Vehicle Safety On A Building Site / Place Of Work

Just as motor vehicles that are used on the pubic highways must be fit for purpose (as defined by their age and the deployment of MOT certificates), any vehicles used on a construction site must also be regulated through the use of a correct Traffic Management policy. Statistics tell us that on average 7 people are killed every year, and 93 are seriously hurt by accidents involving construction site vehicles and/or mobile plant.  All vehicles must be fit for purpose and should undergo a weekly or daily safety check before being used.

But in addition to the plant and/or vehicles being mechanically fit for purpose, good traffic management, defining the movement of vehicles, and the minimizing of any hazard to workers, by defining restricted areas of operation, correct training, and appropriate procedures, must be put in place. Traffic management is the subject of a dedicated section within this document and will be elaborated on in the future.

Where possible the sites safety manager should ensure that people and vehicles are kept apart. Ultimately keeping vehicles and pedestrians completely separated is ideal, but most of the time this is not possible!

Where pedestrians and vehicles share a route the use of Safety Barriers and Good Lighting is of the utmost importance. Clearly painted street markings, the use of use plastic or concrete roadside kerbs, flexible barriers (often made from wire rope strung between removable posts), semi-rigid barriers (usually made from steel) or rigid concrete barriers are should be deployed.

Site managers should ensure that clear markings are used to designate a safe walkway and that these marking are always visible to pedestrians. Where pedestrians need to cross a vehicle route, clearly marked crossing points must be made available. There are a large variety of either steel or plastic road crossing plates available for hire from companies such as HSS hire. (Trade Association members can make use of a members discount to help cover the cost of any health and safety equipment hired. Simply give your personal account manager a call for more information on how to access this great benefit.)

Seasoned site managers are used to planning safe routes for vehicles. One tip is to eliminate the need to reverse a car, van or truck where ever possible. This is done by creating a well-planned one way system. By planning traffic routes so that drivers do not need to reverse, imposing strict speed restrictions and clear signage, both site visitors and construction staff are kept safer. A banks man should always be available where vehicles are allowed on a construction site. They do far more than simply direct traffic and help with reversing. Please Note: A safety barrier should only be built if the existing hazard cannot be removed or prevented from becoming a danger to others, not the other way around.

If you are in command of vehicles on a construction site or employ those who do then FairTrades would strongly urge all our members to purchase and read the following Health and Safety Executive publication >> The safe use of vehicles on construction sites: A guide for clients, designers, contractors, managers and workers involved with construction transport - Click here

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