As Managers, you are responsible for ensuring our drivers stay as healthy and safe as possible, and that includes working on and around vehicles – one of the major dangers in the workplace.

Here are some sobering facts…

  • A quarter of all workplace deaths are caused by falls from height
  • Almost a fifth of all deaths at work are caused by moving vehicles
  • Being struck by a moving or falling object is the third most frequent cause of death at work

All three categories pose a very real risk when people are working on or around your vehicles.

So how do you manage these risks? Here’s how you can help your drivers:

Training and good practice

Driver training and reminders of good practices are there to change driver behaviour, creating safer habits. We are all human and sometimes drivers forget the simpler ways of keeping themselves and others safe during a busy day:

  • Using their three points of contact routine to climb in and out of vehicles
  • When driving an articulated unit, follow the climbing in and out of the cab procedures when they climb up or down to a coupling gantry or any other onboarding process
  • Keeping a neat and tidy cab to prevent rubbish hindering the use of the pedals, especially the brakes
  • Only starting the engine once they are seated, and are positioned to safely drive the vehicle

Standing on load decks

If you and your customers permit drivers to stand on the load decks, then this should be carried out safely too, with relevant training provided.

This includes making sure your drivers:

  • Always use the safety steps, and any safety aids every time drivers climb on or off the load deck
  • Never stand on the edge of the load deck
  • Never hang onto side curtains, or load restraint straps
  • Never lift heavy loads manually
  • Only use the equipment they are trained to use to move items (Pallet trucks)

Loading and unloading

Drivers are at risk of being hit by a fork-lift truck, or something falling off the fork-lift truck and injuring them.

For that reason, they should always stand stationery and well back from the operation of the fork-lift truck in a “safe” area. Where possible they should stay in their cab during the loading process, out of harm’s way.


You will have set rules about the level of PPE you supply for your drivers’ safety. What items should be part of their standard kit?

  • Drivers should be wearing boots or other work footwear that is designed for the purpose to provide support and protection for the work they are carrying out.
  • Hi-vis workwear for walking around their vehicles whether on-premises or at service areas
  • Protective gloves of the right specification
  • Hard hats may be required if you want them to be involved in the loading process
  • A consideration after the Coronavirus it would be advisable to have, masks and hand sanitiser as part of their PPE.

Road Skills Online Professional Development Plan

We believe that regular driver training can help to improve driver’s behaviour on the road, helping you to save ££££’s on your bottom line. One of the monthly Toolbox Talks in our Professional Development Plan is Working Around Vehicles, it’s designed to remind your drivers of what they need to know.

Let our online driver training help you deliver Toolbox Talks to your drivers with ease. It’s a great tool and at £5.00 or less per user, per month, it won’t break the bank. What’s more, you can get a Free Trial to test it out, just click below to get started.

Save time, save money and keep your drivers safe on the road, it’s a win-win for everybody.

Sources| HSE

Published| August 2020