Say Hello, Wave Goodbye Training

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye Plant Safety Awareness Programme was born of the need to raise the profile of one the biggest issues facing the construction industry.

Most people recognise Falls from Height as being the most common cause of fatality in the construction industry, and too few fully understand the risk posed by moving plant and transport. The impact of this programme will be to reduce this significant risk.

We developed the Say Hello, Wave Goodbye Plant Awareness Programme which is a practical, hands on, short training session that has the potential to reduce this risk.

This programme was developed in 2018 after much research. We considered technology as a key component but decided that the key factor was human behaviour.

This was important in that despite advances in technology such as convex mirrors, cameras on the rear of excavators, but people are still equally as important as technology?

Research findings indicated that hazard perception aside, one of the main problems is that mobile plant and equipment, by virtue of its design, has many blind spots.

We were quickly able to determine that the key to the success of the programme was to keep it simple.

Firstly, we identified the most common types of equipment used on our sites, then considered the specific blind spots. From there we then developed a lesson plan that would ensure all the key components would be covered.

This is broadly based on the following principles:

1. Tell them the problem

2. Show them the problem

3. Tell them the hazards

4. Show them the hazards

5. Get them to tell us and show us the problems and hazards

6. Tell them the solutions

7. Get them to demonstrate the solutions.

To ensure the learning was fully understood, training was given to all operatives including the plant operator. After giving an overview of the problem, the trainees are shown the specific blind spots of the equipment and then demonstrated the best place and worse place to stand.

To assist in this, we identify 3 areas:

1. Yellow Zone, this is a relatively safe place in which to stand and be seen by the Operator.

2. Amber Zone, this is an area of increased risk and should not be entered without the permission of the Operator.

In order to get this permission, the Trainee must Wave to the Operator, who must acknowledge the Operative. The Operative must indicate their intention to enter the Amber Zone. Before granting permission, the Operator must place the hydraulic attachment on the ground and raise the safety lever in the cab thus immobilising the machine. The Operator will then wave to the Operative giving them permission to proceed. When the Operative leaves the Amber zone, they must Wave Goodbye to the Operator who can then continue to work.

3. Red Zone, this is a highly hazardous place when positioning oneself, so in addition to the above the Operator must switch off the engine thus completely immobilising the machine.

So as to reinforce the learning, additional aids were developed. These included pocket-sized cards which were issued to Trainees, stickers were also produced and placed inside operating cabs to serve as a reminder of the protocol. Posters were placed around the site and tool-box briefing were given at all projects as to the nature of the course.

This Programme cannot claim to use technology to a great extent nor does it claim to anything that wasn’t already available, the innovation lies in the fact that it is simple, easily understood, engages learners in their own environment and above all is a cost effective solution to what is a “hugely” expensive problem in terms of people and money.

For more information on Say Hello, Wave Goodbye Plant Safety Awareness Training please click here or email [email protected].