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H&S or Police or no-body?


Turvey
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Just a general question regarding the driving of refuse/recycling wagons.

What's the legality regarding the driver leaving his seat to help load the vehicle bearing in mind that it has to be running to enable loading? Also bearing in mind that I know for a fact that car drivers have been cautioned and fined for leaving vehicles running to enable de-frosting. 

Personally, I feel there is a Health and Safety issue because as soon as he leaves his seat he is no longer in control of the vehicle and is in no way able to stop it if it starts moving ie handbrake failure/not applying it correctly etc nor is he able to stop the machinery if he is the other side of the street or up an alley etc collecting bins. God forbid but "IF" something happened, who be liable? The driver, or the employer? 

There's also a potential theft problem, although I don't think many joyriders would actually choose a bin lorry to go cruising in, but it's still a possibility. More likely someone could pull the keys out and chuck them 'For a laugh!' 

Just asking out of curiosity, not connected with my job at all you understand :wink: Would be interesting to get both the police and the H&S perspective on this. 

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Leaving a vehicle running while unmanned (quitting) us a non endorsable fixed penalty offence however refuse vehicles are different as they use a power take off (pto) system to operate hydraulics etc so need to be running whilst doing so.

Sent from my SM-G930F

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Cheers Clive, So it's OK to leave it running in the street unmanned? Just wondering what would happen if something serious happened and someone got hurt. I know the chances are very slim BUT how would it be viewed if a kid climbed into the cab, let the handbrake off and the truck careered off a pier? Would/could the driver be charged with neglect say? 

 

Think it's a dodgy grey area myself. 

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I'm pretty sure that they have a runstop system which won't allow the vehicle to move unless the nominated driver is in the cab.

Usually they stay put and the other guys jump out anyway.

Sent from my SM-G930F

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There is also every possibility they are fitted with the same system as emergency and recovery vehicles, by pressing a button usually hidden from view the engine can stay running with the keys removed, but should someone try to drive off in it without knowing how to disengage the system then as soon as the clutch is depressed or put into gear the engine will automatically cut out and not restart.

And as mentioned the use a PTO to power the hydraulics of the system to allow lifting the bins and using the crushing rams so the engine has to be running for that system to work.

However H&S wise really the driver should be in the vehicle at all times in my opinion, they should have enough staff to do the bins in the truck.

 

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Bin wagons do have an emergency stop button on the back of the trucks and, the ones I've seen anyway, they stick out like a sore thumb.

IF the handbrake were to fail then it means an air loss. In trucks when there's air loss the brakes come on automatically and can't be released until the air leak is fixed.

However I have noticed that the driver is always in his driving seat whilst his 3 mates do the bins. In Manchester anyway.

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I have never seen a bin lorry driver get out his cab to operate controls at the back - it would slow them down too much anyway.

as for the handbrake failing, even if it did regardless of if the bin lorry is being used or parked at the bakers at lunch time, there's not much anyone can do. Someone tried to be the hero up this way not long ago with a Biffa bin lorry when the handbrake failed on a hill, I believe he was killed by it. 

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Our normal refuse and recycling crews are five man teams: four doing the bins plus the driver.  The driver doesn't leave the cab

However, the garden waste crew alternates between a three man team and a two man team. 

When it's two of them, the driver does leave the cab and gather the bins 6 or so houses in front of the ,whilst his accomplice does 6 or so bins behind.  It's not as efficient as having a separate bin crew plus driver, not entirely sure why the contractor does it this way.  Possibly because not everyone has a garden waste bin, those of us who compost don't and it's a subscription only bin too.

 

20 hours ago, Turvey said:

although I don't think many joyriders would actually choose a bin lorry to go cruising in,

The odd couple in Sussex do, apparently:lol:

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/13894590.display/

 

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Thanks for all your input.

The refuse/recycling wagons up here DON'T have the system you mention whereby the vehicle can't be driven without hitting a button. However they do have 5 emergency stop buttons, 4 around the vehicle and 1 in the cab. 

Regarding drivers not getting out and just letting the crew do the job, recently we've had some route changes been made and on a couple of them the powers that be decided that they weren't needing a 3 man crew and that a driver and 1 man was sufficient. Works fine out in the country but not so good in town so the driver is in and out nearly as much as his 2nd man. There are also a couple of jobs whereby it's just the driver only! They've told us that seeing as we won't have a banksman on those routes we're not allowed to reverse! On one of those routes one of the bins is located at the end of a narrow pier! 

I spent an hour yesterday looking through the H&S website but couldn't find anything specific to leaving refuse vehicle cabs unattended but running :unsure:

Like I said I'm pretty sure will happen but it would be interesting to see what happens if the worst came to the worst. Just hope it doesn't happen when I'm the driver.

 

 

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1 hour ago, GMX said:

  It's not as efficient as having a separate bin crew plus driver, not entirely sure why the contractor does it this way. 

 

Down to pure economics. One less man, one less wage!

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