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Farmers Urged To Practise Trailer Load Safety

Rural police forces have aired concerns about debris on the roads, heavy machinery insecurely loaded, and careless driving during a busy period for farmers and contractors.

Farmers Weekly reports that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have issued guidance to help keep everyone in the agriculture industry safe and legal and to continue to follow the best practice methods used by the majority of the industry.

HSE’s specialist policy advisor for road transport, Nina Day, has said that load security in agriculture can often slip under the radar but has the potential to cause many problems.

“You get things flying off vehicles, load debris, and it might hit other road users, pedestrians or cyclists. If a vehicle is moving around in a trailer, even if it doesn’t come off it can affect the vehicle handling and might lead to roll over,” she said.

She explained that a common type of incident seen by the HSE involves loads that have completed the journey, but at the point of unloading, the load becomes unable when the straps are taken off, causing the load to fall off, and potentially causing injury to workers. She added that proper strapping and risk assessments can help reduce the chances of accidents happening.

“A lot of the serious load shifts happen at less than 30mph. It is all about thinking what the risk is if the load comes off. With risk, the fact you have done it [a certain way] for a long time doesn’t mean it is safe. Your risk is resetting itself every single day,” she said.

DVSA vehicle enforcement manager Steven Lyon has said that farmers and contractors need to carry out regular inspections and maintenance in accordance with manufacturers guidelines and keep a record of any repair work.

Steven Lyon, DVSA vehicle enforcement manager, says farmers and contractors should carry out inspections and maintenance at regular intervals, following manufacturers’ guidelines, and record any repair work. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 require you to maintain any work equipment you provide.

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