Logistics is heavily regulated when it comes to health and safety, and for good reason. Two of the major elements involved in logistics are warehousing, and haulage and distribution. There are a host of accidents just waiting to happen in these two areas alone.
We’ve put together a go-to logistics guide to help you weave your way through logistics-related health and safety issues. Our guide makes extensive reference to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive on the matter. If you have any doubts as to specifics, please consult the appropriate legislation.
Each area of logistics has its own particular hazards and safety measures.
Haulage and Distribution
Workplace transport risks are very real for haulage and distribution companies. Most deaths at work are caused by four categories of accident, and happen most often when loading and unloading vehicles or maintaining them. The four causes most often cited are:
- being hit by a moving vehicle;
- falling loads
- falling from a vehicle
- fatal injury from vehicles collapsing or overturning
More than seven out of every ten injuries are due to:
- slips and trips
- being hit by moving or falling objects
- falling from less than two metres
- manual handling
Reducing injuries can be ensured by introducing rules covering:
- the use of handbrakes when vehicles are stationary
- drivers positioning themselves safely while loading and unloading with fork-lift trucks
- proper supports for vehicles during repair work
- climbing up on vehicles
While safe driving on the motorway is an obvious daily goal, we have focused here on loading zones.
Your facilities should ensure that drivers have a safe place to wait during loading and unloading. What’s more, they need to have access to it without passing through areas where there is vehicle movement.
Employees also need to be made aware of the dangers of moving vehicles. Warning signs and regular training workshops are helpful in this regard.
Loading bays should have enough space to minimise reversing. If this is not possible, install additional mirrors on vehicles, or have a loading bay guide marshalling the area.
The loading area should adhere to a one-way traffic system and have clearly marked pedestrian and vehicle routes. Clear signage for visiting drivers should be installed and maintained.
Ensure that all drivers of fully loaded trailers are trained, certified and regularly monitored. Also ensure that all vehicles in your fleet are in very good condition, and regularly inspected and maintained.
Machinery and Equipment
Stabilisers should always be used when operating lorry-mounted cranes. Drivers must be reminded regularly to use trailer parking brakes. Adequate propping of tipping vehicle bodies and tilting cabs must always be used when people work under them.
Any other equipment, such as hoists, must be in good working order and properly stored when not in use.
Activity in warehouses needs monitoring and should comply with the applicable Occupational Health and Safety regulations for your industry.
Aside from standard regulations, business owners need to be aware of the height at which work is being carried out. This applies particularly to any type of roof work, high-level storage in warehouse racking systems, and painting/maintenance work.
You need to ensure safe access is provided, e.g., by means of properly assembled scaffolding.
Ensure that there are inspection, maintenance and report procedures in place for all equipment. This includes ropes, straps, curtains, sheets, and nets. Many accidents occur when attention to these small matters is neglected.
Bulk-storage fuel tanks must be safely accessible.
The HSE publishes a leaflet on workplace transport safety available as a free download. Encourage your employees to read it, and keep it handy as a reminder.
It’s always a given, but warehouses should be for authorised personnel only. That means your own employees who perform designated work functions. The person who does stock control should not operate the forklifts, for example!
Remember too, that all employers should provide appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment (PPE). The HSE has a wealth of information on that subject for you.
The Pallet Network
Much of our warehousing involves high-rack warehouse systems and pallets. As members of The Pallet Network, we are able to offer an excellent national and European distribution service for your palletised freight.
An integral part of our pallet network is pallet inspection and pallet exchange. Damaged pallets are retired from service to minimise the safety risk to people and reduce the likelihood of damaged goods in transit.
Tech and Consignment Tracking
Monitoring the safety aspects of forwarding and distribution has a two-pronged function. It also enables your consignments to be tracked from point of origin to destination.
Real-time GPS tracking devices are fitted to all our vehicles. Forward-facing cameras are fitted in all vehicles to evaluate driver performance and driver standards. That way, we can focus on providing our drivers with the advanced training and development they need.
We are certified to FORS, the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme. This is a voluntary best practice scheme for commercial vehicle operators. FORS helps LTS Distribution monitor all aspects of safety, efficiency and environmental protection.
The upshot is an organisational culture on a continuous path of improvement to ensure that all our vehicles are compliant with the latest safety initiatives.
LTS Distribution – Your Go-To Logistics Company in the UK
No matter where we are, LTS Distribution is always serious about health and safety.
As members of the Road Haulage Association, we endorse and adhere to the RHA Conditions of Carriage and the RHA Conditions of Storage. We also subscribe to the British International Freight Association (BIFA) standard trading conditions. All these documents can be downloaded from our website.
Our brochure shows you that air, road and sea freight — and the warehousing that goes with freight operations — need attention to detail, efficiency, and above all, safety. Our responsible, daily prioritising of health and safety issues means that your goods arrive on time and undamaged at their destination. In other words, you can count on our reliability.
Our constant attention to occupational health and safety is fully integrated into our performance-based logistics system. Fewer risks, fewer accidents and injuries combined with greater supply-chain efficiencies. That’s what we’re all about!
That’s what makes us your go-to logistics and distribution company in the UK. Contact us with your requirements, and we’ll be happy to come up with a domestic or international freight solution that suits you.