Almost all businesses use some form of workplace transport and vehicles. There are many examples. A busy factory site with lorries being loaded for despatch. Forklift trucks whizzing around the site. Staff arriving for work in cars. Visitors and staff walking around the site and delivery vehicles reversing into dock loading bays.
Without controls aimed at workplace transport and vehicles, there is a high likelihood of an accident occurring. Unfortunately, almost every year a number of people are killed in vehicle accidents at the workplace.
A risk assessment must be carried out to identify the hazards and implement controls to minimise the risk. Such controls may include:
When we talk about workplace transport and vehicles, one of the most common vehicles used in the workplace is a forklift truck. They account for many of all workplace transport accidents.
Common causes of accidents are:
Reversing of workplace transport and vehicles is a frequent cause of accidents. Consideration should be given to ensure adequate space for reversing vehicles and restricting access to the reversing area. This area should be clearly marked and signed.
Visiting drivers should be made aware of the site layout and transport routes. It may be necessary to provide instructions in other languages for foreign drivers and allow for the fact they may have different visibility from left hand drive vehicles.
There are many different types of workplace and transport vehicles that can be used. A proper selection will depend on the task to be performed. It is very important that the correct vehicle is selected for the appropriate task and that the vehicle is safe to use. As well as regular routine maintenance, there are some basic pre-use checks drivers should make. These include:
Whichever vehicle is being driven, the driver must be trained and competent. Safe system of work should be in place to make sure unauthorised staff cannot operate vehicles and there are sufficient work breaks to stop drivers becoming overtired.
The Health and Safety Authority of Ireland provides a comprehensive key transport safety management resources available on their website page titled Vehicles at Work. The resources are a convenient and easy to use information portal. In addition, the HSA has published a convenient Information Sheet that provides basic guidance on the management of vehicles and mobile work equipment in the workplace.
Proactive Health and Safety training is critical to ensure a safe workplace. An effective training program can reduce the number of worker injuries and deaths. It can also reduce instances of property damage, legal liability, illnesses, and missed time from work.
Health and Safety training helps establish a culture in which employees themselves help promote proper safety procedures while on the job. It is important that new employees be properly trained and embrace the importance of workplace safety. The role of training in developing and maintaining effective hazard control activities is a proven and successful method of intervention.
This is why we have established Myelearsafety school. We pride ourselves in how we guide, support and mentor our students. They receive support throughout their learning experience and into their working lives. Our staff have extensive training experience and also have many years industry experience. We understand the challenges that exist within Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety. Our priority is to ensure that all learners are fully prepared to differentiate themselves in the workplace after completing our Health and Safety courses.
Myelearnsafety offers fully online Health and Safety courses.
To find out more, please check our Courses page.
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We at My Elearn Safety are always looking to share valuable information with our followers. The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) had a campaign in February of this year focusing on the management of vehicle risks in the workplace.
The Health and Safety Authority will begin a two week nationwide inspection and awareness campaign on Monday 18th February focusing on the management of vehicle risks in the workplace. Over the last six years, almost half (45%) of all reported work related fatalities involved vehicles. Last year, 18 people were killed in vehicle related incidents at work.
Inspectors from the HSA will be targeting transport and logistics companies, manufacturing premises, waste and recycling facilities and distribution and warehousing centres. Specific issues such as vehicle operations, particularly low speed manoeuvres, load securing and driving for work will be targeted.
Deirdre Sinnott, Senior Inspector with the HSA said, “Accident statistics show that the majority of vehicle related deaths at work occurred during low speed manoeuvring, reversing or coupling and uncoupling of vehicles. It is vital that procedures are developed and put in place to eliminate and control known risks associated with workplace vehicles. Once these written procedures are in place they should be communicated to all employees, contractors and visiting drivers in the workplace.”
Throughout the two week campaign, HSA inspectors will focus on:
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We have a range of courses and bespoke courses available to the Transport and Tourism Sector here.
Take a look at our case study on Dualway here.
Dualway Transport has grown over four decades to become one of the largest, family run, transport operations in Ireland.Myelearnsafety.ie worked with Dualway to develop a bespoke induction training program for new and existing staff members to ensure were properly inducted in the Health & Safety policies and procedures for the company.