12 Nov 2014

A Guide to Workplace Transport Safety

The HSE have published a new “guide to workplace transport safety” to take account of new advice on workplace transport safety and changes to relevant legislation and associated guidance.

This guide provides advice for employers on what they need to do to comply with the law and reduce risk. It will also be useful for managers, supervisors, employees and their safety representatives, as well as contractors, vehicle operators and other organisations concerned with workplace transport safety. You can download a free copy here: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg136.pdf

It now includes advice on controlling risks associated with workplace transport, which has been restructured into three main areas:
• Safe site (design and activity)
• Safe vehicle
• Safe driver

Below is an extract from the guide, providing advice and recommendations relating to vehicle maintenance:

Maintenance and Repair

229 Every employer must make sure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair. Carry out inspections of vehicles and associated equipment to ensure this happens, including daily driver checks before using the vehicle and regular preventive (planned) maintenance inspections based on time or mileage. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on regular maintenance.

230 Employers should give drivers a list of daily checks to be signed off before vehicles are driven. Drivers will need instruction or training in how to carry out these checks and should be monitored to ensure they are carrying them out properly. There should be a simple system for reporting any problems and deciding if the vehicle is safe to use or if it needs to be taken out of use while waiting to be repaired.

231 Planned maintenance inspections should comply with the manufacturer’s guidelines and include:
• the braking system. Vehicles should have suitable and effective brakes, both for general service and for parking. Brakes need to be connected and working properly and, if they are independent of one another, they need to be properly balanced;
• the steering system;
• the tyres, which should always be inflated to the correct pressure, have good tread (if designed to have tread) and generally be in good condition;
• mirrors and any fittings that allow the driver to see clearly or detect hazards (for example, CCTV cameras and sensing systems);
• windscreens, windscreen washers, wipers and lights;
• any warning devices (for example, horns, reversing alarms or lights);
• any ladders, steps, walkways or other parts that support people or make it easier for them to access parts of the vehicle;
• any pipes, pneumatic or hydraulic hoses, rams, outriggers, lifting systems or other moving parts or systems;
• regular monitoring of lubricant and hydraulic fluid levels, and pneumatic pressure levels;
• any specific safety systems, for example control interlocks to prevent the vehicle or its equipment from moving unintentionally;
• headboards, anchor points and sheeting hooks for damage or distortion, particularly welded joints;
• vehicle-mounted equipment such as lifting or delivery equipment

232 Each year many people are injured while carrying out vehicle maintenance and repair. You should ensure there are safe systems of work in place for this type of work to reduce the likelihood of injury.

Case Study

A shunt driver fell from a lorry cab because of a faulty door. He hit his head on a concrete floor at his company's depot and died some days later from his injuries.

The company had failed to deal with the faulty handle because of a "systemic failure" in its vehicle checks. The shunt vehicles were treated as low priority for repairs and maintenance, and vehicle servicing was often late. The company was prosecuted, fined and ordered to pay costs.

Since the accident, new vehicles have been bought and maintenance improved.

Good to Go Safety

At Good to Go Safety we recognise the importance of carrying out pre-use checks of vehicles as part of a successful maintenance regime.

By carrying out daily or pre-shift inspections of vehicles, not only do you comply with the guide’s recommendations, as above, but you also meet your obligations under The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER).

By using the Good to Go Safety Safe Equipment Management Systems (SEMS) you will be provided with a duplicate copy of each completed checklist which can be incorporated into your safety and maintenance management programs – providing invaluable evidence in the event of an accident that a systematic inspection procedure is in force.

We believe that by carrying out frequent inspections, any faults will be spotted early, allowing them to be repaired before they develop into a major fault – saving money and increasing driver safety. The findings of each completed inspection are clearly displayed inside a tag fitted to the vehicle for all to see, raising awareness of the company’s procedures.

We currently offer SEMS for a number of vehicles – including forklift trucks, mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP) and even fleet vehicles (cars and small vans). For more information visit www.goodtogosafety.co.uk

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