Three separate incidents occurred at Tarmac Contracting over a 13 month period. All the incidents involved very experienced operatives who suffered serious injuries as a result of collisions with rollers. The underlying causes of the incidents were; the lack of segregation between people and plant, lack of planning in relation to the risks, poor communication between the mobile drivers and pedestrians, complacency towards risk due to lack of awareness. This led to the successful introduction of Tarmac’s 5+2 safety campaign.
During Safety Days in January 2016, Tarmac introduced the 5+2 plant and people protection zones initiative on their sites for all plant. The 5+2 protection zones represents:
- 5m exclusion in the direction of travel for all plant (except pavers, planers and chippers)
- 2m to the side of all plant (except pavers, planers and chippers).
A 5+2 working group of experienced surfacing personnel from a number of contracting areas was set up to monitor and improve the system. Through their work the following refinements have been made:
- All supervisors and gangs review the shifts' planned works and they create a daily laying plan as part of the risk assessment process. This helps to identify areas such as hot spots and pinch points where further safety controls may need to be introduced.
- Blue Lights have been fitted to plant which give the site workers a guide to the 5+2 safety zone. The blue lights shine onto the ground and identify the correct measured area around the plant and provide visual awareness of the safety zone. Operators and drivers are provided with a ‘thought nudge’if pedestrians encroach within the zone.
- A successful trial using radio communications for all workers has been completed. This is a similar to the comms device used in formula one race pits, it gives a perfect but not intrusive communication to all site personnel wherever they are on-site. The comms system will be rolled out to gang members in all areas of the business to help improve on-site communication.
- A video has been made to reinforce the reasons behind the 5+2 safety system which is widely used for training and inductions.
- The 5+2 slogan and campaign has worked extremely well
- Working group and others suggesting further developments l Greater awareness of the dangers of proximity to mobile plant l Reduce chance of contact with mobile plant
- A safer working environment for contracting and laying operatives.