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This page gives advice on safe operation of transport and vehicles at work.
You will also find information on assessing risks associated with transport and vehicles, how to reduce them, details of legal responsibilities, and links to further information.
A wide variety of transportation is used within the workplace, ranging from forklifts to cars, lorries, construction and agricultural vehicles.
Workplace transport accidents are often very serious. The opportunity for serious injury and substantial loss in financial terms due to damage to vehicles, plant and equipment should not be underestimated.
There is also the possibility of prosecution due to failure to comply with the legislation that relates to workplace transportation.
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Drivers and those coming into contact with vehicles while at work are at risk.
Employees, visitors and contractors in your workplace could be at risk if measures are not taken to separate pedestrians and vehicles.
Members of the public could also be at risk from work vehicles on the open road.
As well as the moral duty of employers to protect employees and members of the public, General Health and Safety Legislation covers all employers and workplaces.
This includes protecting employees and the public from risks associated with workplace transport and vehicles.
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
Duties under this Act include the requirement to ensure the safe use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances; and to provide adequate information, instruction, training and supervision as required.
These duties are not restricted to the employer's workplace, but could be invoked in relation to a vehicle and the way in which it was driven on another work site, on a public road, or when in use on private property or a private roadway.
Products and cargoes in transport
Regulations may apply to any product or cargo being transported, e.g. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations or The Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road Regulations 1996. → View our advice on Hazardous Substances
Road Traffic LegislationIf your employees drive for work purposes, you must consider road traffic legislation, including regulations relating to driver training and hours of work. → View our advice on Driving at Work
To view the full text of the above legislation online, please follow the links under Legislation.
Measures must be taken to ensure people can move about the workplace safely.
To do this, you must first complete a risk assessment for all activities involving the potential use of, or contact with, vehicles in the workplace.
→ Download Risk Assessment Form
→ Download Risk Assessment Form – Worked Example
The Health and Safety Executive recommends a five-step approach:
→ Read more on Risk Assessment
General transport safety:
Traffic and pedestrian routes:
Loading and towing:
Free resources from Healthy Working Lives Links below are to publications pages giving options to download these resources:
Guidance from the Health and Safety Executive Note – all links are to external pages on the HSE website giving options to download or order these resources:
Vehicles at Work (external site) This comprehensive site from the Health and Safety Executive gives advice on all aspects of the safe use of vehicles and transport in the workplace.
→ Download The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (PDF 560KB, external site)
→ View The Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road Regulations 1996 (external site)
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