During routine works by a contractor on a wellington carriageway, a vehicle within a worksite self-mobilized and veered out of control that resulted in a team member losing their life. While the cause has not been confirmed, if the contractor had use a multi-barrier approach it would have gone a long way to prevent the incident.
What you should know
- There are always risks associated with parking vehicles on inclines, even a small slope, or uneven ground can result in a vehicle rolling. Therefore it is imperative that all necessary precautions are as incidents associated with failures of vehicles on slopes can result in serious consequences. Ensure multiple barriers are in place.
- All reasonable practical steps must be taken to mitigate risks of parking on an incline, the following MUST be considered when safely parking a vehicle on a slop:
- Engage the handbrake fully and check it is fully engaged (ensuring you have engaged the correct break before exiting the vehicle);
- Turn the wheel towards the footpath or shoulder (safe direction) so that the vehicle will hit the kerb, instead of rolling downhill should the handbrake fail;
- When you park on a slope, put the vehicle in a gear opposite the slope. For example, if your tail is downhill, engage 1st (a forward gear), or if the nose is downhill engage reverse. For automatic transmission shift into Park;
- For steeper slopes, use chocks under the rear wheels and remember to remove them.
How to use a wheel chock:
Safety laws suggest that wheel chocks are essential for every commercial vehicle. Wheel chocks are used
to stop vehicles from rolling when they are parked – especially on a hill.
- Use a wheel chock that is approximately 25% of the diameter of your vehicle tyre (eg a 760 mm diameter tyre would require a 190 mm high wheel chock).
- Park your vehicle correctly
- 3.Place the wheel chock snugly into the tyre under the right and left wheels on the bottom of the slope
Keep in mind when you are using wheel chocks:
- If the angle of the slope is more than 10 degrees then this can increase the risk of the vehicle running over the wheel chock, so you may want to have a larger chock than 25% of the diameter. If the slope is over 16.6% the wheel chock may not have enough restraint, so always try to park on the flattest ground available.
- The surface of the road or ground you are parking on is not slippery or icy.
- Never use bricks, rocks, wood or any other make–shift material that is around your site. Only use wheel chocks that are up to New Zealand’s safety regulations.
- Keep a set of wheel chocks in your commercial vehicle trailer.