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LACK OF LORRY REVERSING CAMERAS PUTS COUNCIL IN COURT

Risk assessment requiring visibility aids not implemented on highways tipper
Dumfries and Galloway Council has been fined £40,000 after a contractor suffered severe crush injuries when a tipper lorry reversed into a road surfacing paving machine carrying out road repairs in April 2010. He fractured his pelvis and spine and only returned to work 15 months after the incident.

The 20-year-old was working for Hamilton Tarmac alongside a team of men from the Council undertaking repairs on a minor road. Dumfries Sheriff Court heard (30 July) that the injured man was driving the paver forwards followed by the reversing tipper lorry driven by a council employee. The reversing driver could not see, from his cab, the carriageway behind the lorry where the paver was positioned.

The tipper lorry approached the slower moving paver and struck the operator safety rail causing it to buckle and move forward over the platform trapping the paver driver between the rail and a control panel. The paver prop shaft was damaged rendering it immobile and preventing the injured man being freed.

Incident foreseeable and easily prevented by cameras

HSE investigators found the risk was caused by the tipper lorry reversing a considerable distance along a very narrow road with limited visibility and without adequate reversing aids in the form of cameras.

The council risk assessment picked up on these issues and identified the need for reversing aids in the form of cameras and audible reversing alarms. However, most vehicles in the fleet did not have cameras installed

Dumfries and Galloway Council, of English Street, Dumfries was fined a total of £40,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety At Work etc Act 1974.

After sentencing, HSE Inspector Isabelle Martin said:

“This incident was foreseeable and could easily have been prevented. Dumfries and Galloway Council had identified the risks involved in reversing vehicles and, through risk assessment, had identified the need to fit cameras to the rear of vehicles that would improve the drivers’ visibility.

It is disappointing that they failed to implement the findings of their risk assessment. Additionally, they failed to ensure that reversing manoeuvres were eliminated where reasonably practicable when repairing minor roads.”

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