RR793 - Footwear and modifications to goods vehicles in the UK road haulage sector
A survey of goods vehicle drivers
The central aim of this survey was to produce a set of baseline data, based on the opinions of HGV drivers, that described practices within the UK road haulage sector relating to slip, trip and falls risk factors. The survey explored risk factors relating to footwear and vehicle safety fittings eg ladders, steps, handrails and load bed covering. The research employed face-to face sample survey methodology that allowed reasonable generalisation to the UK population of HGV drivers.
Only two thirds of the sampled drivers were issued with footwear specially designed for their work. Usage levels of slip resistant footwear were high at 88%. Ladders/steps were more common than handrails. However, where fitted, handrails were more likely to be used than ladder/steps (82% compared to 56%). Load beds were much more likely to have been subjected to a cleaning process (79%) during the previous year than either replaced (6.5%), or repaired (23%).
The survey showed a clear association between size of organisation and the likelihood of rivers being provided with work specific footwear. The data also show a statistically significant association between organisation size and:
- risk taking behaviour (ie jumping down to the ground from a vehicle without using ladders/steps); and
- the likelihood that vehicles are checked/inspected for problems that may cause slip, trip and fall related accidents.
This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSES policy.
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