Stop, look & listen - Site vehicle safety tips

Site vehicle safety

The majority of workers associate traffic problems with their daily commute to and from work but in fact traffic actually becomes a much bigger problem for many when they arrive at work.

Regardless of whether there are 2 or 200 vehicles driving on the premises, creating a system for them will immediately improve safety and reduce the chances of an accident. Every site with traffic operating on it should have a traffic management plan, which is a visual layout of the site showing structures, roads, parking spaces, directional flow of traffic, site storage and pedestrian routes.

At the very least, creating designated parking areas with marked bays and appropriate signage shows drivers where to go and also indicates what levels of access are required. For larger car parks or those with access roads, it may also be necessary to control vehicle speed through the use of suitable signage and speed ramps. The most important aspect of traffic management is how pedestrians will use the system. If possible you should create dedicated walkways that are segregated from vehicles with barriers and even zebra crossings where appropriate. Signage should also be in place to warn pedestrians of traffic in specific areas.

Premises where there are lots of deliveries coming and going should have designated loading and unloading areas and the chances of an accident can also be reduced by minimising the need for vehicles to reverse – shockingly nearly a quarter of all deaths involving vehicles at work are a result of reversing manoeuvres.

On larger premises introducing one-way systems, drive-through loading bays and improving site layouts can reduce the need for unnecessary reversing. In areas where reversing is required it can be made safer by improving visibility with fixed mirrors or installing better lighting. Adding road markings can help drivers to position vehicles accurately and installing barriers in loading bays also helps to protect pedestrians.

Finally, everyone entering the site must follow the procedures, so it’s important that clear instructions are in place for new visitors, either using print-outs or signage, showing the layout of the premises, appropriate routes and relevant parking and unloading procedures.