The Health and Safety Executive has issued a warning over the potential dangers of using mobile plant after a series of accidents involving two machines commonly used by construction firms.

The HSE is warning the industry of the dangers involved in using mobile elevating working platforms and telehandlers, including the possibility of an operator becoming trapped against the control panel.

The executive is also talking to manufacturers about potential modifications to their design after it emerged that an average of one worker is killed every year by the equipment.

Geoff Cox, the HSE’s head of operations for Yorkshire and the North-east, said: “There are common features of a number of fatal accidents, and it’s those we want to bring to the attention of the construction industry.

“If you use these types of plant, you need to know what the risks may be and how to check whether you might have a problem.”

Cox said the HSE was concerned with two specific risks. The first is the danger of a mobile elevating working platform operator becoming trapped against an overhead or adjacent object that prevents the controls from being released. A council worker was killed in this way last year.

The second danger is poor visibility from telehandlers, which is particularly dangerous on a site with poor pedestrian segregation.