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Vehicles at Work

Vehicles at work continue to be a major cause of fatal and major injuries. Every year there are over 5000 incidents involving transport in the workplace. About 50 of these result in people being killed.

Workplace transport is any activity involving vehicles used in a workplace. Vehicles driven on public roads are excluded, except where the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded on a public road adjacent to a workplace. The most common causes of injury are people falling from or being struck by a vehicle, objects falling from a vehicle, or vehicles overturning.

To manage the risks from workplace transport effectively, you need to consider three key areas:

  • Safe site

  • Safe vehicle

  • Safe driver

Safe site

Every site is different and likely to present different hazards and risks. However, a well-designed and maintained site with suitable segregation of vehicles and people will make workplace transport accidents less likely.

Around a quarter of all deaths involving vehicles at work occur as a result of reversing. It also results in considerable damage to vehicles, equipment and property. The most effective way of reducing reversing incidents is to remove the need to reverse by, for example, using one-way systems. Where this is not possible, sites should be organised so that reversing is kept to a minimum.

Safe vehicle

Vehicles used in the workplace should be suitable for the purpose for which they are used. You should carefully consider the working environment in which a specific vehicle will be used and the suitability of that vehicle for the people using it. Consulting with those who will use it is a key part of developing a vehicle specification. The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 set the standard for the design and construction of vehicles used on public roads. Most vehicles used in the workplace should meet this standard, but in some cases there are specific supply standards for mobile plant (eg some lift trucks).

Safe driver

Drivers should be competent to operate a vehicle safely and receive appropriate information, instruction and training for the vehicle they use. It is particularly important that younger or less experienced drivers are closely monitored following their training to ensure they work safely.

The statistics speak for themselves; we must not underestimate the risks posed by vehicles at work. for help in ensuring your workplace, and employees, are adequately protected please contact us here.

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