In order to help address the problem of injuries and fatalities associated with the use of dumpers, the Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group (SFPSG) has launched a Good Practice Guide for the Safe Use of Dumpers.
The SFPSG is chaired by the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) and the guidance was borne out of an industry forum set up through a partnership of the CPA alongside the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) who collectively took the initiative to tackle dumper incidents that have occurred such as overturns and individuals being struck by dumpers.
As part of the forum’s campaign on dumper safety, a seven-point strategy was devised with development and production of a safe use guidance document forming an integral part of that strategy.
The safe use guidance extends to 96 pages and is designed to help those involved with planning and carrying out dumper activities achieve a better awareness of the particular risks involved and the measures that can be put in place to mitigate those risks.
It focuses specifically on forward tipping dumpers as they are most commonly used on construction sites to transport earths and materials. This involves the machine negotiating ground and terrain – which is variable and not always suitable for a loaded dumper – and discharging their loads into excavations or on spoil heaps. Such activities have led to operational incidents resulting in serious injuries and deaths to either the dumper operator or those near to the machine.
Hard copies of the guidance will be available on CPA stand CE4 at Plantworx 2019 and staff will be on hand to outline key information within the guidance. Electronic copies can also be downloaded from the CPA website at www.cpa.uk.net/sfpsgpublications
A large working group was formed to start development on the Good Practice Guide in February 2018 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 assimilated into a single comprehensive document with the final version comprising of 96 pages covering a wide number of topics such as Planning the use of dumpers; Selection of, types and limitations of dumpers; Management and supervision requirements; Stability, loading, driving and discharging; Training and information; Segregation/exclusion zones; Ground conditions; and Maintenance and inspections.
Kevin Minton, Chief Executive of the CPA 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 said: “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. CECA are pleased to have participated on production of the guidance and we hope that compliance with the guidance will help significantly in mitigating future dumper incidents. We urge all clients, manufacturers, owners and users of dumpers to read the guidance and put the contents and recommendations into practice.”
Peter Brown, Chair of the Plant Safety Group added: “The Good Practice Guide is a culmination of just over a year’s worth of hard work by the working group in identifying and detailing the safe use practices described in the document. I’d like to thank the members of the group and the Editor, CPA Consultant Tim Watson, for providing their time, expertise and commitment in producing this important document. The group recognises that with developments on issues such as cab design still underway, appropriate reviews will need to be regularly undertaken to update the guidance where changes in technology and operational practices occur.”