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HSE publishes safety guide for telehandlers

New guidance on the safe use of telehandlers in construction was launched last week in response to concerns about risks relating to their increased use on site.

Telehandlers are among the most versatile pieces of material handling equipment used on construction sites. In recent years the capacity and reach of telehandlers have developed to the point where they are now used to carry out tasks traditionally undertaken by mobile and tower cranes.

But this versatility increases the risk of unsafe operations, which has led to a significant number of serious telehandler accidents, including some fatalities.

At the launch of the guidance Health & Safety Executive inspector Marcus O’Connor said that there is a disproportionate number of fatalities arising from telehandler incidents.

These include tipping over and dropping suspended loads.

The new 86 page best practice guide, published by the Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group, includes information about the safe planning, operation and supervision of telehandler activities, as well as guidance on maintenance.

Pocket cards summarising the key points of the guide for operators and supervisors will be published soon.

The full guide can be downloaded as a pdf from both the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) and British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) websites at www.cpa.uk.net/p/Telehandlers/ and www.bita.org.uk.

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