All employees should follow Road Safety (RSA) in line with legislation ie: follow the speed limit, wear safety belts etc. Health and Safety legislation requires that all vehicles used for work are maintained in good condition and are safe to use and fit for purpose. All employees should take the time to read information specific to transport and storage on the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) website.
Drivers are responsible for reporting any maintenance required on vehicles to their employers in writing and are expected to be actively involved in keeping the vehicles in good working repair of an everyday nature ie: tyre pressure, oil levels, water, lights etc. A first aid kit should be kept and maintained in each vehicle and any supplies required for same should be reported by the driver in writing.
All staff are to be aware of the height of their vehicles and to avoid restrictive entrances which this height exceeds. Staff should be aware of blind spots when reversing and always utilise the second person to assist with this activity. Always use the handbrake appropriately and when necessary blocks for wheel stability when parked on an incline to avoid any risk of a crushing accident from occurring.
Simple guidelines to follow are:
- Think before you lift (manual handling)
- Keep workplace clean & tidy
- Keep fire exits clear of any hazards
- Ensure electrical cables aren’t causing obstructions
- Use PPE when appropriate
Vigilance is a key aspect of remaining safe in the workplace. Always assess the situation before commencing any work.
The most common accidents in this line of work result from:
- Lorries in the workplace
- Falls from vehicles
- Manual handling (accounts for approx. 40% of all injuries in this sector)
- Load security
- Lack of appropriate rest periods.
Manual handling in this sector is a huge area of concern for employers. Examples of the issues that contribute to ineffective management of the hazard of manual handling include the lack of safe systems of work for handling of very heavy loads, no labeling of weight information on product, the lack of planning for delivery of loads to clients, the unavailability of handling aids and the lack of instruction and training.
The 2012 Health and Safety Authority figures for non-fatal injuries in the transport and storage sector show that over 40% of all non-fatal injuries were sprain/strain due to physical strain on the musculoskeletal system, resulting from unsafe systems of work for handling loads. Further analysis of this data shows that the total lost work days due to sprain/strain injuries was 11,504 or thirty one lost work years. (HSA Guide on manual handling risk management in transport and storage)
For further information on Health & Safety please see below a list of useful websites: