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CPA’s unintended movement guidance out for consultation

2 Nov 16 The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) draft guidance document, Reducing Unintended Movement of Plant, is out for consultation.

The publication looks at the potential consequences of inadvertent operation of controls on construction machinery, which can cause unintended machine movement leading to serious injuries and fatalities

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report in 2014 on inadvertent operation of controls with excavators supports the notion that users of plant need to be made aware of the risks and what control measures should be taken to mitigate consequential risks. The CPA hosted an industry meeting in April 2015 to discuss the topic.

A task-specific working group was formed representing tier 1 contractors, SMEs, trade bodies, manufacturers and training organisations, as well as the HSE. Manufacturers were involved with the intention of encouraging them to design out potential inadvertent operations and risks during a machine’s development phase. 

Work on the guidance commenced in June 2015. The group identified that in principle, inadvertent operation occurs through: the operator unknowingly activating a control lever; intentionally activating a control lever but resulting in a different action to what was expected; or where safety systems were bypassed or defeated. 

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The guidance covers:

  • Planning of the task and the selection of plant
  • Attributes of personnel, supervision and training requirements
  • Control of the working zones and those within the area
  • Communication
  • Types of operating controls and means of isolation
  • Selection and fitting of additional control measures, inc. clothing specifications
  • Checks, inspections and maintenance requirements.

Case studies on real life incidents have been documented and provide an analysis on the causes, consequences and outcomes. 

The guidance encompasses all plant types including those operated through a remote-control unit, except MEWPs where a separate publication from the Plant Safety Group on crushing issues has already been produced.  

The draft document for public consultation on the Reducing Unintentional Movement of Plant can be downloaded from the CPA website along with a comment feedback sheet. The public consultation period will close on 16 December 2016. It is envisaged that the final version will be available in early 2017.

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