Like any market, the road haulage industry must safeguard its workforce and whilst in previous years there have been many scandalous articles regarding the haulage sector’s flailing reputation when it comes to Britain’s road safety record, it seems that statistics have taken a turn for the better recently.
As a supplier of UK made, industry approved products specifically designed to enhance handling and safety for fleet managers and the drivers that take to the roads on their behalf, we take safety very seriously indeed, and have become fascinated by the recent trends presented by the Department for Transport (DfT) and other industry bodies. Here we look closely at the latest statistics and the steps every fleet manager can take to improve safety further.
The road freight industry today
The number of transport workplaces in the UK has increased dramatically in recent years, with more enterprises than ever calling the industry their home. In 2013 there were 31,858 transport workplaces in total, all of which generated a staggering £22.9 billion for the UK economy, which may explain why more money and time has been spent enhancing safety throughout the sector ever since. With the rise of the number of HGV vehicles on our roads came the increasing importance of on-road safety, and according to the Department for Transport the industry has seen a 3% decrease in accident involvement rate for HGVs and an 8% decrease in LGV involvement.
Improving HGV safety
Despite the improved safety statistics presented by the DfT, the government and the fleet managers who work within the sector are keen to improve safety further and build on the UK’s reputation for having the safest roads in Europe. The majority of fatal transport workplace accidents occur due to being struck by a moving vehicle, falling loads, falls from vehicles, and collapsing or overturning vehicles, with issues involving the use of handbrakes, loading and unloading, the raising of vehicles for repair work and climbing onto vehicles being highlighted in particular.
Around 70% of all major, non-fatal injuries result due to slips and trips, being struck by moving or falling objects, falls from less than 2m, and manual handling issues. As an organisation within the haulage industry, tackling the management of these causes head on is important, and there are a number of guidelines from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that will make for essential reading. Your investment in specialist safety equipment will also help to protect your people and vehicles, and in turn enable you to manage maintenance costs.