Workplace transport

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Workplace transport

Every year people have accidents at work involving transport.

Some of these accidents result in people being killed. People are knocked over, run over or crushed. People also fall from vehicles while getting on or off or loading and unloading.

The key safety principle is to separate pedestrians and vehicles wherever possible.  This involves setting out the workplace in as safe a way as possible by restricting vehicle movements, having good lighting and signage.

It's simpler to make a loading bay inaccessible to pedestrians than a car park outside a supermarket or warehouse. Creating separate walkways in car parks can help reduce the risk of injury, as can good signage, safe driving and the use of a banksperson to guide a reversing delivery vehicle.

The HSE website has some useful tips on improving safety:

Safe site:

  • Plan your workplace so that pedestrians are safe from vehicles
  • Provide a one-way system if you can
  • Provide separate routes for pedestrians and vehicles where possible
  • Avoid reversing where possible
  • Provide appropriate crossing points where pedestrians and traffic meet
  • Use 'Highway Code' signs to indicate vehicle routes, speed limits, pedestrian crossings etc
  • Make sure lighting is adequate where people and vehicles are working
  • Make sure road surfaces are firm and even
  • Make sure there are safe areas for loading and unloading
  • Try to provide separate car parking for visitors as they may not know your site

Safe vehicles:

  • Ensure vehicles are suitable for the purpose for which they are used
  • Maintain vehicles in good repair, particularly the braking system, steering, tyres, lights, mirrors and specific safety systems
  • Remove the need for people to climb up on vehicles where possible, eg by providing gauges and controls that are accessible from ground level
  • Reduce the risk of falling when people have to climb onto a vehicle or trailer by providing well-constructed ladders, non-slip walkways and guard rails where possible
  • Provide reversing aids such as CCTV where appropriate
  • Fit rollover protective structures and use seat belts where fitted

Safe drivers:

  • Train lift truck operators and authorise in writing
  • Reassess lift truck operators at regular intervals, e.g. every three to five years, or when new risks arise such as changes to working practices
  • Train drivers of other vehicles to a similar standard
  • Make sure all drivers are supervised (including those visiting the site)
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