- Posted by Chadkirk
- On 23rd July 2019
Several thousand incidents happen every year in the event of vehicles not being loaded properly. Do you really want to be the cause of one of these?
Planning how to safely load a vehicle is something drivers must think about at all times. It is extremely important you know how to secure a load safely to minimise the risk of incidents occurring.
You must understand your Company’s policies and adhere to them without taking any short cuts as they are in place to prevent injury to yourselves and the public.
Why load safety is important
You are bound by law to pay attention to the weight, size and security of any load carried on your vehicle, and failure to comply can cause you to be faced with penalties.
Vehicle Overloading Penalties
- 5-10% – £100
- 10-15% – £200
- 15-30% – £300
- More than 30% – prosecution
However, if receiving a penalty isn’t enough to make you stop and think, the risk of causing injury, or even a fatality in some cases, to other road users should be the reason you want to abide by the correct procedures.
More than 1,200 people a year are injured from unsafe loads, which also costs UK businesses millions of pounds in damaged goods.
How to secure loads safely
As a professional driver, whether you’re operating a van or truck, it is your responsibility to ensure your vehicle is loaded safely, your load does not cause a hazard, whether it’s in a normal or emergency situation, appropriate load restraints are used and your vehicle is not overloaded.
You must also make sure the vehicle is loaded so that it remains in a safe condition not only during loading, but while it’s in transit and while it’s being unloaded.
Top tips on how to secure your load:
- Use adequate load restraints (these will depend on the type of vehicle you’re operating)
- Spread the load as evenly as possible
- Secure loads so they cannot slide around
- Consider any safety equipment to assist you
- Make sure the load is suitably package
- Use weighbridges to ensure your vehicle is not overloaded
- Understand and adhere to your Company’s policies and risk assessments at all times
In the event you did not witness the loading of a vehicle you are due to drive, you must check the safety of it before moving it.
Risk assessments are a systematic process of evaluating the potential risks that may be involved in a projected activity or undertaking.
It is the Company’s responsibility to create the risk assessments, however drivers must follow the rules and procedures set out in them to successfully minimise the risk of incidents taking place.
Safely loading your vehicles will:
- Prevent goods from falling onto roads while on the journey
- Prevent goods getting damaged before they reach their destinations thus saving time and money
- Reduce the possibility of accidents occurring
- Reduce the chance of fines
If you are unsure on anything to do with the goods you are transporting, or if you do not understand your Company’s policies or risk assessments, you must contact your Transport Office immediately before operating a vehicle.