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Construction plant breaches up 74% in six months

The number of traffic management breaches on UK construction sites has increased 74% in the past six months, according to the Building Safety Group (BSG). 

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In the third quarter of 2017, 167 such breaches were reported by the construction safety group, which carried out 11,000 independent inspections over a six-month period. It found there were 71 fewer breaches in the second quarter of this year. 

The majority of construction transport accidents are caused by the inadequate separation of pedestrians and vehicles. This can usually be avoided by careful planning, particularly at the design stage, and by controlling vehicle operations, said BSG

Paul Kimpton, managing director of BSG, said: “The law says that you must organise a construction site so that vehicles and pedestrians using site routes can move around safely. Routes need to be suitable for the people or vehicles using them, in suitable positions and sufficient in number of size."

According to the Health and Safety Executive, around seven workers die every year in accidents involving vehicles or mobile plant on construction sites. A further 93 are seriously injured. 

In 2016-17, almost 23% of the 137 workers killed as a result of a workplace accident were struck by a moving vehicle. It accounted for 31 fatal injuries, compared with 28 in 2015-16 and an annual average of 25 over the past five years.  

Kimpton added: “Our message is that vehicle accidents on site can and should be prevented by the effective management of transport operations throughout the construction process.” 

Keeley Downey is assistant editor of IOSH Magazine

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