPs to take the lead in reducing the alarming road death rate.IAM spokesman

The assessment consists of three basics steps, highlighted below, and can be completed via online assessments, e-learning or practical driving lessons.

  • What are the hazards involved in? (The journey, vehicle or driver)
  • How likely is it that the hazard will happen? (High, medium, low)
  • What are the consequences of the potential hazard? (High, medium, low)

Fork Lift Truck fatality leads to £75,000 fine

Fork Lift Trucks (FLTs) continue to be the cause for many workplace injuries, and according to statistics, take the life of one worker in the UK every six weeks.

In our most recent case, a local council faced a hefty fine when a worker was crushed between a FLT and a heavy goods vehicle.  The Crown Court held the council to have been in breach of its duty of care to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of all its employees, including lack of training and supervision.

The worker was lifted up on the prongs of the FLT, by an unauthorised member of staff, to unload wheelie bins from a lorry. The court heard that this was a ‘dangerous’ practice and had been used on at least six other occasions. Instead of raising the prongs, the vehicle moved forward – tragically crushing the worker.  No risk assessments had been carried out for this operation, and if one had been completed it would have highlighted any further safeguards that may have been necessary, such as using a suitably designed work platform which connected with the FLT.

The Fork Lift Mouse Trap

The most common cause of serious injury to FLT drivers is an overturning truck caused by turning corners at too much speed with the load lifted up high. Many drivers who find themselves in this situation impulsively jump out of the truck, which is the worst thing to do, as the FLT can fall on the driver. This situation is well known by enforcement officers as ‘the mouse trap.’ Using seat belts and driver training can help to avoid this from happening.

As part of Ceridian's Pay & People offer for small businesses, we propose a Health & Safety service that not only makes sure your business stays compliant with Health & Safety legislation, but covers you in the case of a claim and acts as your competent person. To talk to one of our qualified experts, call us on 0800 0482 737 or contact us online and we'll call you back.

  • 1st March 2009
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