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Skanska UK demands anti crush devices

UK contractor Skanska UK has announced that it is launching a new policy relating to boom lifts on its UK sites.

The company says that it has been working closely with manufacturers and suppliers in recent months, as well as trialling safety devices specifically designed to guard against crush type injuries to operators and raise the alarm in the event an operator encounters a crush or trap situation.

It adds that a number of safety devices are now, or will shortly become commercially available in the UK. As a result from January 3rd it will require all boom lifts that it rents to be fitted with additional crush protection devices.
Its statement adds that it will also require such devices to be in place on all aerial lifts it uses by April 2nd 2012, suggesting that it expects to see them on scissor lifts as well.

The company says that in 2008, a fatality involving a boom lift tragically occurred on one of its sites. Following the incident it has been working closely with the Health & Safety Executive, International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), manufacturers, equipment suppliers, and the Construction Plant Association (CPA) to research and develop methods by which aerial lift safety can be improved.

-Following this work, the CPA introduced its Best Practice Guidance for MEWPs Avoiding Trapping / Crushing Injuries to People in the Platform.

-It also believes that its new policy is required in additon to the measures detailed in the CPA guidance, in order to properly protect operators.

Dylan Roberts, director of health & safety for Skanska UK said: “The
safety of those who work with Skanska is a number one priority for us. Following the tragedy in 2008, we felt it imperative to make a step change in the training and competence of users of MEWPs and the introduction of additional safety measures. I am very pleased that we have finally been able to take this step. We encourage the UK construction industry to follow suit.”