It’s probably safe to say that busy sites and industrial environments aren’t what you’d call the safest of locations. There are some pretty nasty statistics about the kind of stuff that goes on across so many of the UK’s building sites each and every year – needless to say it makes for pretty grim reading.
But here’s the real kicker – at least 99 out of every 100 site accidents could have been easily prevented altogether, had it been for a little added proactivity…common sense, if you like.
It’s not like its rocket-science really – when and where there’s heavy plant machinery in operation, there are risks and hazards that cannot be ignored. The biggest problem comes by way of the fact that most of those that end up involved in accihdents find themselves blaming another party – it’s always someone else’s fault when the proverbial hits the fan. You’re trained day in and day out that safety is a shared responsibility, so why does it all fly out of the window so often?
Throw caution to the wind and it’s not just your own health and safety you’re putting at risk – it’s the very lives of all those working around you too. It all sounds like the kind of doom and gloom you’d rather not be reading, but in all honesty it’s a pretty easy job to take care of everyday safety if everyone chips in.
So on the subject of Telescopic Handler safety, here’s a look at a few of the most important tips of all, fresh from the minds of the UK’s construction elite:
It’s not only up to the drivers of the Telescopic Handler and the site’s bosses to look after what goes on – all workers and pedestrians around have a responsibility to live up to as well.
- Be Seen – As should be the case across all busy sites anyway, you need to make sure you are as visible as possible to drivers of Telescopic Handlers and all other large plant that may be present. This means making use of high visibility clothing and accessories, along with all necessary reflective bands or lights when working at night.
- Be Sensible – There will be designated walkways established on the site for a reason…use them! If you stray for any reason into an area where pedestrians are not supposed to be, you stand a much better chance of being hit by a driver that didn’t expect to see anyone where you’re wandering.
As far as the driver goes, it’s safe to say that exercising general everyday care and attention counts for a lot, but at the same time it needs to be taken a few steps further for the benefit of all involved.
- Safety Equipment – There will be plenty of safety equipment and features fitted to the Telescopic Handler, so make sure they’re all working and you know how to use them. From reversing alarms to CCTV camera right through to simple mirrors and the like, don’t overlook any of these important checks.
- Proper Training – A no-brainer perhaps but worth mentioning, never try to tackle a job you haven’t been trained to carry out. If the job seems a bit out of your capabilities, it’s safer to admit your limitations and pass it to another than to risk the consequences should it go wrong.
- Clear Minded – Driving or operating a Telescopic Handler with a hangover, insufficient sleep or while taking medication can be lethal…don’t even think about it, ever!
- Speed Limits – Observe and follow all speed limits set out on the site, only ever driving in the areas designated by the site’s manager.
Site Manage Safety Tips
As for the site’s bosses, the difference a little proactivity can make can be huge – here’s a look at a few final tips:
- Separation – Keep pedestrians a safe distance from plant machinery at all times, which means avoiding having the two working side by side in confined or complex spaces.
- Obstructions – Keep an eye on all areas in which Telescopic Handlers are operating in order to ensure they are free from obstacles and obstructions.
- One Way – Implement one-way rules across the site to rule out any chance of head-on collisions and to reduce the chance of any collisions with pedestrians.
- Inspection – Regardless of the manufacturer’s recommendations, have your vehicles inspected on a regular basis, organising servicing or repairs as often as needed. If you hire telehandlers, choose reputable companies like http://www.ukforks.com/ who will maintain the equipment to manufacturers recommendations
- Hire Wisely – Be picky with recruitment and only ever take on those for Telescopic Handler jobs that are 100% qualified to operate the machinery safely.