Irish regulator shifts gear on workplace transport inspections

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) in the Republic of Ireland is targeting transport operations and vehicles at work during a two-week inspection blitz and awareness campaign.

Over the past six years, almost half (45%) of all reported work-related fatalities have involved vehicles. In 2017, 22 people died in vehicle-related accidents. Most of the deaths occurred as vehicles were manoeuvring, reversing or were being coupled or uncoupled. 

The HSA also reports that 20% of all non-fatal injuries involve vehicles. Most happen during deliveries and collections when workers handle loads or as the result of falls from vehicles.

HSA inspectors will target transport and logistics companies, manufacturing premises, waste and recycling facilities, distribution centres and warehousing centres. 

Inspectors will look at pedestrian management near moving vehicles; reversing and slow speed manoeuvres; loading and unloading; vehicle maintenance; and certification and safety of fork lifts, tail lifts and lorry loader cranes.

Deirdre Sinnott, senior inspector, said it was important that employers had vehicle risk management policies that covered all vehicle-related activities. 

“This includes not only vehicles operated by employees but also vehicles visiting their premises, for example, routine deliveries and collections,” she said. 

She added that once businesses had written policies, they must communicate them clearly to all employees, contractors and visiting drivers.

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Nick Warburton is deputy editor of IOSH Magazine 

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