WorkSafe – Health & Safety Presentation Review

The team at BVT attended the WorkSafe H&S presentation held at Rydges on Friday, 7th of March. The event focus was on the analysis of harm around mobile plant, with major areas identified:

  1. Reversing Plant
  2. Quick Hitches

Presentations from WorkSafe Inspectors, Downer and Fulton Hogan were warmly received. One key message was “there are no minor incidents around mobile plant”; generally the result is serious harm. Of the serious harm incidents, trucks were involved in the majority, closely followed by mobile plant. Interestingly, 88% of the truck incidents occurred during a reversing manoeuvre.

The industry representatives presented their best practice for reversing plant: the creation of No-Go Zones and Exclusion Zones around mobile plant; work site plans with traffic control measures; and the benefits of continued worker training for mobile plant operators and those working around them.

WorkSafe presented their collaboration with WedgeLok to develop ‘I-Lock’ – an improved quick-hitch system with an extra safety feature to prevent quick-hitch detachment. Quick-hitches must still be checked for proper connection, generally with a final check of uncrowding the bucket and shaking it.

These developments for reversing plant and quick-hitches represent industry best practice now.

Inspectors noted that continued vigilance was required for working at heights (elevating work platforms), the use of quick hitches, and getting ‘competent’ mobile plant operators. ‘Competent’ was defined as a combination of experience and being trained. One example is the use of mobile plant on slopes and knowing how to safely navigate such technical work sites. The inspector cited the life-saving benefits of wearing safety belts and having a ROPS in one hill site incident.

Lastly, WorkSafe have published two new fact sheets for “Keeping Safe Around Moving Plant” and “Using Quick Hitches Safely”. These can be found at http://www.business.govt.nz/worksafe.

If you would like help with any of your industrial safety problems, BVT are the plant, equipment and machinery experts. Please call us today.