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Some people never learn

Spotted in Plymouth, UK, a man loading a boom lift for one of the most safety conscious companies in the country without wearing a harness and short lanyard. We wondered if/hoped that there was a harness under the hi-viz vest, but the comment from the witness seems to clearly indicate not.

The machine was reportedly being collected from the new waste for energy site in Plymouth and loaded onto a trailer. While the trailer is specially designed with wide low angle ramps, and it looks like a dry day, the chances of a slip is still a risk that can injure if the man is bounced clear of the platform.
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Up the ramps

According to the photographer/correspondent the driver was asked about the whereabouts of his harness and replied: “I don't need one!!” Looking at the photograph's data it seem the pictures were taken five or six weeks ago.
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And on to the truck


Nationwide Platforms responded to the article clarifying that the driver and delivery vehicle was provided by a contractor and not one of its own employees. However it went on to say that the same rules apply and that it takes this as seriously as if it had been a Nationwide driver.
See its statement in the comments below.

Vertikal Comment

Nationwide Platforms has probably done as much, if not more, than any
company to insist that its drivers wear harnesses while loading and unloading boom lifts. To the point of even working with a harness company to design a harness for delivery drivers that can be worn comfortably while driving long distances.

The fact is that more injuries are caused while loading and unloading than almost any other activity involving construction equipment. A slip or run away can easily bounce the operator out of the platform, sometimes with fatal consequences, although more often than not the operator will land on the guardrails breaking ribs.

It goes to show that you can never give up on the safety message and that everyone in the company needs to buy into and believe the reasons for such measures.


Alan Howes
It is very encouraging to see that Nationwide Platforms have responded and acted so quickly to the potentially dangerous work practices undertaken by one of their own contracted delivery drivers.

They have responded as would be expected of a major rental company by suspending thE contractor while now conducting further internal investigations.

Though I am in full agreement with their immediate course of action, I truly hope the final outcome doesn’t involve the termination of employment for this contractor.

Nationwide hold a ‘duty of care’ and have even acknowledged in their own statement that they consider the wellbeing of ‘all’ their employees including those who work on their behalf.

However, the driver in question when questioned about wearing a suitable safety harness and lanyard was quoted in the article as saying “I don't need one”. This would demonstrate a lack of understanding and suitable training on his part and a break down of communication concerning company procedures on the part of Nationwide.

As apposed to cutting this driver adrift just before xmas with pent up resentment of ‘Health & Safety’, I would much prefer to see Nationwide take him under their wing, and not just train him but install a positive attitude and understanding that will see him work to ‘best practice’ not just because he is ‘told to’ but because he ‘wants to’.

Dec 9, 2013

Nationwide Platforms Statement

Re: Vertikal article published 09/12/13

Once alerted to this incident this morning we commenced an investigation alongside the regional management team in the South West. The investigation has identified that the vehicle and driver were supplied by an external haulage company who have immediately been suspended from our approved contractor list pending a full internal investigation.

Nationwide Platforms consider the health, safety and wellbeing of all those who work on our behalf as equal to that of our own employees. The wearing of a harness and lanyard in booms is a mandatory requirement and our policy on this is quite clear. The loading and unloading of MEWPs is a high risk activity which requires suitable controls and the use of a harness and a shortened lanyard in booms is a non negotiable requirement.

We would like to thank Vertikal for bringing this incident to our attention.

Mark Keily
UK Director of QHSE
Nationwide Platforms

Dec 9, 2013