When reviewing the N5 Road Project Advance Works, the primary major accident hazard is plant and machinery. According to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), the greatest risk to pedestrians is from vehicles and mobile plant. Of the 46 workplace fatalities reported in 2019, across all sectors, 19 involved vehicles (struck by, crushed or trapped by a vehicle). It is highlighted that there are substantial blind spots on construction vehicles. The most common type of vehicle operated on the N5 Road Project Advance Works are excavators, with workers at risk of being run over or struck by a slewing bucket, if they are in the operator’s blind spot.
The HSA highlights that employers, or a person in control of a workplace, must carry out a documented risk assessment of workplace transport hazards, to include an evaluation and assessment of vehicles and mobile work equipment in use in the workplace. Additionally, pedestrian activity within the operational areas shall, wherever possible, be restricted, particularly in hours of darkness. For certain operations ‘no entry’ zones should be identified and clearly marked.
Here are some tips for maintaining your safety in relation to plant and machinery:
- Only operate plant and machinery if you are trained and competent. Excavator and Site Dumper operators must have a Solas CSCS competency card.
- Ensure plant and machinery is properly maintained and in good working order.
- Report mechanical defects (for instance, damaged visibility devices e.g. mirrors/ cameras; or leaking hydraulic hoses). Ensure regular services are completed.
- Plant and machinery operators must have good visibility, and the ability to see pedestrians.
- Pedestrians must ensure they do not enter exclusion (hazard) zones surrounding operating plant and machinery.
- Dumper operators must be familiar with their terrain and avoid areas where there is potential for overturning.
- All personnel must wear high visibility clothing: BE SEEN, BE SAFE!
- Pedestrians should use pedestrian walkways where provided (e.g. Gortnacrannagh 7, Leggatinty).
KEY SAFETY TIPS FOR WORKING NEAR OVERHEAD ELECTRICITY LINES
- Keep a safe distance. Implement the Code of Practice for Avoiding Danger from Overhead Lines.
- Check that you are following safe digging practice. Implement the Code of Practice for Underground Services.
- Contact ESB Networks for information and advice.
Remember – electricity wires and cables are always live; never touch fallen wires or handle cables.
Contact ESB Networks for the records of overhead and underground cables by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 1800 928 960 for Map Records and Advice.
Watch out for overhead wires:
- Remember to implement the safety controls and comply with the Code of Practice for Avoiding Danger from Overhead Electricity Lines.
- Know what the required safety zones are by contacting ESB Networks in advance
- Erect goal posts to restrict access for tall machinery.
Keep clear of underground cables:
- Remember to implement the safety controls and comply with the Code of Practice for Underground Cables.
- Identify the location of underground cables
- Use competent staff and calibrated equipment
- Implement safe digging practices.
IMPORTANT RESOURCES TO HELP YOU BE SAFE:
For information on the Codes of Practice, Safety Videos and Safety Advice: visit esbnetworks.ie/stayingsafewww.esbnetworks/stayingsafe/
In an emergency, phone 1800 372 999.