DFDS Seaways, who operate a port and steel facility at Immingham Docks in Lincolnshire, took the proactive decision to review their health and safety practices following the identification of potential risk areas. The key area was around their steel warehouse as this was an area of heavy lorry traffic – both preparing vehicles for loads and checking loaded lorries. Traditionally the only way to access the trailer was for the driver to utilise aeroplane steps provided by DFDS Seaways but drivers often took the decision to climb up the side or back of the truck – which presented obvious health and safety issues around the Working at Height Regulations.
The solution was to bring in two LoadSafe platforms as part of a pilot scheme to improve onsite health and safety. Kevin Tighe, Head of Health Safety and Security at DFDS and Peter Beauchamp, Steel Terminal Supervisor, contacted Kevin Wilkinson, Business Manager at LoadSafe Platforms, who visited the site on two separate occasions to conduct a site survey and educate DFDS staff on best practice use of the platforms.
The platform can be moved into the most optimum position by a forklift, with stability provided by two water ballasts at either end of the platform. The LoadSafe platform is constructed using cold- formed steel sections, providing a strong but lightweight structure. Manufactured in line with industry regulating standards P.U.W.E.R 1998 & B.S 4592 (Part 1) to withstand 5kn per m2 of downward force, the maximum level of safety is ensured when loading and unloading from trailers. Kevin Tighe said: “We have adopted LoadSafe’s best practice routines and are doing everything the way they suggested down to the safety harness attached to the rail that runs along the entire platform.
“All our staff have been given training on how the platform works and we have instruction cards for our visiting drivers to ensure they use the system correctly. It’s definitely a process of educating the drivers and it is early days, but if the system works the way we expect it to then it will prove to be a much safer process for all involved at the steel terminal.”
Kevin Wilkinson added: “DFDS choosing to implement the LoadSafe platform in this way is a prime example of proactively dealing with a potential health and safety risk relating to working at height. Following a conclusive site survey we were able to advise on the best practice use of the LoadSafe platform and ensure all staff were familiar and comfortable with the mechanism, providing a safe solution for checking loads.”