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Written by
on 24 January 2014


One of the first things most of us learn during our early driving lessons is to watch out for blind spots. Almost every vehicle has blind posts ‘ those areas which fall between the views offered by your mirrors and the view you can see directly through the windows.

For one Devon based recycling company, such advice was sadly unheeded, resulting in the serious injury of an employee, and a not insubstantial fine.

Exeter Based Recycling Firm Overlook Blind Spots Twice

Leeses Limited, a recycling company based in Exeter, Devon, was recently found guilty of breaching Regulation 28‚¬ of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and were fined £33,000 and ordered to pay £13,389 in costs.
Back in October 2012 one of a number of pedestrian employees were sorting out materials for recycling at the depot when a telehandler reversed into him, causing severe injuries.

A telehandler is a large vehicle a little like a modified JCB which is used for moving large pallets of waste of large items around the depot area. These vehicles are notorious for having very bad blind spots, especially when reversed. It is for this reason that all employees are strongly advised to fit a reversing CCTV system in each telehandler to allow the operator to see behind them very clearly, eliminating the blind spots and ensuring the safety of any person in the vicinity.

A very near miss in October 2011 brought to light the fact that Leeses Ltd had failed to install any such system, and at that point, they were advised to do so. However, they failed to heed this warning, resulting in a serious accident in 2012.

Don”t Wait For A Warning, But If You Do, At Least Heed The Warning

It is clearly ill-advised to introduce new tools, equipment or machinery, or even new practices, routines and procedures without giving health and safety the utmost attention.

In many cases, it makes sense to bring in an expert consultant such as Veritas Consulting so that you can be sure of getting things right. One would hope that this approach was to ensure the welfare and safety of all employees, but many employees are more conscious of the hugely steep fines and penalties for failing to take the appropriate advice and precautions.

However, if you do receive advice, and ignore it, or you don”t take advice, and a near miss does occur, as in this particular case, take that as a warning.

Close calls shouldnt happen, but when they do be thankful that a close call was all it was, and make sure you take immediate action. This could either be in the shape of installing or introducing the correct safety procedures or equipment, or it could be calling on the services of a safety consultant who can provide all of the necessary safety checks and advice, and help make sure that even close calls can be completely avoided in future.

Get The Help You Need, Before You Need It

It”s surprising just how often we recalled upon following a near miss, a close call or a minor injury which could have been worse. Obviously, we realise that there are some scenarios which are almost too unlikely to even be considered, but it’s our job to consider every possibility, and we”re often able to see dangers and risks well before they ever have a chance to produce a close call.

If you”d like to avoid a close call, or you”ve had one and don”t plan on having any calls which are any closer, then call us for free on 0800 1488 677, and one our experienced health and safety consultants will be happy to help discuss your needs.

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A chartered (fellow) safety and risk management practitioner with 20+ years of experience. David provides a healthy dose of how-to articles, advice and guidance to make compliance easier for construction professionals, Architects and the built environment. Get social with David on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

One Comment
  • Keep An Eye On Health And Safety Blind Spots | ... says:

    […] Driving at work can be tricky – Keep An Eye On Health And Safety Blind Spots by Veritas Consulting safety Services  […]

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