HSC prioritises transport safety

Safe workplace transport is not just good for the health of workers, there
is also a strong economic case to be made

Nearly 100 people were killed in accidents involving workplace transport
last year and thousands injured, the Health and Safety Commission has said.

Provisional figures for 2000/01 showed that 99 people were killed in such
accidents, 2,490 sustained major injuries and a further 5,857 were injured
seriously enough to be off work for more than three days.

The most common types of accident were being struck by, or falling from, a
vehicle, vehicles overturning and materials falling from vehicles.

The figures were part of a discussion document unveiled at an HSC conference
in January on how workplace transport safety can be improved.

Workplace transport is one of the eight priority areas identified by the HSC
because of its high accident rate.

The discussion document, Preventing workplace transport accidents, will be
in consultation until May.

It looks at areas such as managing and assessing risk, introducing and
enforcing control measures, better communication between drivers and
controllers, better maintenance of vehicles and keeping pedestrians segregated
from vehicles.

Bill Callaghan, Health and Safety Commission chairman, said: "The fatal
accident rate is now less than a quarter of what it was in the early 70s – but
today it is hard to see any significant new ground being won.

"We need to change that – the economic case for action is as strong as
ever and there are social and moral arguments."

In a separate move, the Health and Safety Executive has published a research
report on improving safety around workplace vehicles.

The study, Improving the safety of workers in the vicinity of mobile plant,
looks at approaches and technologies to improve the safety of pedestrians
around mobile plant workplaces where there is confined space or restricted

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