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Contractors and Rental Houses Weigh In at IPAF Summit

Contractors and Rental Houses Weigh In at IPAF Summit

At the 2014 IPAF Summit in Windsor, UK, Peter Douglas, UK operations director, Nationwide Platforms, and a board member of IPAF, and Mark Keily, UK QHSE director, Nationwide Platforms, discussed with attendees common risks found on site and with equipment, and the practical measures that can be taken to reduce those risks.

Douglas and Keily discussed how daily challenges such as dealing with batteries or spreader plates of up to 50kg, and operators jumping off equipment due to unsuitable egress points, led their company to work with manufacturers to design out potential problems, for example, through considering manual handling needs and stowage, and considering the location, type, and positioning of egress points.

These initiatives to make safe equipment even safer have enabled Nationwide Platforms to reduce accidents by two-thirds, reported Douglas.

Speaking from the audience, Joy Jones, principal inspector, UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE), called on the industry to reinforce safe and good practice: “Our site visits often reveal people making excuses or relying on their risk assessment. Your industry is based is based on safety and needs to be based on experience from the field,” she said.

This call to action was renewed by another Summit speaker, Dave Smith, chair of the UK Contractors Group (UKCG) Health & Safety Leadership Group and COO of Wates Construction, who pointed out that more technologically advanced equipment requires more robust safety measures, as the risk profile changes.

“Plan it right, do it right,” said Smith. “The better the plant, the more rigorous we need to be. We estimate that exclusion zones will reduce secondary accidents by 50%. Remember that work at height is a risk. Think of the box for third parties, especially in the public domain.”


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