Businesses looking to take advantage of commercial waste incentive programmes may be creating conditions that endanger their employees, according to leading forks and attachment specialists, Invicta.

The use of roll-on roll-off skips, up to 36.5 metres in length and 2.5 metres high, means operators are routinely working at height in unsafe conditions, increasing the risk of falls.

Invicta managing director, Peter Sharpe, explains: “Most skips carried by forklifts require a forward tipping action to unload, but the height and design of these super-sized skips often sees operators standing on mud guards or climbing the side of the yard skip to reach the release mechanism.”

Invicta has been involved in the manufacture and supply of tipping skips for over 20 years and has developed various skip options, including a unique ‘4 way entry’ base, bottom emptying skip and was the first to design and manufacture an auto-tipping version.

The unique mechanism ‘unlocks’ the tipping action when the base is lowered to the edge of the receiving skip, with a secondary locking mechanism to prevent accidental discharge. A combination of gravity and truck movement returns the attachment to its original position.

“We’ve designed the auto-tip mechanism to eliminate the need to get out of the cab,” adds Peter. “Operators have immediately seen its potential, allowing them to get on with their work and not exit the cab, which the safest place for them. The option is now a standard feature on our tipping skip range. Manual release mechanisms will always be required, but the option of the auto-tip function improves efficiency as well as adding safety.”

Now the auto-tip function is available as a bolt-on item to the standard tipping skip, allowing customers to upgrade as their business grows.

Says Peter: “At its inception a decade ago, the auto-tipping mechanism was a specific model, and welded in place. Today, as manufacturing procedures have developed and customers have seen the value of the feature, we are able to bolt it on to our standard skip range. It means customers can still add it at a later date, even if they currently don’t have the need for the high level tipping function.”

Businesses committed to maximising recycling and minimising landfill have increased in numbers in recent years, with various providers offering comprehensive collection and recycling services to all types of industry groups and businesses throughout the UK.

Whilst the move towards a ‘zero waste economy’ has been generally welcomed by the government, injuries from falls are an increasing concern.

In June 2015, a Chichester company specialising in the recycling of waste plastic was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay costs of £1,043 following a worker’s fall of 2.5 metres from the top of a large roll on roll-off waste skip while manually tipping out non-recyclable waste plastic from a tonne bulk bag.

The company was found breach in of Section 3(1) of Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and Section 6 (3) of Work at Height Regulations 2005

HSE Inspector Suzanne Matthews said: “Had the company carried out a proper risk assessment of the work, they would have identified both the foreseeable work at height risk involved and how that risk could have been avoided by choosing a system of work which eliminated the need for employees to work at height altogether.”

Invicta Forks and Attachments is the largest manufacturer of mechanical fork attachments in the UK, stocking many product lines from tipping skips and work platforms through to lifting jibs and drum handling equipment. The new auto-tipping skip is now available from stock. For more information visit www.invicta-attachments.co.uk