Fatal accident highlights the value of collision detection systems

A court that fined Great Bear Distribution in a £300,000 fatal accident case heard that collision sensors could have saved the worker’s life.

According to a Northants Telegraph report, Andrej Grzeszczak was killed when his vehicle collided with another vehicle. In a hearing at Northampton Crown Court, safety experts said that the accident could have been prevented if the vehicle had been fitted with sensors that detect other handling equipment. In workplaces where, manual handling equipment shares space with motorised vehicles, sensors on vehicles can warn drivers of imminent collisions. Electronic devices can also prevent more than one vehicle from entering the same aisle.

Great Bear Distribution did have a computer system that detected when vehicles were in the same aisle, but controllers had ignored or not noticed prompts that showed two vehicles had entered the same aisle.

Shirley Plenderleith head of public services at Kettering Council, commenting on the case, said that though Great Bear Distribution had health and safety regulations in place, the company had not trained their operation controllers in a supervised and structured way. She said:

“By ignoring a clear warning on the operations system that Mr Grzesczak’s vehicle was already in the aisle, another vehicle was sent in and the collision occurred, resulting in Mr Grzeszczak falling in his vehicle approximately 14m to the ground and sustaining fatal injuries.”

Many logistics centres use manual handling equipment such as picking trolleys alongside motorised vehicles. They can install computer systems and sensors that automatically prevent collisions between vehicles, or between vehicles and manual handling equipment.

Posted by Mark
18th September 2018
Health & Safety

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