The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) has launched a safety awareness campaign called ‘Drive Danger Out’ with the help of the Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Andrew Gowan.
The campaign aims to promote HSENI’s ongoing inspection programme aimed at reducing the number of people killed or injured as a result of incidents involving workplace transport. The awareness campaign will include television and radio advertising, outdoor advertising across Northern Ireland, and social media messaging. The campaign has been launched with a mobile billboard visiting every council area in Northern Ireland, to promote awareness of the risks associated with workplace transport, and urging extra care and attention, whether in a factory, construction site, quarry, farm or any workplace.
In the ten years to 2022 incidents involving workplace vehicles across almost all work setting claimed the lives of 34 workers and left 162 others with serious injuries.
The campaign has been supported and endorsed by the Department for the Economy, and a range of industry representative bodies, including Construction Employers Federation (CEF), Manufacturing NI, Waste Industry Safety & Health Committee (NI) (WISHNI), Ulster Farmers Union (UFU), Mineral Products Association Northern Ireland (MPANI), Utility Regulator and the NI Safety Group.
HSENI Chief Executive Robert Kidd said: “Workplace transport safety continues to be our priority for this year and employers should expect it to be an important element of our inspections.”
Incidents resulting in death or injury include, workers being struck by a vehicle, vehicles overturning, falling from or being thrown from a vehicle, and injuries resulting from items falling from unsecured loads. The vehicles involved include forklift trucks, dumper trucks, telehandlers, quad bikes, tractors, lorries, vans and cars etc.
Robert Kidd continued: “Our ‘Drive Danger Out’ campaign is aimed to help employers prevent deaths and serious injuries involving vehicles in their workplace and to reduce the tragic figures we have seen over the last ten years.”
Many of the incidents have been caused by poor segregation of vehicles and pedestrians, inadequate driver training, poor visibility from a vehicle, lack of vehicle maintenance, working on unsafe slopes and surfaces, and poor lighting. There are often simple checks and safety precautions which can be put in place, which reduce risk and can help avoid unnecessary accidents.
The Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Andrew Gowan said: “I welcome this initiative from the Health and Safety Executive and know that our officers will work their inspectors to establish best practice in transport safety across all our council sites: “The safety and wellbeing of our employees is of paramount importance and when it comes to those staff using vehicles in the course of their work, we must do everything we can to minimise risk.
“That means having well-maintained vehicles, good training in place for those driving them and safe grounds and sites to work on - and we are committed to ensuring that all three elements are in place at Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.”
To support employers, advice and guidance along with inspection proformas detailing key aspects of workplace transport safety for each industry are available at: www.hseni.gov.uk/workplacetransport.