The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has published an information sheet presenting guidance aimed at helping improve knowledge and understanding of the key steps needed to prevent injuries in the use of waste skip collection vehicles (skip lorries).
It explains the legal duties for employers, self-employed and operators in the waste industry, and how to identify hazards, assess risks and put in place the correct controls to reduce dangers and prevent injuries.
The collection of waste using skip lorries presents many dangers. Operators of skip lorries must have up to date correct risk assessments in place to effectively manage dangers in the workplace. There are specific legal duties on employers to identify the dangers, assess the risk of injury presented by those dangers and complete a written risk assessment to manage dangers to all those affected.
The first part of any risk assessment is to identify what can cause harm; that is, the hazards.
Once identified, the risks from these hazards should be rated in terms of:
Who could be harmed?
How likely it is for that harm to happen?
How badly could a person be harmed?
Key hazards in waste skip collection are highlighted as:
driver falling and slipping
failure of lifting equipment
being struck by falling skip
lifting arm striking overhead cables/obstructions
striking pedestrians or vulnerable road users when driving forward or reversing
Employers are advised to put in place a system to require drivers to check their vehicle and its lifting equipment every day prior to use. A simple preventative maintenance system should check that certain areas are not damaged and work properly; these are suggested as:
brakes (foot and handbrake)
windscreen and washer
wheel chocks (if needed)
vision aids – mirrors and CCTV cameras (where fitted)
audible reversing alarm (where fitted)
lifting equipment including controls, hooks, chains and hoses.
A record must be kept of these daily checks and faults reported for repair.
The full information sheet is available here.
A skip lorry safety checklist and poster is also available. This aims to help to improve knowledge and understanding of the key steps needed to prevent injuries in the use of waste skip collection vehicles (skip lorries). This can be found here.
HSA December 2021