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by the NFCC

Control measure

Use competent people to operate on-site machinery

Control measure knowledge

On-site machinery may prove useful to move or separate materials during an incident, such as waste or items of stock; however, this should be done under the supervision of the fire and rescue service. 

Any suitable on-site machinery would need to be identified and should be operated by a competent person. The responsible person may be able to identify appropriate machinery and operators. This activity could create additional hazards, as other people may not be used to working with fire and rescue service personnel. Detailed briefings should therefore take place and any actions should be closely monitored. 

If a competent person will be working within the inner cordon, communication methods, including evacuation signals, should be implemented and understood before commencing operations. 

If the incident may benefit from the use of additional or specialist machinery, this should be proposed to the site owner, who would need to arrange for its hire.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Ensure that personnel are aware that on-site machinery should only be operated by competent people

  • Consider identifying suitable on-site machinery in pre-planning and site inspection visits
  • Consider establishing contingency arrangements about additional or specialist machinery with the site owner; this may need to be hired in the event of an incident

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Liaise with the responsible person (or nominated competent person) about on-site machinery, how it is used and who can use it

  • Identify suitable on-site machinery that will achieve the objectives required
  • Carry out a risk assessment before using on-site machinery
  • Ensure appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and high-visibility clothing is worn in the area where on-site machinery is being operated

  • Provide a full safety brief to fire and rescue service personnel and others
  • Develop agreed communication methods between fire and rescue service personnel and others
  • Consider arranging for a competent person to move any on-site machinery not being used in the incident to an agreed location