Load safety is paramount for fleet managers, drivers, and anyone involved in the loading of a vehicle. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), in collaboration with industry experts and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), has recently introduced new load safety guidance. This guidance supersedes all previous instructions and is crucial for maintaining safety on the roads.
Importance of Load Safety
Load safety is crucial as insecure loads can significantly affect vehicle handling and pose severe risks. Even lightweight objects can be fatal on impact if they come loose from a moving vehicle. In 2020, 46,000 items, including household appliances, fell onto roads from moving vehicles, causing hazards and road closures. It is essential to remember that any unsecured item in a vehicle, including tools and lunchboxes, can be hazardous.
Responsibility for Load Safety
Everyone involved in the vehicle's loading and driving process shares the responsibility for load safety. Fleet operators, drivers, freight owners, and fork-lift operators must ensure the freight is secure and safe. Operators should ensure vehicles are suitable, roadworthy, and driven by qualified individuals. Drivers must ensure their load is safe and have the right to refuse to move an unsafe load. They should also frequently check the load, especially after harsh braking or swerving events.
Load Plan Essentials
The load consignor, the individual responsible for placing the freight onto the vehicle, must ensure the freight is properly packaged and suitable for transport. A comprehensive load plan should include the weight, placement, removal instructions, and a timestamped photo of the secured load.
The new load safety guidance issued by DVSA is a significant step towards ensuring road safety. It is imperative for fleet managers, drivers, and all involved in the loading process to familiarise themselves with and adhere to this guidance to maintain a safe and efficient fleet operation. By doing so, we can significantly reduce the risks associated with insecure loads and create a safer road environment for everyone.
- New load safety guidance has been issued by DVSA, replacing all previous ones.
- Load safety is crucial as insecure loads can be hazardous and fatal.
- Everyone involved in the loading and driving process is responsible for load safety.
- A comprehensive load plan is essential for safe transport.
- Adherence to the new guidance is imperative for maintaining road safety.