HSE warns employers to ensure they effectively manage all traffic movement on site

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HSE warns employers to ensure they effectively manage all traffic movement on site

2nd June 2009

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning employers to ensure the effective management of the safe movement of pedestrians and vehicles around the workplace, after a man was reversed over by a forklift truck at the new £22.5m shopping complex at Willow Place, Corby.

The advice comes after BAM Construction Limited (formerly HBG Construction Limited) of Merit House, Edgware Road, Colindale, London, was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £13,540.90 costs at Corby Magistrates' Court yesterday.

The company pleaded guilty to Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work act 1974. The charges relate to the failure to effectively plan, organise, control, monitor and review traffic on site. This includes a failure to maintain and manage traffic routes.

On 23 August, 2007, during the construction of the Willow Place Shopping Centre, Pyrotect Limited, a sub-contractor, was working under the control of BAM Construction Limited tasked with installing the fire protection system on site.

A male fitter with Pyrotect Limited was at the time of the incident carrying a piece of plasterboard and walking in the opposite direction of the forklift truck when he was unexpectedly reversed over by the vehicle in the Mall area.

The forklift truck driver stopped thinking he had reversed on to a piece of fallen plasterboard which was obstructing his path.

The driver dismounted in order to investigate, only to find the sub-contractor underneath the plasterboard adjacent to the FLT wheels.

The fitter, was taken to hospital, underwent surgery and suffered a broken tibia and fibia in his left leg, wounds in his left foot, a broken left ankle and dislocated a bone in his right leg. Almost two years on, he has still not returned to work.

HSE Inspector Mhairi Lockwood said: "This was a very serious and preventable incident which has resulted in a man being away from work for nearly two years. One of the key messages that HSE is keen to express is the importance that workplace transport is planned and managed effectively at all stages throughout the construction project. Workplace transport is an HSE priority topic as it is one of the major causes of fatal incidents and major injuries.

"This company obviously has policies in place but it is vital that they are properly considered, implemented and monitored at site level and throughout the life of the project.

"BAM are one of the big players in the construction field and we would expect better, especially as they have been advised previously on workplace transport at this site.

"All companies must assess the risks when pedestrians and vehicles, such as forklift trucks work in close proximity and take appropriate precautions which are well documented in HSE guidance."

Source - HSE Website