Fleet News

Take care when loading vehicles says HSE

The transport industry continues to have one of the worst records for major injuries due to falls from vehicles during the loading and unloading of goods.

Figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2004/05 showed that transport accounted for 31% of all workplace fatalities.

With an estimated three million people working with vehicles as part of their normal job, the HSE's on-going workplace transport campaign warns workers to take sensible precautions to minimise risks in all vehicle related work.

The latest focus is to ensure they do not set themselves up for a fall.

Marking the current awareness campaign, Judith Hackitt, chair of the health and safety commission (HSC) said, "Every year, 2,000 workers are seriously injured after falling from their vehicle. It is vital that those who work in the transport industry take this issue seriously.

“Those who buy and manage the many fleets of workplace vehicles up and down the country have an opportunity to set a real leadership example."

The awareness campaign aims to help those who are responsible for buying and managing workplace vehicles with simple steps that can be taken to improve the safety of vehicles:

  • Vehicles should be well maintained and checked regularly
  • Procedures for loading and unloading should avoid the need to work at height where possible
  • Floor surfaces should be anti slip when possible, or, slip-resistant footwear provided
  • If work at height is unavoidable steps, platforms and other safety equipment should be provided.

    Extensive guidance and advice, including safety checklists, is available to vehicle buyers, managers and workers at an interactive falls from vehicle homepage:

    www.hse.gov.uk/fallsfromvehicles/index.htm.

    Single copies of the CD Rom version of campaign materials are available from HSE Books using stock code MISC748a from:

    www.hsebooks.com/Books/default.asp. .

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