Transport Safety in the Workplace
A major cause of injury and death in the workplace is the result of accidents with vehicles. There are a number of regulations surrounding health and safety at work that make employers responsible for assessing the risks of transport in their workplace, taking appropriate measures to reduce dangers, and inform their employers of correct protocols to lessen the risk of injury.
Assessing Workplace Transport Risks
Any vehicle operating within a site of work is known as workplace transport. This can be cars, lorries, construction vehicles and mobile equipment and machinery. Travel on public roads, even for work, is covered by public traffic laws rather than health and safety regulations.
Injury can be caused by transport at work when people are hit by vehicles, fall from them or are hit by objects which are loaded on the vehicle. Employers should assess the risk of these kinds of accident by looking at things such as how many vehicles tend to be moving on site at any one time, how many pedestrian workers are on site, whether objects can easily fall from vehicles and if so when this is likely to happen. Employers should repeat risk assessments regularly in case circumstances change.
Reducing the risks
Once risks have been assessed the employer should communicate the dangers to their workforce and advise them on techniques or procedures to improve their safety. Employers can also take steps to improve working conditions, for example, installing extra lighting to improve a driver’s field of vision, and reduce danger.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 state that work equipment, including vehicles, should be fit for the specific purpose and operated by fully qualified employees, and it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure this happens. Regular maintenance on vehicles is essential to prevent faults and ensuing accidents, and supervision or assessment of vehicle operatives could be beneficial to ensure that they are driving as safely as they should be.