It is unfortunate, but the majority of hauliers and haulage operators know of a workplace accident which is related to reversing an HGV. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), nearly 25% of fatal workplace accidents involving vehicles happen whilst the vehicle is reversing. |
Due to the sheer size of the vehicles, the confined spaces and various people onsite, there is a much greater risk with trucks and, consequently, we think that it is crucial for everyone in the industry to take steps to reduce risks whilst driving. The best way to achieve this is through effective HGV training and the implementation of suitable site rules. However, it is important to remember that you must also consider the dangers of reversing whilst on the roads and in public places.
The Risks Involved in Reversing
In order to reduce the chance of a workplace accident, it is crucial that everybody (drivers and non-drivers) are aware of the risks of reversing.
The majority of accidents can be avoided through adequate HGV training and onsite rules.
- Injury to people onsite through the driver not seeing them
- Damage to vehicles through collisions
- Damage to equipment
- Damage to premises through collisions
Fortunately, there have been many great advances in technology which can help to keep everybody and everything safe onsite. All transport operators should consider installing these features.
- Blind spot cameras
- Automatic breaking
- Reversing alarm for proximity
Risks and rules are only valuable when they are observed, so HGV training is crucial for reducing risk when it comes to reversing. It is important for supervisors, managers and anybody else onsite to be fully aware of the site rules and risks too.
In addition to this, employees acting as Vehicle Banksman and Yardshunter are also vital and their training will ensure that they are communicating and signalling correctly, plus they must also be able to identify different hazards.
Instructor academies are available to provide all the training that your employees need, with RTITB Instructor Academybeing a good example.
The following tips are all great ways to reduce risk and make the workplace much safer.
Reversing is a particularly dangerous aspect of driving onsite due to the small space, people moving around and the complexity of the manoeuvre. This means that it takes teamwork to safely back a vehicle up, but rules, technology and training must also be used to mitigate risk. Due to the unfortunate statistics and potential dangers, it is better to be safe than sorry for both hauliers and haulage operators.
- Create one-way systems
- Mark reversing areas
- Make sure visiting drivers are familiar with site layout
- Always use a Banksman with a reflective vest
- Use portable radios
- Install fixed mirrors
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange is the leading service for matching haulage jobs with available vehicles. They also provide expert articles on HGV training and other freight industry related topics. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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