Following investigations into incidents involving vehicle air suspension systems, the HSE have issued a safety alert for anyone carrying out work, including recovery work, on such vehicles whether this is at the roadside, customer premises or in a vehicle repair facility.
Various types of commercial vehicle including, buses, coaches, goods vehicles etc are fitted with air suspension. Two common hazards that arise when working on these vehicles are being crushed or trapped if clearances suddenly / unexpectedly change e.g. due to a drop in air pressure, automatic movements or air bellows rupturing or deflating and unintended rupture or ejection of components as work is carried out.
The safety alert reminds those responsible for such work to make sure that it is carried out safely. You must take care to ensure that the vehicle cannot drop suddenly or unexpectedly either by fully deflating the system or by using suitably rated props or stands to prevent the chassis lowering. You should not rely on air suspension alone to maintain a vehicle’s ride height or position whilst people gain access to areas where they may become trapped.
Also you must not rely on clamping pipework as a means of temporarily isolating the air suspension system, only physical disconnection should be used to provide secure isolation.
Full details of the safety alert and the action to take can be found on the HSE’s website
Please speak to your normal PIB Risk management contact or get in touch using email@example.com if you have any questions about managing safety in motor vehicle repair.