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    CURTAIN SIDED VEHICLE LOAD SECURITY

    Report on good practice for securing loads on curtain sided vehicles

    This report was funded by HSE. It looks across various industry sectors and directs the reader to practical, robust guidance on load restraint to enable them to minimise the risks to health and safety of all those working on and around curtain-sided vehicles. The main findings are:

    1. “Loads should be secured so that they do not move relative to the trailer bed during transport;
    2. Load restraint is not the same as load containment. Some loads may require a combination of both;
    3. Loads should be placed against the trailer headboard if possible. 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;
    4. The curtains and the weather-protection structure of a curtain-sided vehicle are generally not suitable for load securing;
    5. Friction alone should not be relied on as a method of load securing;
    6. Overstrapping the load was identified as 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;
    7. There are costs involved in securing a load, both in terms of equipment and additional time, however against this must be set the costs of the potential consequences of load shift, such as product damage, vehicle damage, delays, death or injury, and prosecution in the event of an accident;
    8. Communication between all parties involved in the loading, transport and unloading may help to avoid or ameliorate problems surrounding load securing and;
    9. Risk assessment and a loading plan prepared by someone competent to do so 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.”

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