Plan of Action Formed to curb Forward Tipping Dumper Fatalities

It’s easy to forget that building sites are fundamentally dangerous places. Every year around eight people are killed on building sites in the UK by forward-tipping dumper trucks. Generally this occurred when dumper trucks have overturned as they mounted spoil heaps and the driver has been unable to jump clear in time. Forward tipping dumper trucks also pose another danger due to the positioning of their load in relation to the driver, it can often be hard to see the ground directly in front of the vehicle which can lead to collisions and fatality.

Over the past year the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) have started to take action. This taken the form of industry-wide meetings aimed at developing an action plan. Many hope that these meetings will lead to a UK-wide law mandating all dumpers have ROPS (roll over protection systems)/FOPS (falling object protection systems) cabs to protect their drivers.
There are companies in the UK who have already implemented the FOPS/ROPS cabs to protect their workers. These tend to be the companies who have been impacted by a fatality in the past.

An Action plan to take forward

The most recent meeting took place in Solihull in early October with more than 60 client reps, contractors, plant manufacturers, regulatory bodies, federations, plant hirers and equipment owners attended. Seven principles were agreed upon as the basis of the action plan to take forward. These were:

  • Visibility
  • Stability
  • Training
  • Competence
  • Spoil Heaps
  • Exclusion
  • Equipment Selection

Various working groups are currently being assembled to discuss how to improve standards in those seven key areas.

Although the use of seatbelts and enclosed cabs were talked about at the meeting in early October, it seems that the industry at large is not ready to call a ban on open-cab dumper trucks of six-tonnes and above just yet.