Lorry Loader Tilting Stabilisers Crush Risk Safety Notice

March 6, 2024
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The Health and Safety Executive has issued a safety notice concerning the risk of people being crushed by powered tilting (also known as swing-up or rotating) stabilisers on lorry loader vehicles. The safety notice, issued on December 12, 2023, highlights that there is a risk of people being crushed against the lorry body when the stabilisers are being retracted, in particular when the stabilisers are not in the vertical or foot-down position, resulting in serious injury or death. The HSE reported that three fatalities have occurred this way in Great Britain since 2019, prompting the HSE to release this safety notice.

The HSE recommends that owners of lorry loaders and those involved in the use and maintenance of lorry loaders with powered tilting stabilisers should seek reasonably practicable safety improvements from manufacturers to reduce the risk of crushing, including installing software modifications to prevent the stabiliser legs from being retracted unless they are in the vertical position. Installing interlocks to prevent retraction when the stabilisers are not vertical and using remote controls instead of the fixed control levers whenever possible could be done by removing the base control levers; however, if this option is chosen, the levers should be stored where they are readily available for use in the event of a remote control failure.

Additionally, the crushing hazards posed by lorry loaders should be considered in relevant risk assessments, and appropriate control measures should be put in place to reduce this risk. For example, displaying risk warning decals and ensuring that individuals operate from a safe position when retracting the stabilisers.

Finally, it should be ensured that the operators of lorry loaders are fully trained and competent in the safe operation of the stabilisers. The HSE’s safety notice includes a number of key safety points to follow for the safe operation of the stabilisers within the safety notice.

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