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    VEHICLE LOAD SECURITY

    Precautions required for load security on curtain sided lorries

    HSE has published a 225 page Research Report on good practice for securing loads on curtain sided lorries. The report also signposts other practical, robust guidance on load restraint to minimise the risks to H&S of all those working on and around curtain-sided vehicles.

    The report reviews existing legislation and guidance in the UK, Europe, and in North America and Australasia and current practice across a cross-section of UK industry, and assesses the mechanics of load shift and what systems of load securing are most effective in restraining loads.

    The Report concludes:

    • Costs involved in securing a load (equipment and time etc.) must be set against the consequences of load shift causing product damage, vehicle damage, delays, death or injury or prosecution in the event of an accident;
    • Risk assessment and a loading plan prepared a competent person is the key to good load security. This does not have to be an onerous process but ‘thinking through’ the operation in advance may identify potential issues before they become a problem;
    • Communication between all parties involved in the loading, transport and unloading may help to avoid or ameliorate problems surrounding load securing;
    • Secure loads so they do not move relative to the trailer bed;
    • Load restraint is not the same as load containment. Some loads may require a combination of both;
    • Placed loads against the trailer headboard if possible and if this is not possible for reasons of weight distribution, the gap to the headboard should be filled or an intermediate bulkhead could be used;
    • Curtains and weather-protection structure are generally not suitable for load securing;
    • Friction alone should not be relied on as a method of load securing and;
    • Over-strapping loads is the least-risk method for load restraint, however it would not be suitable for all types of load. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to securing a load safely.

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