A trailer loaded with bypass dust was parked by a driver on a slight incline. Later on, the same driver reversed up to the trailer, connected the king pin, and completed the pull test before climbing out of his cab to secure the trailer sheet.
He climbed on to the back of the tractor unit and connected the compressed air lines, which released the trailer brakes. After a few seconds, he realised that the vehicle was moving and jumped clear. He then ran alongside the vehicle attempting to disconnect the air to reapply the brakes, this action put him at great risk. The vehicle picked up speed, jack knifed and collided with a site building.
A review of the incident identified the following key findings:
- The driver had been attending the site for around a year and was familiar with the process and had received full training.
- A safe system of work was in place.
- The driver had been re-inducted only a few days before.
- The park brake on the trailer had not been activated by the driver.
- The handbrake on the tractor unit had not been applied by the driver.
- The audible and visual alarms were in working order. These are activated when the handbrake is not applied and the cab door is opened.
The driver was very fortunate to avoid serious injury to himself and others