The rate of injury in the construction industry is higher than in other industries. The most frequent causes of death in the construction industry are falls from height, followed by fatal accidents with vehicles.
The main types of construction site vehicle accidents are people struck or run over by moving vehicles (e.g. during reversing); falling from vehicles, struck by objects falling from vehicles and injured because of vehicles overturning.
Construction site vehicle incidents can and should be prevented by the effective management of transport operations throughout the construction process.
Construction site must be organised so that vehicles and pedestrians using site routes can move around safely.
The routes need to be suitable for the persons or vehicles using them, in suitable positions and sufficient in number and size.
The term ‘vehicles’ includes: cars, vans, lorries, low-loaders and mobile plant such as excavators, lift trucks and site dumpers etc.
In Britain, each year within the construction industry, approximately ten people die as a result of being struck by vehicles on site. In addition, there are hundreds of preventable accidents and injuries.
Accidents occur from groundworks to finishing works and managers, workers, visitors to sites and members of the public can all be at risk.
Inadequate planning and control is the root cause of many construction vehicle accidents.
The majority of construction transport accidents result from the inadequate separation of pedestrians and vehicles.
This can usually be avoided by careful planning, particularly at the design stage, and by controlling vehicle operations during construction work.
Pedestrians and vehicles can be kept apart by providing separate entry and exit gateways for pedestrians and vehicles.
It is advisesable at the construction site, firm, level, well-drained pedestrian walkways prepared.
At construction site, crossings should also provided where walkways cross roadways, as it will provide a clearly signed and lit crossing point where drivers and pedestrians can see each other clearly.
Visibility also important where drivers driving out onto public roads can see both ways along the footway before they move on to it.
Avoid obstructions at walkways so that pedestrians don’t have to step onto the vehicle route
Installing barriers between the roadway and walkway also advisesable.
Good planning can help minimise vehicle movement around a site. For example, landscaping to reduce the quantities of fill or soil movement.
Employers should take steps to make sure that all workers are fit and competent to operate the vehicles, machines and attachments they use on site.
People who direct vehicle movements (signallers) must be trained and authorised to do so.
Accidents can also occur when untrained or inexperienced workers drive construction vehicles without authority. Access to vehicles should be managed and people alerted to the risk.
The need for vehicles to reverse should be avoided where possible as reversing is a major cause of fatal accidents.
One-way systems can reduce the risk, especially in storage areas.
A turning circle could be installed so that vehicles can turn without reversing.
If vehicles reverse in areas where pedestrians cannot be excluded the risk is elevated and visibility becomes a vital consideration.
Make sure that all drivers and pedestrians know and understand the routes and traffic rules on site. Use standard road signs where appropriate.
Provide induction training for drivers, workers and visitors and send instructions out to visitors before their visit.
Source : Health and Safety Executive, UK
(this article written for 1BINA.my)
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