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NEW INDUSTRY TELEHANDLER SAFETY GUIDANCE PUBLISHED

HSE back new guide aimed at cutting the toll of telehandler death and injury

Telehandlers (Rough Terrain Telescopic Handlers or Variable Reach Trucks) are a vital and ubiquitous sight on construction projects.

The machines are highly versatile and can be fitted with a range of attachments including: buckets, skips, work platforms and crane jibs. Sadly. there have been a significant number of accidents involving the use of telehandlers, which have tragically included a number of fatalities.

However, The Strategic Forum for Construction – Plant Safety Group has now published Safe Use of Telehandlers In Construction providing best practice guidance on the management and supervision of the use of telehandlers on construction sites including:

  • planning and equipment selection;
  • selection and training of personnel;
  • provision of information and familiarisation;
  • safe use, maintenance, inspection and thorough examination; and
  • together with monitoring of the whole process.

The document structure starts with principles and moves on to specific requirements and information including information on visibility. A topic index had been provided at Annex H to facilitate easy navigation of the Best Practice Guide.

Human and business case for improved telehandler safety

This guidance has been prepared by a Working Group representing all parts of the industry, including HSE.

Philip White HM Chief Inspector of Construction and Chair of the Health and Safety Executive’s Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) comments in the Foreword that:

“the very versatility (of the telehandler) that makes them so useful also provides scope for unsafe use, this has led to a significant number of serious accidents, tragically including some fatalities.

Not only do these accidents have a terrible cost in terms of human suffering, they also have a significant financial cost for all concerned. Consequently there is a very strong business case for improving safety performance.

Please read the publication and turn the advice into action.”

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