Safe drivers

Key messages

Employers should make sure that people working with vehicles are aware of dangers and safety precautions, and should monitor vehicle use.

Good practice

  • No one should ever try to climb onto a moving vehicle.
  • Passengers should only be allowed on a vehicle if it is designed to accommodate them safely, with suitable seating and restraints.
  • People climbing onto vehicles or other structures should always use the 'three-point hold' rule.
  • People walking on vehicles should always do so carefully, facing in the direction they are walking and keeping their feet well apart and free to move. They should pay attention to the stability and grip of the surfaces they are walking on.
  • To keep their balance, people working with vehicles should not lean backwards, especially near the back of a vehicle (for example, during sheeting).
  • No one should rely on ropes, sheets or loads to support their weight, as they can rip, tear or move.
  • People should only rest their weight on equipment if that is what it is intended for and it is known to be safe. If a sheet, rope or strap needs to be pulled tight, the operator should try to keep one foot behind the other, and keep control of their weight.


An obstruction in the cab or elsewhere is a very common cause of falls, and spilt loads can also be dangerous. Vehicles should be kept as clean and tidy as possible, and especially free from grease or oil on walking or other support surfaces, such as any platform area behind the cab.


People should never use parts of the vehicle not designed as hand or footholds (such as mudguards, bumpers, tracks, hooks) to gain access to any part of a vehicle. Parts of the vehicle not designed to support weight may give way, and their surfaces are likely to be unsuitable.

When getting down from the vehicle, people should use the steps or ladder provided. Workers should not jump down, as this can cause slips and falls, or can lead to injuries like sprained or broken ankles, or long-term knee complaints. The exception to this is workers jumping clear of vehicles where there is a risk of electric shock should they climb down.


People involved in working with or around vehicles should always wear appropriate footwear, which is in good condition and has good tread and ankle support. Where a risk assessment shows that people need to wear a certain type of footwear, that footwear is considered personal protective equipment and so needs to be provided and maintained free of charge to the worker.

Fall protection

In some workplaces it may be practical to fit a harness system to protect people working at height, such as a 'work-restraint' or an 'inertia-reel fall-arrest' system, where harnesses are worn linked to overhead rails.

If you provide 'fall-arrest' systems, think about using signs to show that they must be used. You must also supervise and monitor their use. You must consider maintenance and provide training to users.

If there is a possibility of a fall, by law you must plan for the rescue of anyone who has fallen.

There is more guidance on working safely at height in the HSE site work at height.

Is this page useful?

Updated 2021-12-13