In Aug 2010, a worker was knocked down and run over by a reversing high-lift truck¹ at night. According to the co-worker, both of them were walking back to their workplace after taking a break near the premises’ loading/unloading bay. The worker was pronounced dead by attending paramedics half an hour later (Figure 1).
- Risk assessment: A risk assessment (RA) must be carried out by experienced and knowledgeable persons before starting any work. Through the risk assessment, employers and workers can identify hazards and take appropriate actions to eliminate the hazards or reduce the risks involved. For workplace that involves heavy vehicles, RA must be conducted for:
- arrival and departure of such vehicles;
- vehicular traffic within the worksite; and
- loading, unloading and securing of loads
- Ensure adequate lighting: The risks of injuries are higher in poorly lit areas. Adequate lighting should be provided to enhance the visibility on all roads, passages within the worksite and access routes to worksite.
- Establish a traffic management plan: A proper traffic management system should be established for the worksite. It is important to provide separate and clearly marked routes for pedestrians. Appropriate barriers or guard rails should be erected in hazardous locations such as building entrances, exits, corners or bends.
- Ensure safety awareness among workers: All drivers should be briefed regularly on worksite’s safety information such as:
- route layout;
- traffic rules/regulations at the worksite;
- safety procedures for:
- specific routes for pedestrian;
- types of vehicle and equipment on site;
- specific hazards; and
- information on concurrent work activities on site.
In this incident, the RA would include the reversing of heavy vehicles towards loading/unloading bay.
Additionally, all workers should be constantly reminded on appropriate safety and health information such as:
- Workplace Safety and Health Act, please click HERE.
- Workplace Safety and Health (General Provisions) Regulations, please click HERE.
- Workplace Safety and Health (Risk Management) Regulations, please click HERE.
- Workplace Traffic Safety Management, please click HERE.
1 A high-lift truck is a vehicle with a platform which can be used to move loads up to a required height (by extending the intersecting legs under the platform).
Source: WSH Alert – 14 Oct 2010, Ref: 1011066