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Workplace Transport

June 08, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 230

Every year 50 or more people are killed following a workplace transport related accident. Another 2,000 people receive major injuries and 4,000 suffer injuries that result in an absence of three days or more. All these injuries resulted from workplace vehicles, most commonly forklift trucks, but also delivery vehicles. Fortunately, in many cases there is usually simple solution to help ensure that as a business owner you do not get prosecuted for a major injury or worse.

Obviously the main objective is to keep pedestrians away from transport moving within the location so separate routes are essential. Barriers or guard rails should also be in place to prevent vehicles straying into pedestrian routes and vice versa. If total separation is not possible, then the route should be wide enough so that vehicles can pass pedestrians unharmed. Appropriate crossing points also need to be provided, signposted and barriers in place to stop pedestrians walking onto workplace transport routes at dangerous points.

Traffic routes need to be wide enough for the vehicles using them to pass safely past each other safely. A one-way system maybe a useful way of reducing the need for vehicles to cross each other especially in sharp bends. Alternatively mirrors, warning signals and rights of way can be used but are less reliable as people have to remember to look and signal and on occasions can forget or ignore directions.

Exposed items like pipes or chemical tanks need to be protected by barriers, ideally painted in a bright visible colour, so they are visible to the vehicles. Unprotected edges that vehicles could fall from should also be protected although they are often because access is required. If that is the case, a safe working system needs to be in place to reduce the likelihood of a vehicle falling over.

Speed limits need to be set and clearly signposted on the road and by signage. As previously mentioned people often ignore speed limits so speed restriction devices such as road humps or bollards to reduce the width of the road are useful measures to consider.

Nearly a quarter of all deaths involve pedestrians and reversing vehicles. The best way to deal with this hazard is to remove it completely with one-way systems and drive-through loading positions. Often this is impractical as reversing cannot be avoided so think about excluding personnel from an area, working reversing alarms or even simple white lines that a driver can follow to help them reverse more accurately.

Consider the site at which you work or your own premises if you are the business owner. Could there be any potential workplace transport related problems that need addressing?

Nigel J Welford is a qualified Health & Safety professional and believes in making the process of health and safety in the workplace as simple as possible whilst still being effective and meeting all the regulations. Get a copy of his free report "The Secret To How Health & Safety Can Improve Your Business And Profits: 7 Everyday Pitfalls To Avoid" from http://www.healthandsafetyintheworkplace.com

Source: EzineArticles
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