Safe driving on construction sites saves lives and reduces workplace injuries – that was the message today as the Health & Safety Executive (HSENI) launched their Construction Sector Drive Danger Out Campaign.
The HSENI campaign aims to improve driver safety on construction sites, in a bid to reduce accidents which can cause serious injury or even death. In the last ten years there have been eight fatalities in Northern Ireland directly linked to vehicle accidents on construction sites, as well as a range of accidents resulting in injuries. The HSENI message is that these incidents can be reduced if drivers and construction workers are more attentive when driving and take more care of their vehicles and of the site layout.
HSE NI have three key messages for construction workers to ensure that they are moving safely on site:
- Safe Site
- Are pedestrians and vehicles adequately segregated?
- Are there suitable designated traffic routes for vehicles to operate safely?
- Safe Vehicle
- Are measures in place to ensure vehicle all-round visibility?
- Are procedures in place to carry out pre-use checks and report defects?
- Have statutory examinations been completed for vehicles used for lifting?
- Safe Driver
- Do drivers hold adequate licenses / training certificates for the vehicles they are authorised to drive?
- Is there a programme of driver refresher training in place?
Speaking at the launch, HSENI Deputy Chief Executive, Louis Burns said: “Construction sites have a high volume of vehicles and movement throughout the day. With so much activity there is an increased risk of incidents which can be mitigated against with both driver and site worker vigilance. So, if you are driving a digger, telehandler, or any site vehicle, you have to be aware of potential risks all around you. Similarly, if you are working on the site, you need to be aware what is moving around you.
“The HSENI Drive Danger Out aims to ensure that the Safe Vehicle, Safe Driver, Safe Site message reaches construction workers, so we can reduce the number of incidents which can cause serious injury or fatalities.”
Mark Spence, Chief Executive of Construction Employers Federation, said “Construction workers have difficult jobs, with early starts and working on busy and active building sites. Site safety is essential, particularly with diggers and other vehicles operating, and we encourage everyone working on a building site to take the HSENI messaging on board to help Drive Danger Out.”
Rachel Dorovatas, Director of Industry Training & Support at Construction Industry Training Board NI, added “Being safety aware is a vital element of training, and we want to ensure that every person setting foot on a construction site takes all the necessary steps to make sure incidents and accidents are avoided. For those driving machinery on site, it is essential that they make sure everything is in working order and that site safety is a priority.”
Richard Meredith HSENI Principal Inspector said: “Unfortunately workplace transport continues to be an area responsible for fatalities and major injuries in the workplace. Throughout this year our Inspectors will focus on ensuring effective controls are in place to manage the risks associated with workplace transport.”
Over the coming weeks HSENI will be engaging with construction workers and employers to increase awareness of the steps which should be taken to make building sites safer. The campaign includes a new early morning radio campaign on Downtown Radio and Cool FM to Wake Up Workers and get them alert and ready for the day ahead.
You can find out more about the Drive Danger Out campaign at www.hseni.gov.uk/topic/