HSE busts perceptions that you don't need to secure a load if you are only going a short distance
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Home > News > HSE - Myths about securing a load for transporting

28th March 2011

HSE - Myth of securing loads for transporting

In 2010 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported that more than 1200 people are injured each year as a direct result of unsafe loads. They suggest that many drivers believe that if they are only taking a load a short distance, there is no need to secure it.

Unsecured loads cause unstable vehicles and roll-over

If loads are not correctly secured, they can increase the risk of vehicles rolling over, spilling the load.
Even if a load is very heavy, it can still shift due to the movement of the vehicle, such as braking or turning. Forces exerted can be surprisingly great, even at low speeds. The vehicle becomes unstable and can overturn.

HGV's are particularly vulnerable to this situation as they have a higher centre of gravity than say a car. Without proper restraints, the load can move inside the trailer and, even though curtains and box-sided vehicles may not shed their load, the shifting load may still cause the vehicle to become unstable and overturn.

Please visit the Department for Transport website for more information on how to make sure your vehicle is safely loaded.

Unsecured loads cause vehicles to shed their load

If a load falls whilst the vehicle is in transit, it can cause annoying traffic disruption, including road closures, resulting in significant delay and congestion for other road users. More worryingly however, it can result in injury to other drivers and road users.

If a load falls towards the pavement for example, passing pedestrians can be struck and injured. Cyclists and motorcyclists are equally vulnerable as the load may fall onto them from a higher vehicle. Of course, a car or other vehicle may afford some protection should a load fall, but depending on the nature and size of the load, drivers and passengers in these vehicles are also at risk of injury.

Risks of injury when unloading an unsecured load

During transit, an unsecured load can shift inside the trailer. This makes it more difficult to unload, often meaning that it has to be unloaded manually. This can add more time to the already highly pressurised turn-around time. It also increases the risk of the load falling, causing injury to the offloaders, particularly if they are also under pressure to get the load off quickly.

A load which has shifted during transit can also present a hazard to offloaders, who may have to board the trailer, or climb onto the load in order to move it. If the load is unstable it presents a hazard which can cause accidents such as falls from heights, or being crushed if the load shifts without warning.

It is not necessary to fall from a great height to receive a serious injury. Falls onto hard surfaces, sharp objects or just solid objects can have devastating effects.

Costs to businesses

In addition to the devastating effects on injured innocent people, millions of pounds are lost in damaged goods, or damage to property and vehicles, etc. This is in addition to the cost of delays to goods in transit as a result of the disruption to the transport network.

Making an accident compensation claim

If you or a family member has been injured in a road accident or work accident through no fault of your own, you may be able to make a claim for accident compensation. Clear Answers' lawyers have teams of specialists waiting to help you, should you decide to instruct us to represent you in your accident compensation claim.

If you select Clear Answers to represent you in your claim, we will be happy to provide you with expert legal advice, and our specialist personal injury lawyers will talk you through the claims process in plain English. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your accident claim.

Please ring us on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisers to see if you have a valid accident claim for compensation. Alternatively, if you prefer to complete one of our online compensation claim forms, a representative will contact you as quickly as possible.

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