U.K. Safety Agency Issues Guidance on Safe Operation of Vehicles in Workplace

Britain's Health and Safety Executive has released a booklet that offers guidance on the safe operation of vehicles in the workplace.

"Workplace Transport Safety: An Employers' Guide" provides advice on all aspects of workplace transport operations. Although primarily aimed at managers and supervisors, it is equally useful for safety and union representatives, contractors, the self-employed and employees, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The booklet was introduced by HSE at the Health and Safety Partnership Conference held Dec. 14 at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London.

"Workplace transport is the second biggest cause of incidents in the workplace, accounting for about 70 fatalities each year," said Carol Grainger, head of HSE's Workplace Transport Team. "The majority of these accidents are preventable. Reducing these casualties is an important priority in the HSE's work program."

Workplace transport is defined as any vehicle that is used in a work setting. It specifically excludes transport on the public highway; air, rail or water transport; and specialized transport used in underground mining.

The guide gives detailed advice on the key risks associated with transport use in today's workplaces and how to manage them, Grainger said. It also includes a free booklet that provides an extensive overview of the subject, enabling those responsible for workplace transport to identify any areas of their operations where further help might be required.

The guide tackles general workplace transport safety issues and provides an introduction to workplace transport risk management. In particular, it offers information on assessing transport risks relating to site safety, vehicles themselves and the people working with and around them and implementing a safe system of work.

Later chapters offer specific guidance on typical workplace transport operations and common risks. Throughout, the book provides practical examples of risk control.

HSE has also published a revised version of "Workplace Transport: An Overview." This is a free booklet that provides employers with a brief summary of the main issues that should be considered when planning workplace transport operations. Arranged similarly to "An Employers' Guide," the 27-page booklet also includes specific sections about workplace organization and operations. The booklet can be downloaded from the HSE Web site at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/tranindx.htm.

Copes of "Workplace Transport Safety: An Employer's Guide," are available from HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA; phone: 01787-881165; or fax: 01787-313995. Priced publications also are available from reputable booksellers.

Further information and guidance on ensuring workplace transport operations are carried out safely can be found on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/index.htm.

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