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Logistics - Frequently asked questions

How do I carry out a risk assessment?

There is no set way of undertaking a risk assessment but the simplest and most straightforward way is to consider our publication Controlling the risks in the workplace. This document outlines the steps for a risk assessment in simple terms, and it will help you focus on the risks that really matter in your workplace.

You can find more information on the HSE Risk Assessment website.

We also have example risk assessments for road haulage and warehouses and cold storage warehouses that may help you complete your risk assessment.

When can cages be used on forklift trucks?

Working platforms or 'cages' on forklift trucks are 'non-integrated', i.e. the forklift driver controls the movement of the truck including the cage. There are no controls in the cage to control the truck or cage movement.

The use of non-integrated platforms for planned work is not generally allowed as there is now other purpose-built access equipment, such as the wide variety of mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs), which are better suited to carrying out work at heights and which offers a higher level of safety for the person using the platform. These are readily available for hire.

Non-integrated platforms can be used for occasional use. Some examples of occasional use are as follows;

  • non-routine maintenance tasks for which it is impractical to hire in purpose built access equipment,
  • the replacement of light fittings in high rise warehouses if the task is not carried out as part of periodic maintenance operations,
  • tasks that would otherwise be carried out using less safe means of access such as ladders, because it is impractical to hire in purpose designed people lifting equipment due to the short duration and occasional nature of the task, e.g. clearing a blocked gutter
  • checking on high-level damage to racking suspected of causing an immediate risk or checking on the condition of damaged roof lights.

You can read more on this topic in guidance note PM28 Working platforms (non-integrated) on forklift trucks.

Where can I find out more information about the manual handling assessment chart (MAC)?

More information about the MAC is available on the MAC website. The MAC charts help to identify high-risk manual handling activities. They were made available to HSE and local authority inspectors in November 2002, and the general public in August 2003. They are suitable for use by employers, employees and their representatives.

Are there any recommended weight limits for manual lifting?

The law does not include maximum weight limits. The main legal requirements require avoidance or control of risk. HSE does not recommend weight limits. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) guidance gives basic guideline figures for lifting and lowering which indicate when a more detailed risk assessment should be carried out.

How do I stop slip accidents happening in icy conditions?

Slip and trip accidents increase during the Autumn and Winter season for a number of reasons: there is less daylight, leaves fall onto paths and become wet and slippery and cold weather spells cause ice and snow to build up on paths. There are effective actions that you can take to reduce the risk of a slip or trip. Regardless of the size of your site, always ensure that regularly used walkways are promptly tackled.

More information is available in our slips and trips in icy conditions and winter weather section.

Can metal profile surfaces such as chequer plate be used to improve grip on things like steps, platforms and walking surfaces on vehicles?

Work is still being done on trying to properly understand the performance and properties of these ‘profiled’ floor surfaces, but it is becoming clear that they often do not have the slip resistance qualities that people expect. Metal chequer plate is in widespread use such as on steps, gantries, vehicles and mobile work equipment. Experiences in practice indicate that metal profiles can be particularly slippery when wet. It is believed that the slipperiness of profiled metal surfaces is more closely linked to the surface microroughness of the top surface of the cleats (often very low microroughness) than any attributes of the cleat pattern, size and depth.

What is a RIDDOR incident?

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR), puts duties on employers, the self-employed and people in control of work premises (the Responsible Person) to report serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses).

Extensive guidance on how and what to report is found on the HSE RIDDOR website.

These reports enable the enforcing authorities (either the HSE or Local Authority) to identify where and how risks arise and to investigate serious incidents and trends.

As well as a legal requirement to report such incidents, internal investigation by your organisation can assist you to:

  • identify trends in accidents and ill-health;
  • identify underlying causes;
  • establish the effectiveness of your management systems;
  • identify the need to review and/or improve such management systems.

Who do I report a RIDDOR incident to and how?

Extensive guidance is available on HSE's RIDDOR website on:

2011-05-10