New guidance to protect against accidents when tipping out skips has been issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The safety bulletin highlights the potential for skips to swing uncontrollably, or overbalance the tipping vehicle if vehicle tipping hooks accidentally snag on an overhanging skip base plate, instead of the skip’s tipping bar.
According to the bulletin: “This false engagement of the hooks is not necessarily visible from the operating position and, superficially, will behave like 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 HSE guidance recommends all skip manufacturers and operators inspect their skips to make sure there are no “protrusions” on which tipping hooks can snag, as well as instructing driver-operators to routinely check skips and report any defects.
L&S Waste Management managing director Mick Balch told MRW: “Although the unexpected release and uncontrolled swinging of skips is not a common occurrence, any guidance, advice and reminders that help to protect our workforce, clients and the public at large is always welcome.
“As a skip supplier, we are legally bound to comply with the relevant HSE regulations and the guidelines where equipment fit-for-purpose is concerned. New skips purchased and manufactured in the UK are made to the CHEM standard so should not present a problem. Used equipment is the area for scrutiny and it is the responsibility of the operator to ensure that the skips are compliant.”