Ireland’s Health and Safety Authority has begun a two week transport operations and vehicles in the workplace inspection and awareness campaign.
The latest HSA reports show that in the last 5 years, from 2017 – 2021, there have been 102 workplace fatalities involving vehicles in Ireland. The latest data on workplace fatalities for the year 2021, show that 16 (42%) of the 38 work-related fatalities involved vehicles.
Over the last two years the most common vehicles involved in work-related fatal incidents were cars (7), tractors (6), and trailers (5).
The inspection campaign focuses on the management of vehicle risks in the workplace such as driving for work, common vehicle operations and load securing. Inspectors will focus on warehousing and storage operations within transport and logistics companies, distribution and warehousing centres, and manufacturing premises with a warehousing component.
They will be checking if safety management systems, including minimum risk control measures, are in place to prevent incidents relating to:
- Internal and external traffic management.
- Common high-risk vehicle activities including goods inwards/outwards, storage operations, loading and unloading of vehicles and use of forklifts and other motorised and self-propelled handling equipment.
- Racking installation, use, maintenance and inspection.
Effective Controls Needed
In launching the campaign Deirdre Sinnott, Senior Inspector, HAS, said: “There are serious risks associated with transport and vehicles in the workplaces, but these risk can be reduced and serious incidents prevented by putting simple and effective controls in place.
“These systems should be backed up by policies and procedures that address all vehicle related activities in the workplace. This includes not only vehicles operated by employees but also vehicles visiting their premises such as routine deliveries and collections. Once procedures are developed and effective controls are put in place to eliminate and control known risks, they should be communicated clearly to employees, contractors and visiting drivers in the workplace.”
During this campaign, HSA Inspectors will be providing information and making employers aware of resources available to help them reduce the likelihood and severity of catastrophic incidents involving vehicles in their workplaces.
The HSA urges employers to avail of the free short on-line courses available on the HSA e-learning portal hsalearning.ie. The courses aim to help employers manage work related vehicle safety. Also, freely available guidance and resources on managing priority vehicle risks can be found at www.vehiclesatwork.ie and www.loadsafe.ie