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Page 22 Contractors World - UK & Ireland Vol 2 No 2

Beware. The ‘suits’ are coming

SE clampdown to reduce death and injury on loucestershire’s construction sites

nstructon sites across the West are being put under the safety spotlight as part of n intensive inspecton initatve aimed at reducing death, injury and ill-health. Between 20 February and 16 March, inspectors from the Health & Safety xecutive will be visiting sites in Gloucestershire, where refurbishment or repair works are being carried out. This is part of a Great Britain wide month-long drive to mprove standards in one of Britain’s most dangerous industries.

r primary focus will be high-risk actvity such as working at height and also ‘good order’ such as ensuring sites are clean and tdy with clear access routes.

The purpose of the initatve is to remind those working in constructon that poor standards are unacceptable, and could result in enforcement acton.

During 2010/11, 28 workers were seriously injured while working in constructon across Gloucestershire, down from 32 the previous year. There was one death and 217 serious injuries across the South West region as a whole. Both of these fgures mark a drop from the previous year, when there were two deaths and 263 major injuries.

Andrew Kingscott, HSE’s Principal Inspector for Construction in the South West, said:“The refurbishment sector continues to be the most risky for construction workers, all too often straightforward practical precautions are not considered and workers are put at risk. In many cases simple changes to working practces can make all the diference. “Poor management of risks in this industry is unacceptable. As we have demonstrated in the past, we will take strong acton if we fnd evidence that workers are being unnecessarily put at risk.”

Construction News - Economics - Business - Regulations

Change in legislation: 3,500 kg (3.5 t) vehicles and towing trailers

As from the 4th December 2011, if you tow a trailer and are moving goods for hire and reward with a light commercial vehicle with a gross weight of 3,500 kg (3.5 tons), you are required to hold an operators licence Historically companies or individuals have been able to tow a trailer behind a vehicle which has a gross weight less than 3,500 kg (based on the trailer weighing less than 1,020 kg/1 ton) with the vehicle running on a tachograph only while towing.

To bring us in line with European legislaton as of the 4th December anybody towing for hire and reward will have to hold an operators licence which will require someone in the organisation holding a CPC, submitting the vehicle/s and trailer/s to periodic safety checks and keeping detailed records of the vehicle usage and various other mandatory obligatons.

The introducton of the change in legislaton on towing a trailer has received litle publicity and will efect hundreds of companies and individuals who move products, plant and equipment or cars around the country for hire and reward by using a 3.5 ton truck and trailer.

Steve Elwell of KFS Special Vehicles commented “We see the above having a massive impact on companies in the UK who currently deliver goods in this manner. Where companies have Mercedes, Iveco, Ford or Fiat 3.5 ton trucks, although lending themselves to towing with high gross train weights do not partcularly have good payload capacity on the truck itself. If the operator does not want to go down the route of applying and maintaining an operators licence what they can now carry on the vehicle itself will be greatly restricted due to it’s high kerb weight and low payload.

With the range of 3.5 ton vehicles developed by KFS Special Vehicles such as the Ultra 3.5 t Car Transporter for the car logistcs and movement market and the Plant & Go 3.5 t Plant Transporter range for the hire market, the ability to carry a far greater range of goods is catered for”.

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