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Dumper safety – don’t get caught out

Dumper safety – don’t get caught out

Dumper trucks are large pieces of plant machinery that are mainly used to transport heavy duty construction and demolition materials. Dumper trucks can be either forward tipping or rear tipping – rear tipping trucks tend to be the larger, more industrial vehicles.

Both types of dumpers can be dangerous when misused or used improperly. Below are just some of the causes of dumper truck accidents – and also ways to avoid causing any injuries during operation of these vehicles.

Overloading – causing tipping

Dumper trucks should have a ‘safe load’ capacity which should not be exceeded; otherwise there is a risk of the truck tipping over. Because of the large weight of materials these vehicles can carry, the risk of tipping is great and a truck tipping over is indeed a worry. It is imperative that the truck operator is aware of the load capacity and ensures that the maximum load isn’t exceeded.

Uneven roads

Dumper trucks are generally designed to be used off road in construction sites, yet uneven ground and steep slopes can seriously decrease the dumper’s stability. If it’s driven up a harsh gradient or hit uneven terrain, the weight of the contents can make the dumper more liable to upturning. Dumpers should therefore be operated on flat ground where possible.

Inexperienced drivers

It’s too often that untrained and inexperienced drivers are allowed to operate heavy machinery such as dumper trucks. This can pose a great danger to the drivers themselves and those around them. Without the proper training and correct operating procedures in place, this can often lead to fatal accidents and injuries. It is extremely important that dumper truck operators are fully trained and competent.

Driving with the skip tipped

A dumper truck is not designed to be driven when the skip is in the tipped position. When the skip is tipped, the dumper truck isn’t completely steady and, if movement is encouraged, the truck can easily become unbalanced and tip over.

Visibility when reversing

Due to the dumper truck’s poor all-round visibility, many accidents occur when the truck is reversing and hits an object, vehicle or person. Visibility is often impeded by the truck’s skip – so more care has to be taken when the vehicle is moving backwards. Using a spotter while reversing is a simple idea – this is someone guiding and signalling to the driver. A reversing warning alarm should also be used

Following the law

The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) reports that UK law states sites must organise and segregate pedestrians and dumpers. It also says that 60% of dumper deaths involve the driver when the vehicle overturns – and most other deaths occur when pedestrians are struck by the dumper when it is reversing or going forwards on site.

Prevent dumper incidents

Segregate vehicles and pedestrians with the ZoneSafe Crossing Alert System – this helps to separate site traffic and pedestrians through audible visual warnings and restricting movement of pedestrians and vehicles.

Vehicle to Person Alert

For absolute peace of mind, the ZoneSafe Vehicle to Person Alert is the best solution. This application is a proximity detection system specifically designed to help prevent accidental collisions between industrial vehicles and pedestrian workers. Using RFID technology, ZoneSafe systems do NOT require line of site and will be detected regardless of obstructions, blind spots or poor visibility.

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