Whether you run a small haulage business or a large-scale transportation company, it’s essential that all work equipment is used safely and efficiently.
That’s why we’ve put together these tips – so you can ensure your workplace is following the necessary rules and regulations. Read on to find out how to use your work tools safely.
Follow maintenance regulations
Any business working with equipment must ensure that it is safe to use and doesn’t pose any long-term health risks to staff. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) explain the duties you have as an employer when it comes to the machinery, tools, appliances, etc that your employees use.
This includes ensuring that equipment is “safe for use, maintained in a safe condition and inspected to ensure it is correctly installed and does not subsequently deteriorate”.
You should do regular inspections of your equipment and carry out any necessary maintenance to make sure it’s operating efficiently. This work can be carried out by members of your team but only if they have the right information, instructions and competence training.
If you don’t have someone suitable in-house, you’ll need a specialist contractor or the manufacturer to carry out the maintenance work for you.
Secure goods safely
As a haulage company, some of the key pieces of equipment you’ll use will secure goods for transportation. Make sure your staff have the right tools to do this safely, whether that’s chains, anti-slip mats or ratchet straps from companies like RS.
The government provides detailed guidance on securing loads, including “how to decide on a load securing system, what to check before loading a vehicle, and how to stabilise a load”.
Depending on the load, you may require a transport frame, cage or box to keep it stable during transport and unloading.
Before you load a HGV or goods vehicle, the government state you should check its bodywork, anchorage points, loads platform and twist locks to ensure they’re in good working order and are sufficient for the load.
Provide employee training
While having the right tools for the job is important, knowing how to use them is vital. This is where staff training comes in – to give your employees the skills and knowledge required to work with equipment safely.
It’s worth doing some research into the training that is needed for each sector of your business. Common modules include manual handling, working at heights, use of ladders and personal protective equipment.
It’s likely that you’ll need to provide specialist training for things like the use of machinery or heavy-duty haulage equipment, how to secure loads, and maintenance and storage procedures.
By following these tips, you can put the necessary measures in place to protect the health and safety of your staff, reduce the risk of hazards and keep equipment in good working order.