Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash (FY21 004) – Electric Tug & Trailer (Workplace Transport) Safe Operations in Mail Centres: (Serious Incident – Injury Accident When Moving Tug and Trailers was In Collision With a Pedestrian Worker)
Introduction and Background:
An urgent ‘Safety Flash’, number FY21 004, has been issued by the Royal Mail Group Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Team (copy attached), following a recent accident in a Mail Centre when a moving tug and trailers was in collision with a pedestrian member of staff who was working in an area too close to the designated tug route. The collision caused injury to the pedestrian.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report that every year, there are over 5000 accidents involving transport in the workplace. About 50 of these result in people being killed. The main causes of injury are people being struck or crushed by vehicles inside the workplace or falling off vehicles. Managers, operators and their safety representatives all have a role to play in avoiding and reducing accident risks. Employers have a legal duty to ensure that the health and safety of their employees are not put at risk as a result of workplace transport operations and workers also have a duty to look after their own health and safety and that of anyone who might be affected by the work they do.
Description of the Incident and Key Issues:
A Mail Centre member of staff was working in an area of the Mail Centre, too close to the established and marked out tug route and an accident occurred when the individual inadvertently walked into the designated tug route and was hit by a moving electric tug and trailers.
The Issue, Impact, Effect:
- Lack of segregation between employees and workplace transport, mechanical handling equipment (tugs).
- Walkway obstructed.
- Unattended York Container left in the tug route.
- Employee entered into a tug route.
- Serious injury to employee.
Key Learning Points, Management Activities and Messages to Staff:
- Communicate and display this SHE Flash on the SHE noticeboard.
- Brief all employees of the dangers of entering a tug route.
- Remove any obstructions that may be blocking a tug route.
- Always keep designated walkways and tug routes free from any obstruction and clear at all times.
- Brief tug drivers on stopping and removing obstacles on their route rather than driving around them.
- A suitable and safe area must be available for all maintenance works associated with any Materials Handling Equipment.
- Always ensure there is a safe space between the stored containers and the tug route
- Ensure that equipment alongside MHE routes is not a collision risk, consider installing barriers at points of such risk along routes.
- Review tug routes and work areas, remove and relocate any equipment that may cause potential interaction between mechanical equipment and employees.
- Show the MHE film available on Content On Demand, this will be an April 21 SHE Calendar task.
- Copy of RMG SHE Safety Flash FY21 004 – All Mail Centres With Tug Operations
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer