David Eves, HSE deputy director general, said:
'On average, about 70 people are killed and 1,000 seriously injured in workplace transport accidents every year, making vehicles the second biggest killer in the workplace. What makes the figures all the more shocking is that we know that these accidents can be prevented by careful planning and control to ensure that vehicles move in safety.'
Bill Myers, LA joint chief of HELA, the HSE/LA enforcement liaison committee, said: 'Local authorities will be fully supporting this initiative to ensure a uniform approach over the range of industry and commerce. Transport accidents are a major cause of death and injury in LA-enforced sectors and are particularly pertinent following a recent prosecution by Chichester DC over a fatal accident involving a reversing lorry. The prosecution resulted in a fine of£150,000 being imposed on an employer.'
- designing hazards out of the workplace by segregating vehicles from pedestrians, minimising the need for reversing, and ensuring good visibility for drivers and pedestrians;
- ensuring that drivers, and their supervisors and managers, are properly trained and that only authorised people operate vehicles;
- ensuring that vehicles are suitable for the job and are maintained in good condition.
HSE and LA inspectors are likely to make enquiries about all these aspects of workplace transport to determine whether it is being managed properly.
A publicity campaign will be run during 1998/99 to support the three year initiative. The publicity campaign, which is the second phase of a programme started in 1995, will:
- emphasise that effective management of workplace transport will reduce accidents
- advise employers how to control workplace transport risks
- make employers aware that inspectors will take enforcement action where necessary
1. The most common cause of accidents involving workplace transport is people being hit or run over, and about 25 per cent of fatalities are caused by reversing vehicles. Throughout the three year enforcement initiative, inspectors will be looking at all aspects of transport management, but with particular emphasis on segregation of vehicles from pedestrians and minimisation of reversing (the need to reverse should be eliminated wherever possible).
2. The first phase of the Workplace Transport Safety Campaign in 1995/96 was intended to raise awareness among employers of the importance of managing on-site transport risks.
3. HSE will be running a publicity campaign during the first year of the initiative, making use of advertising, events such as exhibitions, agricultural shows and the European Week of Health and Safety, as well as localinitiatives and advisory visits by inspectors, to ensure that employers and others are fully aware of the initiative and of how to manage the risks attached to workplace transport.
4. HELA provides a national forum for discussion and exchange of information between HSE and local authorities on enforcement of legislation and achievement of good health and safety standards.
5. Members of the public should call HSE's InfoLine for further information, on 0541 545500, or write to: HSE Information Centre, Broad Lane, Sheffield, S3 7HQ