This site manufactures food products and runs 24 hours a day. The site currently uses a permit to work system and has a very good safety record thanks to the use of the system.

The site employs around 50 of its own staff and regularly brings sub-contractors in to complete additional works.

Many of the subcontractors are regulars and well known to the shift operators.

The Details

Early in 2018 the company were moving a production line, to do this they needed to bring in some of their sub-contractors. As normal the sub-contractors reported to the shift manager to understand the requirements for the job and risk assessments and finally sign onto the permit to work.

The job involved one of the sub-contractors using a forklift truck (FLT) to move heavy plant, this sub-contractor was well known to the shift manager as he had been driving FLTs on site for over 13 years, so the permit was signed on and the job started.

About an hour into the job the sub-contractor on the FLT hands slipped causing the  fully loaded forks to smash through a wall; this caused much of the wall and items on the forks to land on the running production line below, fortunately no one was hurt, the job was stopped and the accident assessed.

There was a large amount of damage caused to the “running production line, with repairs (and lost time?) costing in the region of” £600k.

It was found that the permit to work was filled out correctly but on further investigation it was discovered that the sub-contractor’s FLT licence had expired two months previous. This led to the insurance payment being significantly lower than the cost of the damage.

It was discovered that the shift manager and the sub-contractor both knew he had a licence, however, neither had realised or checked it before signing onto the permit.

The Solution

If the site had been using the V Site Pass system, both the shift manager and the sub-contractor would have had this information well in advance, furthermore the system would not issue a verified result for the sub-contractor during sign onto the permit.

If the V site Pass system had been followed only trained and current licence holders would be allowed to sign onto a permit.

After the review it was found the familiarity of the people involved resulted in an oversight in procedure, which would have been caught by the V Site Pass system.