Vehicles for work

What you need to know as an employer to make sure that vehicles and drivers are safe at all times

Workplace transport on site

Workplace transport is a term used to describe the use of vehicles for tasks that are not on the public road, for example:

  • forklift truck operations
  • lorry and truck loading and unloading operations
  • vehicles used to move and deliver materials within a factory
  • car parks
  • maintenance operations (tractors, cherry pickers etc)
  • agricultural and construction plant and machinery
  • crane work

There are also a number of hazards associated with onsite work that employers will need to manage, these include:

  • pedestrians (members of the public, visitors, other workers) who cross vehicle routes, inside premises, on site and in public areas
  • entry and exit point to buildings, including fire exit routes, should not lead directly onto a traffic route
  • working at height when sheeting or securing a load
  • maintaining a vehicle
  • risks posed by operating vehicles near water or excavations or on slopes
  • risks of collision with building structures or electric cables, from tipping or using high-reach equipment
  • risk created by charging and refuelling vehicles
  • uneven surfaces or tight spaces for vehicle manoeuvring
  • insecure loads
  • driver experience and their training on the vehicle in question

Reducing the risks from driving at work

The Health and Safety Executives web pages on workplace transport provide examples of how to ensure your vehicle operations are safe and can be found at Workplace transport (external site).

Steps to ensure safe site operations can include:

  • assessing and providing suitable training and refresher training for your drivers
  • ensuring all drivers (visitors and your workers) follow your site safety rules at all times
  • pedestrian routes should be separated, or physically protected, from vehicle routes
  • ensuring that you chose the correct vehicle for the job being carried out
  • maintaining your vehicles in line with the manufacturer's instruction and legal requirements for particular equipment
  • using method statements and a permit to work system for high-risk and one-off work, e.g. at height, lifting activities, with cranes
  • taking time to plan vehicle routes on your sites and consider the space required for manoeuvring safely