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HSE Guidance: Safe Use of Vehicles on Construction Sites

Every year in the construction industry, people are killed or injured as a result of being struck by moving plant. Accidents can occur throughout the construction process, from groundworks to finishing works. Managers, workers, site visitors and the public can all be at risk if construction vehicle activities are not properly managed and controlled.

Many construction transport accidents result from the inadequate segregation of pedestrians and vehicles. This can usually be avoided by careful planning, particularly at the design stage, and by controlling vehicle operations during construction work. Inadequate planning and lack of control are the root causes of many construction vehicle accidents, which often involve:

  • Vehicles or their loads striking people, particularly when reversing;
  • Vehicles striking services and obstructions;
  • Manufacturers’ instructions for safe use being disregarded;
  • Inadequate training of drivers and signallers; and
  • Unsafe loading and transportation of materials on vehicles.

Successful, safe management of construction vehicles activities is based on the provision and maintenance of workplaces, vehicles, drivers and work practices.

Much of the occupational health and safety law relating to construction transport operations is qualified by the term ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’, the same qualification applies to most of the guidance given here. The precautions that are required in a specific situation will depend on the extent and nature of the particular risks involved. High-risk situations require higher standards of precautions than low-risk situations. The examples of hazard elimination and risk control given in this guidance do not cover every possible situation and may not be relevant to all sites, but they can still be good practice.

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The content of this publication is of general interest and is not intended to apply to specific circumstances or jurisdiction. It does not purport to be a comprehensive analysis of all matters relevant to its subject matter. The content should not, therefore, be regarded as constituting legal advice and not be relied upon as such. In relation to any particular problem which they may have, readers are advised to seek specific advice from their own legal counsel. Further, the law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly. © 2014 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0. Design © 2014 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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