Load Security Guidance - 18th May 2015

A load securing guide for vehicle operators has been published by the DVSA. The guide gives information on best practice on how to load large vehicles so they remain safe and do not present a danger to other road users.

What most people would consider it fairly simple to load a vehicle correctly to ensure the load doesn’t move or fall off the vehicle during the journey, however additional guidance seems to be necessary. The DVSA guide reports that during 2013, they issued over 2,000 prohibitions to vehicles which presented a road safety risk because of their load security. During the same year The Highways Agency also say there were over 22,000 road impact incidents caused by objects falling from vehicles. (It would appear there is still a market for things that fall off the back of a lorry).

The result of those poorly secured loads is inconvenience to drivers as roads or lanes are shut whilst the debris is cleared away or, the potential for a load to land on your vehicle or a nearby pedestrian.

A major problem is probably a lack of understanding by the person loading the vehicle of how a load will settle once the vehicle starts moving. Even the tightest strap after a relatively short distance can become loose if there is any movement in the load. You only need to put a packet of sugar in a pot and tap the side of the pot a few times and see what happens to the level. Bumping along the road on a trailer will certainly have the same effect.

Drivers must take responsibility to ensure their vehicle and load is safe. You cannot rely on someone loading the vehicle and must be happy with it before moving away. Ultimately it will be your responsibility if things go wrong so however experienced you feel you are maybe this guide will be a good reminder.

It may also be a good idea for drivers of all vehicles, whether flatbed or box trailers, vans or those towing trailers or caravans to read this as unstable loads will affect vehicle stability as well as contributing to rollovers that we often see on our roads.

Many issues that feature in our news section may be of concern to you as an employer if you employ company drivers. It is important that you, as a company, are fully compliant with your responsibilities to those employees.

Fleetrisk24 Ltd specialises in Work Related Road Safety and Workplace Transport Safety and can help you put policies and processes in place to address your transport health and safety requirements.

For information about how we can help, in conjunction with you, manage your at work drivers, either:

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