Lorries in the workplace

Accidents caused by moving lorries at the workplace caused 2 deaths, 79 major injuries and 249 over-3-day injuries to employees in the 'freight by road' industry, in the 2009/10 work year. Accidents included drivers being crushed whilst coupling trailers to trucks, being hit by other vehicles (particularly fork trucks) while out of their cabs, and people being crushed by reversing vehicles.

Measures to reduce the risk of lorry accidents include :

  • Keeping all pedestrians away from general vehicle (eg truck and forklift) routes on site;
  • Co-operation between delivering and receiving companies to ensure you deliver safely;
  • Minimise the need for reversing. Where it can't be avoided, ensure reversing areas are well designed, pedestrians are kept away, and provide aids such as reversing alarms, vehicle-CCTV and trained marshals where appropriate. More guidance is in publications INDG199 and HSG136;
  • Make sure drivers are aware that truck and trailer parking brakes should always be used. Never rely on ground being completely level. 'Spoken word' handbrake warning devices may be appropriate.

An overview of the issues and practical suggestions for managing health and safety can be found in the free publication INDG199 Workplace transport safety – An overview .

More detailed advice on workplace transport is contained in the HSE publication HSG136 Workplace Transport Safety – An employer's guide. HSE advice on safe vehicle coupling includes a link to obtain new guidance from the Institute of Road Traffic Engineers (IRTE)

For more information, go to the HSE workplace transport website, which include illustrated case studies to help improve work sites.

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