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Working in and around mobile plant

Mobile plant such as delivery trucks, forklifts and earthmoving machinery are frequently involved in serious incidents on construction sites. This film explains how to manage the interaction between powered mobile plant and pedestrians to keep your construction site safe.

Download a copy of this film (ZIP/MP4, 110MB)

Voice over:

There are around 200 serious injuries involving mobile plant in the construction industry every year.

The interaction between powered mobile plant and pedestrians needs to be managed and monitored to keep your construction site safe.

How vehicle and pedestrian interaction will be managed should be clearly communicated to workers before the job starts.

Conditions can change as work progresses, so procedures should be reviewed, updated and communicated throughout the day.

  • Identify when workers and visitors will be on site and the areas they will need to access.
    • Where possible, have separate entry points for plant and pedestrians and clearly separate pedestrian walkways.
  • Identify movement of plant on the job.
    • Ensure appropriate systems are in place so that the plant operator is aware of any people in the immediate vicinity of the plant. Using a spotter with radio communication is one way to do this.
  • Train and instruct workers and visitors.
    • All relevant information, training and instruction should be provided before work begins. Tool box meetings are one way for supervisors and workers to discuss traffic management procedures and policies, and raise any other health and safety issues.
  • Consider operational exclusion zones.
    • Exclusion zones for earthmoving equipment should take into account the type of work being performed and the particular movement of the plant. For example, with excavator slewing, pedestrians are at risk from the dipper arm and the bucket, as well as the counter weight.
    • Minimise the need for workers to be inside exclusion zones while the plant is operating. Determine if the worker can do their job outside of the exclusion zone, at another time, or when the plant is inactive.
  • All identified hazards and controls associated with high risk construction work, including working in and around mobile plant, must be listed in your safe work method statement. The safe work method statement must be developed before the work starts.

    Use a combination of controls to manage the risks for people that are working in or around powered mobile plant.

    Use physical barriers that prevent pedestrian or plant access to designated areas, such as fencing, para-webbing or water filled barriers. Witches hats, bollards or bunting are less effective as they do not physically stop someone entering an exclusion zone or roadway.

    Signage should clearly mark pedestrian walkways, guide traffic, provide warnings and identify exclusion zones.

    Supervision of the exclusion area and good communication between the supervisor and plant operator will ensure that access to exclusion zones is limited to authorised personnel.

    Make sure there is also clear signage in place and spotters to stop pedestrians entering the exclusion zones.

    Working in and around mobile plant on construction sites is hazardous. Manage the risks and keep your workers safe.

    Work safe. Home safe.


    RUN TIME: 4 mins 17 seconds