Every year hundreds of people risk serious injury falling from vehicles. Here we outline the basic steps to prevent falls while loading and unloading vehicles.
Causes of Falls
- Slipping and falling from loads and access steps and ladders
- Broken ropes or torn sheets that cause overbalancing.
- Inappropriate footwear
- Lack of awareness and training
What do I Need to Do?
As with all work at height, there are basic steps you should take to reduce the chances of people falling and being injured.
- If you can avoid the need for work at height then do so.
- When you can’t avoid working at height you must take steps to prevent falls.
- If there are any remaining risks of falls you should take steps to minimize them.
These tips will go a long way towards tackling the problem of falls from vehicles.
- Always use all equipment provided to avoid working at height if available.
- Don’t jump from vehicles or loads.
- Report damaged, loose, or inadequate steps and handholds – ensure that steps are safe for you to use.
- Report slippery surfaces, such as those that are oily or greasy.
- Keep the vehicle clean and free of loose debris – avoid creating tripping hazards.
- Wear suitable footwear for the job.
- Ensure steps and work areas are well lit.
- Use edge protection on tail-lifts (where it is fitted).
- Do not walk backwards near the rear or side of the vehicle bed.
- Only use equipment such as ropes, straps, curtains, sheets, nets etc. if you can be sure it is well maintained and is in a good state of repair.
Questions for Discussion
- Before working in or on a vehicle, do you consider how to do it safely?
- What can you do to reduce the chances of falling from the vehicle you are working on?