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Wed August 17 2022

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Skanska bans lorry loaders with swing-up legs

28 Jun Lorry loaders fitted with hydraulic tilting and hydraulic deployment stabiliser legs that rotate across the position of the fixed control panel are banned from all Skanska UK sites as of 1st August 2022.

Easy to see what might happen...
Easy to see what might happen...

Skanska’s action follows a fatal incident at a Skanska site at Shirehampton, Bristol in September 2021. This led to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and the Association of Lorry Loaders Manufacturers & Importers (ALLMI) issuing a safety alert.*

Skanska said that the ban would help avoid the risk of any more operators becoming trapped by swing-up stabilisers that can inadvertently be rotated and drawn into the area where fixed controls are in position.

Skanska UK is also supporting ALLMI in its work to review and consider amending the international standard for how stabiliser equipment operates.

ALLMI, however, said that it would have preferred a 'whole industry' solution, working with appropriate standards bodies, rather than individual bans.

Skanska said that vehicles affected by the ban were not widespread. In a recent survey, 47 lorry loader-related unloading activities were reviewed on Skanska sites and only two operated with the stabiliser being able to be moved across the fixed controls. Vehicles affected by the ban are predominantly those delivering bulky items such as cabins and welfare units, it said. Skanska UK said that it was collaborating with suppliers to ensure they can provide alternative delivery vehicles where required.

Skanska’s ban has come despite a plea from ALLMI to reconsider its position. ALLMI chairman Alan Johnson wrote to Skanska on 1st June arguing that: “Lorry loader fleet owners that have purchased legal and compliant machines should not suffer economic loss from selective bans. Many of them have invested millions of pounds in ensuring compliance of their fleets to FORS / CLOCS / emission vone requirements and so on, and any ban would add further burden to them and their ability to operate.”

His letter continued: “With the exception of misuse, provided a crane of this type / design is operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, the stabilisers can be safely rotated and retracted whilst being in full sight of the operator – this is a requirement of EN 12999.

“During the ALLMI technical standards committee meeting held on 20th April 2022, at which the HSE was represented, those present unanimously expressed the opinion that the use of hold to run controls was an adequate control measure for the retraction of swing-up stabilisers, and that such machines were compliant with EN 12999. As such, the fatality was viewed as a tragic accident rather than a fundamental design flaw with the machinery.”

He added: “There are multiple ways in which cranes and plant (of all kinds) can cause serious injury, including by crushing. Whilst reiterating our respect for the persons affected by the fatality, the circumstances surrounding it were exceptional, given the many hundreds of thousands of lifts this type of machinery has completed (at least) in the last two decades.”

* www.allmi.com/images/guidancenotes/ALLMI-Safety-Alert-Swing-up-Stabilisers.pdf

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