What you need to do

The law says you must organise your site to segregate pedestrians and dumpers. The dumpers used must be carefully selected, maintained and operated by trained drivers. Key issues are:

What you need to know

A safe workplace for all vehicle operations must be established by separating pedestrians and vehicles and providing hazard-free traffic routes. See Traffic management.

Dumper hazards

Most fatal injuries involving dumpers are caused by:

  • Overturning – over 60% of dumper deaths involve the driver being crushed when the vehicle overturns;
  • Collision – most other deaths occur when pedestrians are struck by the dumper when it is moving.

Controlling the risk

It is important to select the right dumper for the job. There are a number of key factors to consider when controlling the significant hazards arising from use of dumpers. These are:

  • Gradients: Plan the work so that dumpers are used on gradients that are within their safe working capacity. Check with the manufacturer.
  • Stockpiles: Avoid using dumpers on stockpiles wherever possible.
  • Competence: Arrange for dumpers to be driven by trained and competent operators and implement a system for supervising safe driving practice.
  • Safety devices: Check that dumpers are provided with roll-over protection and that drivers use their seatbelts.
  • Loading: Make sure loads are distributed evenly and do not fill above the top edge of the skip.
  • Vision: Make sure that loads do not obscure driver vision.
  • Edges: Provide wheel stops at a safe distance from edges of excavations and pits to prevent site dumpers falling when tipping.

Training and competence

Employers must assess the competence of those involved in dumper operations.

There are two categories of worker who must be trained and competent regarding dumper hazards and precautions:

  • Drivers should be trained, competent and authorised to operate the specific dumper. Training certificates from recognised schemes help demonstrate competence and can be checked as part of the competence assessment;
  • Pedestrians: should be instructed in safe pedestrian routes on site,  the procedure for making drivers aware of their presence, and how to safely approach the dumper.

Inspection and maintenance

A programme of daily visual checks, regular inspections and servicing schedules should be established in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and the risks associated with each vehicle.

Drivers should report defects or problems. Reported problems should be put right quickly and the dumper taken out of service if the item is safety critical.

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