As part of its Safety Flashes, IMCA focuses on a serious injury of a port employee by a clamp truck in UK which took place in April 2021. The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) fined the port after the investigation identified a failure of the company to identify the roles of supervisors.
An employee was hit by a five tonne clamp truck in a paper reel shed. Similar to a forklift, but instead of forks, a clamp truck has a hydraulic clamp attachment for handling rolls of paper.
The employee sustained an open leg fracture and was knocked unconscious. He was subsequently airlifted to hospital and had to have his leg amputated.
This incident has resulted in life changing injuries in a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to identify the roles of the supervisors in the reel sheds and how the work was actually being undertaken,
…the HSE inspector noted.
- There was a failure to ensure pedestrians and vehicles could circulate and operate safely, which put the employee and others at significant risk;
- Supervisors were frequently working amongst five to six clamp trucks whilst undertaking the supervision of the paper reel unloads;
- It was found that there had been previous incidents where supervisors had been in close proximity of the vehicle operations on the port and had been hit by vehicles or product. Investigation found that there had been a review only of the immediate work relating to these incidents.
Pedestrians, whether they are employees or not, should be kept separate from these types of vehicles through physical barriers or safe systems of work that are clear and well supervised,
Every year many people are killed or seriously injured in incidents involving workplace transport, and there are significant risks associated with operating vehicles on ports, particularly when, as in this case, the vehicles have restricted visibility due to the lifting of large paper reels. These risks can be easily controlled using reasonably practicable precautions.”