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Revise loading bay safety before the festive season

Follow @WDMEllaCopeland Loading and unloading goods are the highest risk activity commonly carried out in many sectors, according to the UK Health and ...

Freddie Pierce
|Oct 8|magazine7 min read

Loading and unloading goods are the highest risk activity commonly carried out in many sectors, according to the UK Health and Safety Executive.

Accounting for 15 percent of all workplace transport accidents in the UK, loading bays are highlighted as one of the most dangerous places of work, and with the annual build up to the festive season, extra attention needs to be placed on training for materials handling employees.

The risk increases in festive times due to the volume of traffic and the introduction of temporary workers, which can be unfamiliar with procedures at your company.

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In a new initiative, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health's (IOSH) Retail Group have teamed up with the Freight Transport Association (FTA) to produce the 'Loading Dock Safety Guide', which aims to help employers understand the risks and possible preventative measures. 

Available on the FTA's website, the Loading Dock Safety Guide covers an array of topics including risk assessment, creep control measures and provides a number of checklists to keep risks at bay.

Additional advice from the HSA reccommend that all people who operate near loading bays compete safety training, and that vehicles have enough space in loading areas to move around. Anyone who is not loading or unloading should be kept away from loading areas.

Health and Safety Officers should also consider the level of visibility for truck drivers when moving into or out of loading areas, the height of loading bays and if people could fell from them, and the potential electrical risks of loading and unloading.

The HSA reccomend additional risk assessments for staff before busy periods, including printed procedures for visiting drivers the implementation of a feedback service for staff on the ground to report concerns.

For more information on how to ensure your workplace is as safe as it can be, visit the HSA's guidance on safety procedures for vehicles at work.