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Enabling a Better Working World

Enabling a better Working World

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Load Safe Road Safe

Driving a heavy goods vehicle is one of the most dangerous occupations in Britain, and transportation and warehousing is one of the most dangerous industry sectors. For many otherwise low-risk companies, loading and unloading goods is their most dangerous work activity. Every year around ten people are killed and thousands injured as a result of poor loading, both in the workplace and on the road. The disruption and congestion caused by load spills and vehicle rollover is a significant cost to the national economy.

HSL's specialist engineers have investigated load security incidents over many years and generated in-depth knowledge about the causes and how to prevent them. What's more, transferring know-how is HSL's speciality. So when enforcement bodies, working with industry, developed a national intervention to reduce load-security accidents, HSL was called in to help. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is leading the joint intervention with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), the Metropolitan Police, and other police forces and agencies to reduce fatalities and injuries linked to poor load securing and to encourage industry take-up of more efficient working practices.

HSL's initial research for HSE quickly identified that serious problems were endemic in the British haulage industry as a whole. HSL then worked closely with HSE, VOSA and industry associations (such as the Freight Transport Association, Road Haulage Association, Confederation of Paper Industries and the British Constructional Steel Association) to identify further areas of concern for research and identify topics where industry knowledge was lacking. HSL ran a series of pilot studies across the UK to identify high-risk vehicle and load types and used that information to develop a risk-based enforcement approach. This new approach, which was introduced by VOSA in April 2012, improves the consistency of enforcement decisions and simplifies the process for vehicle operators. HSL additionally helped to develop a comprehensive training package for enforcement authorities.

In parallel, HSL worked directly with industry organisations to develop advice for vehicle operators and drivers to help them improve the safety and efficiency of their operations. HSL's guides are designed to ensure that key safety measures are as clear as possible: 'Transport Safety - An operator's guide to safe loading and transport'  and 'Load safe road safe - a professional driver's guide to safe loading and transport'. HSL has also launched a smartphone app 'STRapp' to help operators calculate the right number of straps needed to safely secure their load. See  /hsl-shop for details. HSL's published research reports for HSE are available free of charge and examples on load security are given below. For full details see HSL publications by year 

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