Skip loaders play an important role in waste management and are used to process domestic and industrial waste on a daily basis. They are also dangerous machines to run, as improper maintenance and operation can lead to injury and death. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is aware of the risks of skip loaders and has produced a detailed leaflet with instructions on how to use them safely.

This blog post considers the risks to both operators and bystanders and details the potential hazards. It also includes vehicle inspections, worker competency, reversing, dropping off/picking up, and door stability awareness. Skip loader accidents can be life-changing and, in the worst-case scenario, catastrophic. As a result, it’s important to include skip loader safety in your company’s health and safety policy, as well as have proper training for employees.

Every year, there are thousands of industrial incidents involving machinery. Because of the impact on the quality of life of patients and the costs to companies, such incidents will cost millions of dollars. In 2016, the human cost of fatal injuries was R1,203,000, with a financial cost of R 414,200, totaling R1,617,000. Days off work due to non-fatal accidents and continuing insurance expenses are not included in these estimates. In this paper, the HSE summarizes the costs of occupational injuries.

Safety Around Skip Loaders

Any reputable waste management company will ensure that its employees are well-trained and that its equipment is well-maintained. After a skip lorry went out of control and killed four people in Bath in 2017, a haulage supervisor and mechanic were found guilty of manslaughter. The driver was found not guilty because the equipment was not properly maintained. Here are a few basic tips (as outlined by the HSE) to help you avoid a similar accident in your workplace.

Be Aware of Surroundings

A risk evaluation comes in handy in this situation. The hazards that can arise must be made known to drivers and coworkers. Collisions, dropping, sliding, defective lifting equipment, overhead cables, overturning, and runaway vehicles are only a few examples.

Pre-Vehicle Check

Until work begins, skip loaders must be thoroughly inspected and any defects must be identified. Brakes, tyres, steering, seatbelts, wheel chocks, lifting equipment, reversing beepers, mirrors, and reversing cameras are among the items that must be checked. To prevent being another statistic, it is in the driver’s best interests to perform these tests. Workers must also be comfortable with their surroundings and the location of their car inside it.

Keeping Staff Safe

Companies are in charge of developing safety checks and procedures, but it is the worker’s duty to follow them. They should also know a route that is appropriate for their car, adhere to the highway code to the letter, keep an eye out for pedestrians, and wear appropriate safety equipment.

Safety First

Reversing too much or over long distances should be avoided by drivers. To prevent causing property damage or, worse, killing anyone, they must be mindful of hazards all around the car.

Ankle sprains and fractures can be avoided by slowly getting out of the cab rather than jumping out. Ankle twisting can be avoided when wearing appropriate footwear, such as ankle-supporting boots. Once a driver exits their car, they must stay in near proximity to it.

Be carful of Runaway Trucks

To keep your truck securely in place, make sure you park on firm flat ground, apply the handbrake, and use chocks if this isn’t possible. Perform a vehicle safety inspection, take into account the load’s impact on the vehicle, and be aware of all and everyone around you.

If you’re interested in buying a skip loader or starting a maintenance plan, please contact us and we’ll be happy to talk about your choices.