Workplace Transport continues to be an area responsible for fatalities and major accidents in all types of workplaces across Northern Ireland. Underlying causes of Workplace Transport accidents have been identified as including;
No or an inadequate risk assessment,
Poor workplace design & layout, especially poor vehicle / pedestrian segregation,
Poor driver training, and
Poor system for detecting & correcting unsafe behaviour (not following workplace rules)
In order to assist businesses to assess and reduce the risks from workplace transport activities Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council carried out a two year Workplace Transport Initiative between May 2017-Apr 2019. This commenced on 25 May 2017 with a seminar which you may have attended and follow up visits to selected distribution and larger retail premises. The speakers presentations and video links are available below:
Welcome & opening
A survivor's personal account
Risk assessment supervision & monitoring
The truth behind forklift safety and how to make a difference
Drugs & alcohol testing services
A guide to workplace transport safety
Preventing falls from vehicles
Checklist for duty holders site inspection
Lift truck advice
Workplace Transport covers the use of all vehicles and powered mobile work equipment in the workplace, and therefore it is likely that Workplace Transport will pose some degree of risk within your business. Even if you perceive your business as low-risk, you may well have specific hazards linked to Workplace Transport such as staff car parking areas, or you may receive deliveries by lorry or van. Risks from these activities are easily overlooked, but may be significant.
The initiative will be focused on three main areas briefly summarised as:
Safe Site – including pedestrian / vehicle segregation, access by members of the public, eliminating / minimising reversing and premises speed limits.
Safe Vehicle – looking at vehicle selection & maintenance, overturning vehicles and falls from vehicles, and
Safe Driver – taking note of training and drivers as a vulnerable group.
As an employer you must ensure that you have adequately assessed the risks, for your staff, members of the public, and other persons, in regards to Workplace Transport within your premises. Should you employ five or more staff at any one time, the significant findings of this assessment must be recorded ensuring that you identify the hazards and put adequate control measures in place to either eliminate or reduce the risk of injury to a reasonable level. This risk assessment should be reviewed regularly and certainly following an accident / incident or on the commissioning of new equipment. You must also ensure that any workplace equipment on-site is suitable for the task required and maintained and operated so as to not pose a risk.