Section 1 - Management and supervision of workplace transport risk

Check, in consultation with your employees, that your level of management control/supervision is adequate

Are site rules documented and distributed?
Are your supervisors, drivers and others, including contractors and visiting drivers, aware of the site rules? Are they aware of their responsibilities in terms of helping to maintain a safe workplace and environment?

Preparation for visitors: Drivers/Pedestrians

The site operator or principal employer will need to give the contractor appropriate health and safety information on the work to be carried out, so that the work can be done safely.  For example, the information should be about:

  • The workplace;
  • The routes to be used;
  • The vehicles and equipment on site;
  • Specific hazards; and
  • Other people on site, including other contractors, visiting drivers/pedestrians and so on.
Has a risk assessment been completed for all workplace transport hazards?

A risk assessment is a careful look at what, in your work, could harm people. You should use your risk assessment to help you decide whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm.

A hazard means anything that can cause harm to your workforce or visiting public.

Hazards can include:

  • Being struck by a vehicle;
  • Injuries when loads are moved by hand;
  • Falls from vehicles; and
  • Risk from using cranes or other lifting equipment such as lorry loaders.

A risk is the chance that somebody will be harmed by the hazard (high or low) and how seriously they might be harmed (seriously or not).  High risks are those where someone is very likely to be harmed or where the harm is likely to be serious (or both).

For more information see -

Workplace transport safety - An employer's guide HSG 136 HSE Books 2005 ISBN 0-7176-6154-7

Is the level of supervision sufficient to ensure that safe standards are maintained?

Supervision is an essential part of monitoring safe working.  The level of supervision should reflect how serious the risks involved are and the ability of employees to avoid them.

To ensure that the necessary precautions are taken; safety checks at each stage of the work activity may need to be taken and or the supervisor should remain present while work is being undertaken.  Even where risks are low, some supervision will always be needed to make sure that standards are being maintained.

Are sanctions applied when employees, contractors, etc., fail to maintain these standards?

There will usually need to be a clear system of penalties if anyone fails to maintain standards or follow safe working practices.  For employees, there are usually disciplinary procedures, with the possibility of dismissal. For contractors, there may be financial penalties or termination of their contract (or both).

For drivers who do not follow your site rules and who are not your employees: phone or write to their employer explaining your concerns and asking for their co-operation.  For a serious breach of rules or repeated offences you should consider banning the contractor or vehicle from your site.
Are adequate steps taken to detect unsafe behaviour of drivers of both site and visiting vehicles as well as pedestrians? Are the underlying reasons investigated to correct unsafe behaviours?

It is vital that all employees, contractors, subcontractors, visiting drivers, maintenance staff and workers clearly understand what they have to do and why.

Appointment of a supervisor

Supervisors should be given responsibility to ensure that the necessary precautions are taken.  Security systems (such as patrols, gate staff and camera systems) can be very effective way of checking that workplace rules are being followed.

Is there good co-operation and liaison on health and safety matters between your staff and those who collect or deliver goods?

Employers at a workplace should co-operate as fully as possible with their staff and the employers of anyone involved in a collection or a delivery, to co-ordinate the measures that need to be taken for everyone to meet their health and safety responsibilities.

Check what your drivers and other employees actually do when undertaking their work activities

Do drivers drive with care, eg, use the correct routes, drive within the speed limit and follow any other site rules?

The build quality of outdoor traffic routes should be similar to the standards for public highways.

Employers and managers should ensure all employees and visiting drivers are made aware of the company's site layout and follow the site traffic route.

Drivers should always be competent. In particular, drivers should be instructed and monitored in the way they use vehicles.

Limiting the speed that vehicles move around the workplace is a very important part of controlling traffic. The best way to do this is to use fixed features that mean drivers cannot move too quickly.

Do your drivers and other employees have enough time to complete their work without rushing or working excessive hours? Do you monitor "job and finish" work to ensure drivers are not rushing to cut corners?

Avoid 'turning a blind eye' - bad driving and loading/ unloading practices may have a significant impact on health and safety and may be aggravated and encouraged by poorly managed time and finish operations.  For example, the desire to complete the collection or delivery round at the earliest possible time may encourage drivers to skimp or skip essential drivers' checks, to speed, to attempt difficult manoeuvres too quickly or without adequate assistance, and to encourage loading while moving.

Drivers are particularly vulnerable to 'short cuts' and 'workarounds' due to the desire to finish the allotted task in the shortest possible time.  Practices that are important to good health, safety and welfare but perceived as 'slowing down the job' may be among the first things to be 'short cut' or 'worked around'.

If poorly managed, time and finish operations can lead to new drivers being 'pushed' to compete with their more experienced team mates, leading to fatigue or exhaustion and an increased likelihood of misjudgement or injury.

Monitor the taking of breaks through tachograph and other similar mechanisms should encourage drivers to take regular breaks to recoup and replenish.   This system records speed, distance travelled and stopping periods, and is used to control the driver's legal hours of work.

Drivers Job description should list their employment responsibilities and the duties which they are expected to perform in your workplace.

Are your employees using safe work practices, eg, when (un)coupling, (un)loading, securing loads, carrying out maintenance etc.?

The most suitable securing method should be used for different types of load. 

Operators should make sure they have the correct securing equipment for the types of load carried, checks that they are clean and are in a good working order.

Clamps, special bolts, steel-wire ropes, chains, webbing harnesses, sheets, nets, ropes and shoring bars are all suitable to secure loads, but it is essential to make sure that they are strong enough for the weight of the loads carried. Packing should be used as necessary where the load has sharp edges.

Lifting equipment and load securing accessories need to be suitable for its use, marked with its safe working load, properly maintained, inspected appropriately and thoroughly examined regularly.

For more information see -

Do managers and supervisors routinely challenge and investigate unsafe behaviours they may come across?

Human factors: Behavioural safety approaches - an introduction (also known as behaviour modification)

For more information see -

  • Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974:
    Section 2(1)(2)(3):  General duties of employer to employees
    Section 7:  Duties of employees
  • Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
Do managers and supervisors set a good example, for instance by obeying vehicle/pedestrian segregation instructions, and by wearing high visibility garments where these are needed?

Measuring Workplace Transport Safety Performance

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Updated 2024-02-09