Vehicle Loading

Activities in/on or around vehicles are always more likely to become the center for an accident as opposed to the function of driving. Despite this, many managers and supervisory staff pay less attention to the aspect of loading/unloading of their vehicles and equally so the security of the load within.

The Road Traffic Act 1991 Introduced provisions into the Road Traffic Act 1988 making new offences, applicable to the state of loads on vehicles. These provisions reflect the seriousness with which the safety of loads on vehicles is now viewed, with the areas coming under intense scrutiny being:

Some of the measures introduced through the Road Traffic Act 1991 concern the Code of Practice not only to the load being carried by the vehicle, but also any equipment on the vehicle such as restraining devices including bars 'n cleats and ratchet straps, also loader cranes, landing legs and tail lifts etc. All of these items are required to be used, stowed and secured to manufacturer instructions so as not to be a danger to other road users and pedestrians.

In the UK every year over 4,000 successful prosecutions for unsafe loads are brought against drivers and operators. Many other incidents involving the loss of loads or part loads go unreported.

The Road Traffic Act 1991 states that:

Although this document is primarily concerned with ensuring that loads are contained on vehicles, you should be aware that there are legal obligations on operators and others to ensure the safety of all persons involved in loading operations. These obligations expect safe systems of work for loading, moving, unloading, sheeting and safe access onto vehicles.

Poor Stowage

In the image below it should be noted that
the upper cylinders are free to move or be
dislodged by cornering or braking forces.

In the second image (right) it can be seen
what can go wrong if stowage is not compliant
with 7.5.7.

Poor Stowage
Poor Stowage
Source - - HSE

Safe working practices within the UK are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive. To further assist you in ensuring that your operation complies in all respects to working practices conducive to the safety and well being of your staff, other road users and the general public, please use the links below for further information.

Workplace transport safety - HSE PDF File
Safe Working Pratices for Car Transporters - HSE PDF File

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