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Health and safety made simple

26 November 2019

The HSE offers a host of resources for the logistics industry, covering tips of risks assessments, forklifts, manual handling, slips and trips and much else.

Accidents caused by moving lorries at the workplace caused 2 deaths, 79 major injuries and 249 over-3-day injuries to employees in the ‘freight by road’ industry, in the 2009/10 work year. Accidents included drivers being crushed whilst coupling trailers to trucks, being hit by other vehicles (particularly fork trucks) while out of their cabs, and people being crushed by reversing vehicles.

Measures to reduce the risk of lorry accidents include:

  • Keeping all pedestrians away from general vehicle (e.g. truck and forklift) routes on site;
  • Co-operation between delivering and receiving companies to ensure you deliver safely;
  • Minimise the need for reversing. Where it can’t be avoided, ensure reversing areas are well designed, pedestrians are kept away, and provide aids such as reversing alarms, vehicle-CCTV and trained marshalls where appropriate. More guidance is in publications INDG199 and HSG136;
  • Make sure drivers are aware that truck and trailer parking brakes should always be used. Never rely on ground being completely level. 'Spoken word' handbrake warning devices may be appropriate.

An overview of the issues and practical suggestions for managing health and safety can be found in the free publication INDG199 Workplace transport safety – An overview.

More detailed advice on workplace transport is contained in the HSE publication HSG136 Workplace Transport Safety – An employer’s guide

Load security
3 deaths and 160 major injuries in the 'freight by road' industry were caused by objects falling onto people in the 2009/10 work year. 740 more people received injuries severe enough to keep them off work for over three days.

Measures for reducing these accidents include:

  • Follow the Department for Transport Code of Practice
  • Think about how the load can be made safe for offloading, as well as while being transported on the road. Could a load shift during transit? Could this present a risk to the driver when they open back doors, release curtain sides, or undo chains or strapping?
  • Ensure drivers have a safe area to observe from when the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded, not next to the vehicle where there could be hit by a fork lift truck or falling load
  • Never rely on curtain sides to hold a load in place
  • Encourage drivers to report near misses and damaged equipment

Get information from companies you are delivering or collecting from about facilities and off-loading arrangements on their site, before you visit.

The main UK guidance regarding the security of loads is the free Department for Transport Code of Practice: Safety of loads on vehicles.

Welfare facilities
HSE has been aware for some time of concerns around access to welfare facilities for visiting delivery drivers. We have reviewed our approach including guidance to duty holders and re-examined the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, in particular Regulations 20 and 21. We will begin to update our guidance to say that drivers must have access to welfare facilities in the premises they visit as part of their work. As this is likely to take some time, key stakeholders are being informed now.

The welfare of all workers is a priority and we have consistently said that drivers should have this sort of access. We also recognise that the majority of duty holders do already provide reasonable access to toilets.


The HSE’s website resources will help you manage the risks to health and safety in the logistics industry and provides regular updates on health and safety issues in haulage, distribution and warehousing.

It will help you find out where to get useful information on how to manage these risks and also includes contact details for other organisations who deal with health and safety in the logistics industry.