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November 26, 2010

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HSE warning on potential skip hazard

The HSE has issued a safety notice warning manufacturers, owners and driver operators of builders’ skips of a potential hazard when tipping out.

According to the watchdog, the fabrication of these skips can result in a lip on which tipping hooks may ‘falsely’ engage. From the operating position, it may not be obvious that the hooks are engaged and, superficially, they will behave as if there has been a proper engagement, until an angle of tipping is reached whereby the hooks are pushed off the lip. When the skip is no longer restrained it will swing out over the back of the lorry, the momentum of which could lift the front of the lorry off the ground.

The potential for the lorry to overbalance is increased where there are shortcomings in the deployment, positioning, or function of the stabilisers.

To avoid these risks occurring, the HSE recommends the following action for duty-holders:

  • Existing skips should be examined, and where a protrusion exists that could give rise to false engagement with the tipping hooks it should be removed and the fabrication made good;
  • New skips should be manufactured without a protrusion that could give rise to false engagement with the tipping hooks (in line with the Container Handling Equipment Manufacturers Association’s technical standard TS14);
  • Driver-operators should be instructed to perform a visual check to ensure the proper engagement of the hooks on the catch bar during tipping out; and
  • Driver-operators should be instructed to routinely check skips and skip-loader vehicles, and to report any defects.

The full safety alert can be found at€ᄄ www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/tippinghooks.htm

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