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What health and safety rules should you enforce for truck drivers visiting your workplace?

If you have pedestrian and heavy machinery traffic alongside truck movements in your warehouse or yard, you must have a set of health and safety rules and a site induction to ensure that accidents don’t happen.

Truck drivers and pedestrian workers have been badly injured and even killed through being in the wrong place at the wrong time while forklifts are operating.

The ideal scenario

Any truck driver visiting the site for the first time should complete a health and safety induction. The important thing is to ensure that they have read and understood it; simply sending an email or giving them a sheet of paper when they arrive does not ensure this. We recommend using a custom module in our Fleet Driver Plan and inviting the truck driver to complete the module before they are allowed on-site.

A controlled gate so that a truck can be held back if it’s unsafe to proceed is ideal. A site hazard board at the entrance will outline the minimum requirements for personal protective equipment, the site speed limit, any hazards present such as dangerous goods or forklifts, and the direction of travel.

A site hazard board should note all major hazards in a workplace

Maintaining a one-way system in a yard or warehouse minimises the need for reversing. If a truck does need to reverse, providing a spotter to help the driver will reduce risks.

Trucks should have clearly marked bays on flat, stable ground where they park for loading or unloading.

This shows a loading bay for small trucks with arrows for the one-way system

 

For docks, vehicle bays should be marked

Marked pedestrian walkways from the bays are helpful to give defined areas where forklift operators could expect a pedestrian to be.

Employees should be trained on what hazards to expect around trucks. For example, to stay out of the way of taillifts as they come down.

Truck drivers should have clear instructions for where to wait while unloading or loading; it’s not acceptable to have the truck driver standing next to the forklift driver while they are unloading.

All pedestrians and the truck driver should be wearing hi-vis.

Forklifts should have lights as well as audible warnings when reversing.

Some organisations offer tea and coffee for truck drivers while they wait. This is a good encouragement for them to not wait with the truck.

The more of these suggestions that you can implement, the less likely you are to have an incident in your workplace.

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Darren is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and the NZ Motoring Writers' Guild

Tagged with: | Posted in Advice, Forklift
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