Lorries in the workplace
Accidents caused by moving lorries at the workplace caused 6 deaths, 98 major injuries and 284 over-3-day injuries to employees in the ‘freight by road’ industry, in the 2006/07 workyear. Accidents included drivers being crushed whilst coupling trailers to trucks, being hit by other vehicles (particularly fork trucks) while out of their cabs, and people being crushed by reversing vehicles.
Measures to reduce the risk of lorry accidents include :
Keeping all pedestrians away from truck routes on site;
Co-operation between delivering and receiving companies to ensure you deliver safely;
Minimise the need for reversing. Where it can’t be avoided, ensure reversing areas are well designed, pedestrians are kept away, and provide aids such as reversing alarms, vehicle-CCTV and trained marshalls where appropriate. More guidance is in publications INDG199 and HSG136;
Make sure drivers are aware that truck and trailer parking brakes should always be used never rely on ground being completely level. ‘Spoken word’ handbrake warning devices may be appropriate.
An overview of the issues and practical suggestions for managing health and safety can be found in the free publication INDG199 Workplace transport safety – An overview.
More detailed advice on workplace transport is contained in the HSE priced publication HSG136 Workplace Transport Safety – An employer’s guide.
HSE advice on safe vehicle coupling includes a link to obtain new guidance from the Institute of Road Traffic Engineers (IRTE)
For more information, go to the HSE workplace transport website, which include illustrated case studies to help improve work sites.
Falls from vehicles
Falls in the ‘freight by road’ industry caused 299 major injuries in 2006/07 work year, including 1 fatality. Over two thirds of these falls were from vehicles. Common accidents are falls from trailers, tail-lifts and truck cabs.
Measures to reduce the risk of falls include:
Avoiding the need for climbing onto trailers where possible
Providing steps and handholds where access is still required
Looking for safety features when buying a new vehicle
Trying out different types of footwear to see which provides most slip-resistance for the environment employees will be working in
Workers should never have their back to the edge of the trailer if they are within 1 metre of it. Never walk backwards on a trailer
Don’t jump from a truck cab or trailer
Regularly check the condition of hand-holds to detect deterioration in load-bearing capacity
HSE started a specific campaign to reduce injuries caused by falls from vehicles in October 2007.
Full guidance on the falls from vehicles campaign Further relevant guidance includes safe methods of sheeting and unsheeting vehicles and guidance on preventing falls whilst unloading vehicles.
Slips and trips
There were 483 major injuries and 1473 over-3-day injuries in the ‘freight by road’ industry reported in 2006/07 workyear, caused by slips or trips. People do not slip or trip by chance. Simple steps can be taken to greatly reduce the risk of employees having these accidents.
Measures to reduce the risk of slips and trips include:
Consider floor slip resistance, especially around the edges, when buying a new trailer or tail lift
Try out different types of footwear to see which provides most slip-resistance for the environments employees will be working in. Remember that ‘oil resistant’ has nothing to do with slip resistance
Good housekeeping – encourage a ‘see it, clear it’ culture to keep trucks, trailers and the workplace tidy
If your site has it’s own diesel tank, build a simple bricked kerb to contain small diesel spills, and provide materials (detergents, sand) near the tank, in case of accidental spills
Try to avoid the need to carry large or heavy objects over slippery surfaces – these can obscure a person’s view and prevent them catching their fall if they do slip
Ensure drivers remain alert to the risk of obstacles and kerbs when climbing down from the cab
The research document The underlying causes of falls from vehicles (RR437) includes detailed extra guidance for trucks and trailers, including the slip resistance properties of different types of trailer floors, truck access steps, and tail-lifts.
For more information on slips, go to the main HSE Slips website. Further written guidance can be found at the Slips resource centre, including details of the priced publication (HSG155): ‘Slips and Trips – Guidance for employers on identifying hazards and controlling risks’.
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