HSE Research Reports - Loading of vehicles
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The Health and Safety Executive have recently released several research reports relating to the planning, handling, loading and securing of loads for transport using goods-type vehicles on the public highway.
Research Report RR 1078 – The use of vehicle structure in load securing on heavy good vehicles - assesses the use of a vehicle’s structure such as the headboard, bulkheads, side-posts, fold-up sides etc. to ensure that loads are adequately secured during the loading and unloading process and for safe transport.
This report highlights that significant deficiencies exist in the awareness of both the necessity of load securing and how it can be achieved and notes that awareness of the risks of load movement appeared to be low amongst drivers. It proposes that the concept of load securing systems be given more prominence and that use of the vehicle’s structure - providing they are structurally strong enough to resist forward movement of the load, protecting the driver from ingress of the load to the cab - should form part of the planning process for load securing.
This report also notes that use of a vehicle’s structure can reduce additional risks such as working at height, manual handling in terms of applying lashings, as well as time saved during the loading process.
Research Report RR 1079 – Access to and work on flatbed vehicles – looks at the contributory factors and areas of concern around the loading of flatbed vehicles where drivers, site staff or members of the public have been injured or killed during the loading process due to load handling or slips, trips and falls.
This report notes that ground-level working when loading and securing was identified as being strongly preferred by both drivers and sites and that appropriate risk control measures - including that the provision of suitable equipment to allow loading, securing, and unloading to be carried out safely from ground level - could reduce the risk of injury, particularly when dealing with irregular loads that may otherwise be difficult to safely load and unload.
It identifies a number of factors that affect safe loading and how they could be managed and concludes that the report's findings should enable stakeholders to develop subsequent guidance on safe delivery using flatbed trailers.
Research Report RR 1088 – Multi-site delivery issues for heavy goods vehicles – looks at a number of issues relating to multi-site deliveries and observes that additional hazards are introduced through drivers needing to frequently access the load area which involves working at height and manual handling.
This report notes that the profile of multi-site deliveries could mean that vehicles are delivering to sites where the risks are not being adequately controlled and indicates that awareness of the risks are quite low amongst consignors and hauliers. It further indicates that the planning of deliveries based just on a predicated drop order could result in poorly-loaded and unstable loads, exacerbated once the first delivery had taken place.
This report provides further information as to the responsibilities of consignors, hauliers and drivers and identifies the factors that affect safety before and during the multi-delivery process.
The HSE published documents can be downloaded free of charge from: