SFPSG launches guide for safe use of dumpers


The Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group (SFPSG) has launched a Good Practice Guide for the Safe Use of Dumpers to address injuries and fatalities associated with the use of dumpers

The SFPSG is chaired by the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) and the guidance was borne out of an industry forum set up through a partnership of the CPA alongside the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA).

As part of the forum’s campaign on the safe use of dumpers, a seven-point strategy was devised with development and production of a safe use guidance document forming an integral part of that strategy.

The safe use of dumpers guidance is designed to help those involved with planning and carrying out dumper activities achieve a better awareness of the particular risks involved and the measures that can be put in place to mitigate those risks.

It focuses specifically on forward tipping dumpers as they are most commonly used on construction sites to transport earths and materials. This involves the machine negotiating ground and terrain – which is variable and not always suitable for a loaded dumper – and discharging their loads into excavations or on spoil heaps. Such activities have led to operational incidents resulting in serious injuries and deaths to either the dumper operator or those near to the machine.

Kevin Minton, chief executive of the CPA, said: “Using dumpers safely depends on a number of factors including planning and supervision, machine selection, competences, exclusion zoning and site conditions. If any of these are deficient, the risk of a serious accident increases significantly and it is therefore essential that all of those involved need to ensure that dumper operations are properly planned, managed, supervised and carried out safely by competent people.

“Accidents have a terrible cost in terms of human suffering and they also have a significant emotional and financial cost for all concerned. There is therefore a very strong business case for improving safety performance.

“The advice in the safe use publication is straightforward, comprehensive and easy to adopt and I recommend its use to anyone who manages, plans supervises or carries out dumper operations.”

Alasdair Reisner, chief executive of The Civil Engineering Contractors Association, added: “CECA, along with the CPA and HSE, took the initiative to tackle the increasing number of dumper incidents which were leading to untimely deaths and as part of the industry campaign on dumper safety, the development and production of a safe use guidance formed an integral part of a seven-point strategy.

“CECA are pleased to have participated on production of the guidance and we hope that compliance with the guidance will help significantly in mitigating future dumper incidents. We urge all clients, manufacturers, owners and users of dumpers to read the guidance and put the contents and recommendations into practice.”


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