As you may know, following several fatal incidents involving semi–automatic quick hitches, discussion between the industry and the HSE led to an agreement from European manufacturers to cease the supply of this type of hitch into the UK from October 2008.
In November 2009, the Construction Plant–hire Association issued two safety notices on behalf of the Strategic Forum (one for operators the other for contractors, plant owners and other duty holders) reinforcing the guidance they’d issued earlier in the year.
These listed 10 precautions applicable to all types of quick hitch – manual, semi–automatic and fully automatic, including those that lock onto both pins.
And more recently, in February 2010, the Strategic Forum for Construction Plant Group has issued free guidance ‘Best Practice Guide – Safe Use of Quick Hitches’ (www.cpa.uk.net/p/Quick-Hitches/ ), which HSE report as being well–received.
It’s estimated there are in the region of 100,000 quick hitch attachments in use in the UK.
The IOSH Construction Group Committee would like to provide the Strategic Forum for Construction (Health and Safety Group), HSE and others with up–to–date information about awareness, uptake and application of the new guidance; current practice in quick hitch use; and an indication of users’ progress and plans for phasing out semi–automatic quick hitches, based on responses from construction health and safety professionals.
If you’re directly involved with organisations that use this type of plant, please assist IOSH by completing this short questionnaire online, by 22 October 2010. The data will be collected electronically and selected results will be posted on the IOSH website.
Please follow this link to take part in the survey: