Key messages

Employers have a duty under health and safety law to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees.

This page summarises the main legislation applying to the use of workplace transport:

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act)

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 , also referred to as HASAW or HSW, is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in Great Britain. The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for enforcing the Act. More information is available on the HSE Legislation website.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

These require a risk assessment to be carried out to identify the nature and levels of risk associated with a work activity. Appropriate precautions need to be taken to eliminate or control these risks. A proportionate response according to the risk is required. The higher the level of risk identified through the assessment, the greater the measures that will be needed to reduce it. Risk assessment provides the basis for safe systems of work to eliminate or reduce risks as far as possible. Safe systems of work are formal procedures which should be followed to ensure that work is carried out safely. They are necessary where risks cannot be controlled adequately by other means. Employers must ensure that the systems of work to be followed are properly implemented and monitored, and that details have been given to those at risk

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

These regulations apply to all work equipment, and they require that:

  • work equipment should be suitable for the purpose for which it is used or provided, and should be properly maintained and inspected at suitable intervals;
  • where the use of work equipment is likely to involve specific risks, the use, maintenance etc of that equipment is restricted to people given the task of using and/or maintaining it; and
  • users, supervisors and managers have received adequate training for purposes of health and safety, including:
  • training in the methods which may be adopted when using work equipment;
  • any risks which such use may entail;
  • precautions to be taken.

The Regulations also require that lift trucks which carry a seated ride-on operator should be fitted with a restraining system, such as a seat belt, if risk assessment indicates that there is a risk of the vehicle rolling over and the operator falling from the operating position and being crushed between the truck and the ground.

Regulation 9 requires that operators of rider-operated lift trucks are trained to use the equipment safely. Guidance on training is provided in Rider operated lift trucks: Operator training and safe use, Approved Code of Practice and Guidance.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

These regulations require that workplaces are organised to ensure that vehicles and pedestrians can move around safely. This includes:

  • sufficient lighting to enable people to work and move around safely (including not obscuring lights by stacking goods in front of them);
  • construction of floors and traffic routes to ensure that they are suitable for the purpose for which they will be used and do not expose users to health and safety risks;
  • organisation of traffic routes to enable pedestrians and vehicles to circulate safely; and
  • the need to ensure that doors or gates which can be pushed open from either side give a clear view, when shut, of the space close to both sides. General information on Workplace health, safety and welfare is available on the HSE web site.

The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998

LOLER deals with specific hazards/risks associated with lifting equipment and lifting operations. Managers should ensure that every lifting operation, including those involving a lift truck, is:

  • properly planned by a competent person;
  • appropriately supervised; and
  • done in a safe manner.

For most lift-truck work, planning will usually be a matter for the operator, who should therefore have the appropriate training, knowledge and expertise. While experienced lift truck operators may not be under direct supervision every time they carry out routine lifts, they may need to be supervised if required to lift an unusual load, or to lift it in potentially hazardous conditions.

Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996

Free Leaflets - Hazards at work - Safety signs and signals

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995

An HSE information sheet is available.

Rider-operated lift trucks: Operator training and safe use. Approved Code of Practice

This relates to the provision of basic training for lift-truck operators. Further information can be found in HSE publication Rider-operated lift trucks - L117

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