The Pallet Network (TPN) claims to be the first network to have included the driver risk assessment system for tail-lift deliveries as part of its ePOD application.
The Driver Checklist is the suggestion of the new industry best practice Tail-lift and Pallet Truck Safety Guidance Document, which launched earlier this month. Its aim is to improve driver and public safety during tail-lift deliveries.
Drivers should use this checklist to do dynamic risk assessments of each tail-lift delivery in order to ensure their own and the public’s safety.
TPN is the first pallet network to go live with the ePOD risk assessment capability, having developed it into the app before the guidance was released.
TPN MD Mark Kendall says: “We always look ahead to what the network or the market will need next so that we are ready to go when the need arises. We believe in being proactive and not reactive, particularly when it comes to safety and good service.”
Incorporating the Driver Checklist into the ePOD system means that not only is it easy and convenient for the driver, but TPN Partners also have a record of whether or not the risk assessment was carried out.
“Compliance with best practice is essential but it is also necessary to be able to prove compliance,” says Kendall. “Integrating the risk assessment with familiar software the drivers are using daily will boost their confidence and also give us sound information about tail-lift deliveries in the field.”
The driver risk assessment will require all operators to refresh driver training on tail-lift and manual handling safety.
“Ultimately we have to trust the judgement of the person being asked to make the delivery,” says Kendall. “That means equipping them with the right knowledge, the correct kit and the right IT and empowering them to assess and ensure their own safety.”
He credits TPN’s agility with its sector-leading IT to the fact that it is developed and continually evolved by an in-house team, led by IT director Rob Haigh.
“We listen to our Partners and their customers as to what they need and we deliver it,” says Kendall. “We can be much more responsive, more imaginative and more ambitious using our IT team than if we deployed externally developed software like our competitors.
“IT cycles are fast, with the possibilities and the demands changing rapidly. What is sector-leading one year may be mainstream the next. Having our own developers means that we can continually refresh and add to our IT, as we have just done with the ePOD system.”
The Tail-lift Delivery and Pallet Truck Guidance suggests that drivers check the following during their risk assessment:
- That the vehicle is parked safely and without causing obstruction
- The ground is level and firm
- The pallet is in a suitable condition to be moved
- Pedestrians are at a safe distance
- The pallet can be moved and manoeuvred without causing injury
- There is a suitable route from the vehicle to the point of delivery
- The driver considers the delivery can be made safely.