Every year about 70 people are killed in workplace transport related accidents. In addition there are more than 1000 major injuries (i.e. accidents resulting in broken knees, amputations etc.) and about 5000 injuries that cause people to be off work for more than three days. These accidents usually involve people being struck or run over by moving vehicles, people falling from vehicles, people being struck by objects falling from vehicles or vehicles overturning. The majority of these accidents are preventable by ensuring effective management control i.e.
(i) safe systems of work (provision and maintenance thereof)
(ii) adequate information, instruction, training and supervision.
HSE has published extensive guidance in HS(G) 136 'Workplace Transport Safety', from which the following summarised advice is taken.
MANAGING THE RISKS
1. Risk Assessment
This is required under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. It entails following five steps, which for workplace transport safety may include the following (as indicative examples only):
(a) Identify hazards within the following categories:
- arrival/departure of vehicles
- travel within the workplace
- loading, unloading and securing loads
- maintenance work
(b) Identify who might be harmed and how
e.g. - employees
- members of the public
(c) Evaluate the risks
i.e. Have suitable measures been taken to control the risks and are the measures adequate?
(d) Record your findings (if you have five or more employees)
- and inform your employees.
(e) Review the assessment from time to time.
ORGANISING FOR SAFETY
Effective safety organisation involves - Control
How well do you promote a positive safety culture through these four elements?
WORKPLACE, VEHICLE & DRIVER SAFETY
(A) Workplace Safety
Â· Compliance is required with Regulation 17 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 regarding safety of traffic routes and pedestrian/vehicular safety.
Â· Design and layout considerations include proper planning of traffic routes; adequate width for the vehicles' activities; either the protection of vulnerable points or preferably the location of traffic routes elsewhere; safe areas for (un)loading; good vision/one-way systems; speed limits and controls/signage; limited headroom warnings and protection; marking of manoeuvring areas; restrictions on access; protection from materials that could fall from vehicles.
Â· Pedestrians. Safety precautions include segregated pedestrian/vehicular routes; guarding of exits from, and corners to, buildings; joint traffic routes to be wide enough and marked as necessary; crossing points of pedestrian and vehicular routes to be marked and fenced as necessary; good visibility/lines of sight; separate doors with vision panels; prohibit/limit/plan for public access.
Â· Parking areas - for both work and private vehicles; located in safe position (i.e. no traversing dangerous areas); well lit.
Â· Loading bays - safe location (i.e. near marshalling areas); at least one pedestrian exit point from the lower level or suitable refuge; marking of edges; fencing may be needed; protection against adverse weather?
Â· Other/miscellaneous considerations include road construction; lighting; roadsigns.
(B) Vehicle Safety
Â· Compliance with Reg. 4 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (suitability for its intended purpose etc.)
Â· Design considerations include stability; safe cab access/egress; braking; external mirrors/CCTV; warning devices; markings; guarding of dangerous parts.
Â· Vehicles - Extent and frequency should not be less than the vehicle manufacturer's instructions. See also element on Motor Vehicle Repair.
Â· Records of Absence and Maintenance should be kept.
Â· Workplace - Clearance of spillage's etc; maintenance of roads, lighting and signage; warnings/barriers for maintenance work being carried on; extraction of exhaust emissions etc.
(D) Drivers Safety
Â· Selection and training should ensure that drivers are capable of operating the vehicle safely; the site operator/employer should also ensure that visiting drivers or contractors are competent primarily by obtaining assurances or evidence from the drivers or their employers.
Â· Training needs should be established from the employers' risk assessment but will usually be greatest for new recruits. Qualification certificates should be examined/checked to ensure that the experience is relevant to your activities/vehicles. Training should cover general job information, training/checks to ensure competency and safety levels, supervision set up (including penalties for non-compliance with safety procedures etc.), a refresher training programme. Training is particularly important for maintenance and repair work. Training records should be kept for each employee. It is good practice to use an authorisation system permitting specified drivers to operate particular vehicles.
Â· It is the employer's responsibility to ensure staff are provided with the appropriate personal protective equipment.
Â· Home Delivery Operations e.g. Moped Deliveries - The rider must hold the appropriate licence for the machine, such as compulsory basic training (CBT).
(E) Contractors, visiting drivers and shared workplaces
Â· The site operator or principal employer should ensure the (safety) suitability of contractors by checking for:
- standards of competence (selection and training)
- previous compliance with safe working practices
- suitability of vehicles for their intended purpose
Â· Relevant health and safety information should also be provided to the contractor. Again, an authorisation system has benefits when controlling the work activities of contractors.
Â· Visiting drivers could also be subject to some of the above checks/processes.
Â· Shared workplaces mean that all employers and any self-employed persons sharing a workplace need to co-ordinate activities and co-operate with each other to ensure safety.
SAFE WORKING PRACTICES
Â· HS (G) 136 "Workplace Transport Safety" devotes a section to examples of safe working practices regarding:
- reversing of vehicles
- parking of vehicles
- access onto vehicles
- loading and unloading
- tipping of loads
- sheeting and unsheeting of loads
These examples can be used to compare your working procedures and see if further improvements could be made.
Â· Appendix 1 to HS (G) 136 is a checklist, intended as a guide to help employers in identifying hazards and in assessing whether existing precautions are adequate or not.
TRANSPORT IN THE WORKPLACE
1. Leaflet IND (G) 199 (L) - Managing Vehicle Safety at the Workplace - Leaflet for Employers' (HSE) www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg199.pdf
2. Leaflet INDG 148. Reversing Vehicles (HSE). http://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/information/reversing.htm