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Law: car transporters health and safety

The HSE have recently published guidance for its own and local authority inspectors regarding the safe use of car transporters.

The guidance is quite detailed and if it is of interest then refer to SIM 5/2007/03 from a search on the HSE website www.hse.gov.uk

The HSE identify that falls from car transporters, and such falls mainly from upper decks, sometimes result in death or serious injury. They also identify the dangers of loading and unloading at car dealers with the potential for collisions and being struck by other motorists in the road.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 apply to car transporters and the employer is under a duty to avoid such work if reasonably practicable or if not, prevent falls as far as reasonably practicable. The duty holder must carry out a risk assessment associated with the movement of vehicles on and off the transporter.

The guidance explains the best forms of edge protection and decking ladders. Additional precautions include encouraging drivers to wear bump caps and adequate but not dazzling lighting for loading / unloading.

The importance of training is also highlighted.

HSE’s initial view when the LOLER regulations (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations) was that car transporters were exempt. This has now changed. A decision has been made that both new and used transporters are caught by this law.

Enforcement officers are guided to apply the regulations proportionately to the risk and provided equipment is regularly inspected and safe, as judged by a competent person, the fine detail should be applied ‘sensibly’.

LOLER requires Safe Working Loads (SWL) to be marked on lifting equipment, but the guidance suggests this may be dispensed with if the vehiclemanufacturer is no longer in business.

Yearly examination is deemed sufficient.

Further co-operation between HSE and car transporter manufacturers is anticipated to cover conformity certificates when new vehicles are supplied.

Visit www.lawgistics.co.uk or call 0870 26 77 118 for more information.

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