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Segregating pedestrians from vehicles

Summary

A 28 years old employee had his foot crushed by a reversing telescopic loader. There was no segregation between vehicles and pedestrians in the narrow loading area. The telehandler was being reversed with its boom raised blocking visibility and obscuring the wing mirror. The driver did not see the employee and reversed over his foot. The employee suffered fractured ankle and foot bones, torn ligaments and tendons and permanently reduced mobility.

Action

The company failed to perform a suitable risk assessment despite advice given at another site and did not arrange segregation, or provide other safety measures like additional lighting or a banksmen. They were prosecuted for failing to properly assess the risks and for not separating people from moving vehicles. They were fined a total of £4000.

Advice

Clear legal duties in place for over six years and a risk that accounts for a third of the fatalities in the agricultural industry, and yet a man still suffered debilitating injuries to his leg and foot. The message is clear - pedestrians and moving farm vehicles do not mix safely. Clearly marked separate areas for both would have avoided this injury and prosecution: what about on your farm?

2013-01-24