The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Safety Alert on Telehandlers

Jay Stansell - Sunday, August 28, 2011
Variable reach trucks, commonly known as Telehandlers are versatile and useful tools for completing a variety of jobs in a cross-section of industries.

At the Risk Tool Box, however, we are aware of at least three fatal accidents involving operators of Telehandlers who have been killed when they have leant through damaged or missing side windows and then been struck and pinned by the boom.

Today's post is a warning to all operators and owners of Telehandlers to ensure that the safety critical side-window on the boom-side of the Telehandler is securely in place prior to any Telehandler activity.



The incident happened in the highlands area of Scotland when the operator of the variable reach truck was leaning through a missing side window on the boom-side of telehandler.

As he adjusted the mirror through the open window, his knee accidently touched the lever that operated the boom, which lowered causing fatal crush injuries.  The operator had made a request to the employer to fix the window but it had not been done.

The operator was just 36 years old when he was killed on the job.

The company involved in the accident pleaded guilty to a prosecution brought by the UK HSE and was fined 266,000 GB Pounds (roughly $500,000).


The window on the boom-side of variable reach trucks is designated as safety-critical equipment as it is designed as a guard to prevent operator access to the boom.
If the glass screen is broken or missing, operators are at grave and elevated risk of being involved in a fatal incidents.

In order to control the risk, it is imperative that owners, supplier and operators of Telehandlers implement the following controls:

  • Remove from use any Telehandler with damaged side windows and ensure the glass is replaced.
  • Warn operators of Telehandlers of the dangers of operating their machines with the side screen broken or missing;
  • Operators should immediately report damage to side windows as soon as it occurs, and stop the job until the window is replaced.
  • Operators should also carry out daily checks of the condition of the cab windows prior to starting work each day.




Safety when working alone

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The issue of working alone raises many safety concerns and for a variety of reasons.

  • Some employees who work alone may handle cash which places them at greater risk  (eg., taxi drivers);
  • Others may travel from their base to meet with potentially dangerous clients (e.g., community health nurses);
  • In many industry's, employees may work in potentially hazardous environments but have no routine interaction with co-workers, customers or the public (e.g., oil field service workers);
  • In transportation, drivers may travel alone and have no routine contact with other people for long periods (e.g., train operatives or truck drivers);


In all circumstances, the elevated risk associated with solo-working can be reduced if assistance by third-parties is readily available.

To determine  the level of "ready availability" of assistance, we need to consider three factors:

1. Awareness - are others in close proximity of the solo-worker aware of their presence?

2. Willingness - is it reasonable to expect that others in close proximity of the solo-worker are willing and able to provide any necessary assistance?

3. Timeliness - can assistance by third-parties be provided to the solo-worker within a reasonable time-frame?

In all circumstances where employees are expected to work alone for part of, or all their duties, the work should be subject to a preliminary risk assessment (PRA) in order to identify adequate controls.

For more information about PRA click here.

Control mechanisms should be recorded in a solo-work plan.

Existing and new employees should be familiarized with the general control framework for working alone.

Furthermore, a key control is for any employee performing solo-work to implement the Think 6, Look 6 hazard spotting process prior to each period of work activity and in each location.

Fore further information about hazard spotting, click here.

JSA for Tools with Abrasive Wheels

Graham Marshall - Thursday, June 23, 2011

There are a variety of types of abrasive wheeled tools in both portable and fixed format and using wet and dry systems.

All require appropriate controls to ensure the safety of operators and near-by persons. 

Review this Job Safety Analysis and start  getting your workers thinking about the hazards they face and how they can control the risk.


Preventing falls on residential construction sites

Graham Marshall - Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fatalities resulting from falls from height are the number one cause of workplace deaths on United States residential construction sites.

In response, OSHA today released its fall protection standard for use in residential construction.

Until today, residential construction employers were allowed to use alternatives to conventional fall protection safeguards without a written site-specific safety plan.

OSHA has now issued a compliance directive stating that employers involved with residential construction must provide workers with fall protection in line with the Standard (1926.501).

Compliance documents are available by clicking here.

A Risk Tool Box JSA on working at height is available by clicking here.

JSA for Powered Hand-tools

Graham Marshall - Friday, June 10, 2011
Hand injuries resulting from the use of hand-held powered tools are one of the most common types of harm occurring in workplaces around the World.

Visit our shop to review a Job Safety Analysis for managing the risk associated with the use of powered tools.

Click here to take you to the JSA.

Bio-hazard alert across Germany

Graham Marshall - Monday, June 06, 2011

The outbreak of E.coli in Germany and Western Europe shows the importance of focussing attention on  bio-hazards, particularly during food transportation, storage and preparation.

Bio-hazards include bacteria such as E-coli which can cause unwanted harm to humans.

German officials have indicated that bean sprouts could be behind an E.coli outbreak that has killed 22 and made more than 2,200 people ill.

Investigators have now traced the rare, highly toxic strain of the bacteria to an "organic" farm in the Uelzen region.

There appeared to be clear links between vegetables from the farm and food eaten by some victims.

Not only bean sprouts, but also alfalfa sprouts, mung bean sprouts, radish sprouts and arugula sprouts from the farm might be connected to the outbreak.

Raw sprouts are often mixed in salads or added to sandwiches.

Consumers in northern Germany should refrain from eating all types of bean sprouts.

Sprouts were a prime suspect from the start.

In Japan, at least 11 people died in 1996 in an outbreak linked to contaminated radish sprouts.

Authorities have been racing to track the source of the disease, which has infected people in 12 countries – all of whom had been traveling in northern Germany.

Many of those infected have developed haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), a potentially deadly complication attacking the kidneys.

The rare strain of E.coli can stick to intestinal walls where it pumps out toxins, sometimes causing severe bloody diarrhoea and kidney problems.

Some patients have needed intensive care, including dialysis.

Interestingly, whilst E.coli is normally particularly dangerous when infecting children and the elder, the current outbreak appears to be associated with adult females.

This factor indicates a behavioural element to this outbreak as women are more likely to be seeking the so-called health-benefits of organic produce.

To review a Job Safety Analysis on food preparation, click this link.

JSA for Cranes and Lifting

Graham Marshall - Saturday, June 04, 2011
We all know that working with cranes and hoists is one of the most dangerous jobs and a common cause of fatalities across a number of industrial sectors.

In our shop you'll find an excellent Job Safety Analysis applicable to a variety of lifting operations.

Check it out by clicking here.

Concreting and Formwork JSA

Graham Marshall - Monday, May 30, 2011
In the little back-room of my blog, I've noticed someone searching repeatedly for a JSA using the search phrase "concreting, steel fixing  and form work". 

While I'm OK with people spending hours searching the internet for "free" stuff, it sometimes may pay just to get your hand in your pocket and cough up the cash to buy a good resource.

If you're looking for a JSA on concreting, I'd suggest you click this link and spend the huge amount of $11 to get what you really need.

That way you can stop wasting your time on internet searching and get on with making the job safe!

Have a good day from the team at the Risk Tool Box. 



JSA for Managing Noise

Graham Marshall - Sunday, May 22, 2011
Noise induced hearing loss is a serious and significant cause of harm in workplaces around the World.

Controlling noise using a good quality Job Safety Analysis is critical.

To review our JSA on managing noise, simply click here.

Electricity JSA

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I get frequent visitors to the blog looking for JSAs on working with electricity. 

While I'm OK with people spending hours searching the internet for "free" stuff, it sometimes may pay just to get your hand in your pocket and cough up the cash to buy a good resource.

If you're looking for a JSA on electrical work, I'd suggest you click this link and get what you really need.

That way you can stop wasting your time on internet searching and get on with making the job safe!

Have a good day from the team at the Risk Tool Box. 


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