Securing loads

Key messages

Employers and duty holders must make sure that loads are safely anchored to the vehicle and that the vehicle is strong enough to take the strain.

Questions to ask

  • Are the anchor points designed to spread the weight and forces they receive into the main structure of the vehicle?
  • Do the anchor points have moving parts? If so, they should move as little as possible when loaded by a restraint, as any movement will seriously reduce how effective the restraint is.
  • Are the anchor points compatible with the securing equipment likely to be used?
  • Do the attachments meet the relevant British Standards? For example, eye bolts to BS 427819 and shackles to BS 3551
  • Will the anchor points be firmly attached either directly to the chassis or to a metal crosspiece or outrigger? Anchor points that are secured only to wooden members are unlikely to be strong enough.

Anchor points fixed at or in the area that will be loaded (for example, the load platform of a flat-bed lorry), should not stick out above the level of the loading area when they are not being used (for example, they could sit in a dedicated niche);

The size of any niche should be no larger than is necessary for the anchorage used.

When individual parts need to be replaced because of wear or damage, load-retention strapping, demountable lifting chains, lifting cables and other systems should be replaced in sets wherever this is reasonable. This helps to make sure there are not large differences in the levels of stress that different pieces have been exposed to.


Safety of Loads on Vehicles (Department for Transport) gives detailed guidance about vehicles carrying loads on public roads, much of which is relevant to securing loads to workplace vehicles.

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Updated 2023-08-18