The publication of Safe Use of Dumpers is the result of a pan-industry initiative, involving the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA), the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), under the umbrella of the Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group (SFPSG).
The 96-page document is designed to raise awareness of the risks when using forward-tipping site dumpers and how best to mitigate those risks.
The frequency with which these machines have over-turned, particularly when being unloaded on sloped-spoilt heaps, makes them one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment on a construction site. There have also been collisions due the driver of a loaded dumper not always have a great view of what’s going on around him/her.
Between June 2016 and July 2017 eight people were killed on UK construction sites by dumper trucks either hitting them or rolling onto them. In addition to this, one insurance company alone had 127 personal injury claims for slips, trips and falls from forward tipping dumpers in the UK in 2016. [See our previous report on the issues here.]
A working group was formed in February 2018 to start development on the Good Practice Guide and included representatives from plant hirers, owners, clients, contractors, users, manufacturers and importers, card schemes and the HSE. Four sub-groups were formed to focus on specific subject areas including exclusion/segregation, ground conditions, operation and training.
The content produced by each of the four working groups was collated into a single document.
CPA chief executive Kevin Minton said: “Using dumpers safely depends on a number of factors including planning and supervision, machine selection, competences, exclusion zoning and site conditions. If any of these are deficient, the risk of a serious accident increases significantly and it is therefore essential that all of those involved need to ensure that dumper operations are properly planned, managed, supervised and carried out safely by competent people.
“Accidents have a terrible cost in terms of human suffering and they also have a significant emotional and financial cost for all concerned. There is therefore a very strong business case for improving safety performance. The advice in the safe use publication is straightforward, comprehensive and easy to adopt and I recommend its use to anyone who manages, plans supervises or carries out dumper operations,” he continued.
Alasdair Reisner, chief executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, added: “CECA, along with the CPA and HSE, took the initiative to tackle the increasing number of dumper incidents which were leading to untimely deaths and as part of the industry campaign on dumper safety, the development and production of a safe use guidance formed an integral part of a seven-point strategy… We urge all clients, manufacturers, owners and users of dumpers to read the guidance and put the contents and recommendations into practice.”
Electronic copies of Safe Use of Dumpers can be downloaded from the CPA website at www.cpa.uk.net/sfpsgpublications. Hard copies will be available on CPA stand CE4 at Plantworx 2019.