There are significant risks associated with drivers involved in haulage and transport of goods on the road. According to the HSE, reports show that nearly 60 employees were killed over the last 5 years and 5000 seriously injured carrying out duties involved in load distribution. There are many simple steps that can be carried out to significantly reduce these risks. A few simple steps comply with the law and could save someones’ life.
HSE advises that the Freight Transport Association Yearbook and the Road Haulage Association Handbook contain useful summaries of legal requirements and practical advice.
According to the HSE, almost all deaths at work arise from one of the following four scenarios:
…being struck by a moving vehicle, falling loads, falls from vehicles and collasping or overturning vehicles and major injuries are caused by slips and trips, being struck by moving objects, manual handling and falls from less than 2m.
General Guidelines for Securing Loads onto your Vehicle for Distribution
- High Loads – low bridges or other structures can cause dislodgement of freight and injury. Warnings such as a Visual Warning Advice or Height of the vehicle must be displayed where applicable
- Ferry Operations – there are forces likely to be encournted at sea that are not subject to normal road forces; maritime rules are advised from the Department for Transport Maritime Directorate
- Weight of load – friction is not enought to keep the load in place. Under heavy braking, the weight acting in a forward direction (see video) on the vehicle can be equal to it’s weight acting downward on the vehicle. This can cause serious injuy. It is critical that the load is restrained in such a way that the movement of the load on the vehicle is minimised
- Choice of Vehicle – the design and construction of the vehicle should be suitable for the loads it will carry
- Arrangement of Loads – the load platform, bodywork and anchorage points must be in a sound position and suitable for the load
- Anchorage – rope hooks should not be used to anchor loads (see video), dedicated load anchorage points should be used
- Load securing equipment – clamps, bolts and harnesses etc should be strong enough for the weight of the load being carried.
- Sources and more information: HSE Website