Safety Alert - Tipping Operations - Shared by Port of Waterford

Published: Monday, June 3, 2019 - 13:02

PSS along with Port Industry Chief Executive has identified six key priorities for the sector, one of which is " Early Information Sharing". This sharing of early information among port members can help prevent a similar occurrence in other PSS member ports. This is a proactive method of managing Health & Safety within organizations and is a leading indicator of a positive safety culture.

A fatality occurred when a lorry driver was buried under a tipping load. The driver had taken on a load of grain at the port for transfer to a nearby off-site store.  On arrival at the store, during the tipping operation, the driver was buried under the load.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.


For more information on the incident, lesson learned, actions that were taken and recommendations on the Tipping Operations incident can be found  below

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is currently investigating. 

Tipping and tailgate release controls on lorries can differ from vehicle to vehicle.  There is no statutory requirement to have automatic tailgate release controls in the cab or other safe position or to have 'hold-to-operate' controls.

Duty holders undertaking tipping operations are advised to:

  • Review your operations and risk assessments.  Any tipping operation should have a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and controls applied to reduce the risk to as low as reasonably practicable
  • Start at the top of the hierarchy of controls and eliminate the risk where reasonably practicable.  Industry best practice is that the driver/operator should remain in the cab or in a place of safety during tipping operations.  A method for achieving this is to use vehicles where the driver can sheet, tip and release the tailgate automatically from the safety of the cab.
  • Where automatic controls are not fitted and the driver/operator has to exit the cab to tip, review your equipment and procedures.  The review may include but is not limited to questions such as: Is it practical to use only safely positioned, 'hold-to-operate' controls that are designed to prevent the driver/operator from entering the hazard zone whilst tipping?  Do your procedures state clearly the safe order in which to release the tailgate and tip?  Have you provided adequate instruction, information, training, and supervision?” 

Special thanks to our member Port of Waterford for sharing this alert with the rest of the industry.