Construction Site Safety - Selection of Vehicle Drivers
Whilst they may not travel anywhere near as fast as an ordinary road car, the vehicles that move about on a construction site are likely to be much bigger and heavier, meaning that they pose just as much of a risk to the health and safety of both the driver and the other people on site. These vehicles include excavators, tipper trucks, bulldozers, and many other pieces of heavy plant equipment. Colliding directly with a person or with a structure such as scaffolding or a fuel storage tank can result in death or serious injuries being sustained. Similarly, reckless or inappropriate driving of the vehicles can pose a risk to the driver and any passengers of the vehicle itself if it is involved in a collision or it rolls/tips over for example through excessive speed when cornering.
The risks and potential serious consequences on safety and health mean that driving a vehicle on a construction site is a serious responsibility and should not be bestowed on just anyone. Whilst only those who have had suitable training on the safe operation of the vehicle should be allowed to drive/operate it, their must also be stringent selection criteria to ensure that people who are not suitable to be trusted with such equipment are not allowed to drive it.
This selection criteria will often vary slightly depending upon the particular vehicle and the nature of the site itself, but there are a number of common traits. One is the age of the worker. Whilst it is a large generalisation and certainly not always true, younger workers are likely to be less careful and more reckless when driving a vehicle. Whether this is due to inexperience or trying to show off or 'prove something' to others on the site, younger workers may take more risks such as driving too fast or showing off to their friends. It may also be the case that the vehicle may need to be driven on a public road, in which case driving legislation with minimum age regulations will apply so that only those over a certain age are legally allowed to drive the vehicle anyway.
Along with a person's age and their mentality/trustworthiness, their physical condition is also an important consideration when selecting or allowing someone to drive a vehicle on site. The driver needs to have good mobility to enable them to see properly when manoeuvring, as well as being able to easily get in/on the vehicle, or, perhaps more importantly, out/off it in the event of an accident. Just as it is a requirement for driving on a public road, good eyesight is essential for a site vehicle driver as they need to be able to see potential hazards ahead whilst they have enough space and time to take action such as making an emergency stop, not to mention being able to accurately gauge distances whilst driving and performing manoeuvres. Good hearing can also be crucial to enable drivers to hear warnings or instructions whilst they drive.