New guidance to cut loading accidents

Reducing the number of people injured or killed when working in loading bays is the aim of a new initiative. The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health's (IOSH) Retail and Distribution Group have teamed up with the Freight Transport Association (FTA), to produce the 'Loading Dock Safety Guide', with the aim of helping employers to understand the risks and possible interventions.

Steve Clark, chair of IOSH's Retail and Distribution Group, said: "Accidents, when they occur on loading bays, can have fatal consequences. "Back in August 2011, the West Hordon depot of Tuffnells Parcel Express, was fined after a warehouse porter's head was crushed by a lorry reversing into a loading bay. Although the employee survived, it's accidents like these that we are trying to combat."

Britain's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports that 15 per cent of all reported workplace transport injuries happen during unloading and loading. Of these injuries 37 per cent involve drivers of the vehicle, and 20 per cent are accounted for by workers unloading or loading goods.

Sally Thornley, director of compliance at the Freight Transport Association, added: "We have worked in conjunction with IOSH to produce a guide that helps employers address the key risks at the loading dock/vehicle interface.

"This publication is an excellent example of industry bodies working together to tackle issues and share good practice – guidance by industry, for industry."

The 32-page '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. Free copies of the guide can be downloaded from www.fta.co.uk

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