Unsafe loaders to be targeted in random roadside stops04 February 2010

Safe transportation of loads is to be the main focus of a spot check campaign due to run this month and throughout March.

The Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) new load safety campaign will aim to highlight issues with unsafe loads, and illustrate the number of deaths and injuries that can be linked to commercial transport.

Primarily focused on locations in the North West, officers from the HSE will work alongside VOSA inspectors, detaining random vehicles for checks.

HSE says that the new checks are a response to a similar event in 2009 which found 80% of loads having insufficient restraints.

Throughout the nine-week program, HSE says hauliers and transport managers can expect to receive mailings, with guidance and tips about loading and unloading safety, and warnings on the implications for non-compliance.

John Fitch, VOSA's research and development manager, sees numerous benefits: "We are keen to participate in HSE's new campaign to highlight the issues of insecure loads, provide education and information for the haulage industry and reduce congestion caused by load loss."

Peter Brown, from the HSE, adds that there is no excuse for operators to run with unsafe loads. "Materials falling from vehicles pose a danger to other road users, as well as causing traffic disruption. Apart from this, there is the cost to business of a lost or damaged load."

HSE says that in the worst cases, drivers could risk having their vehicles ordered off the road, or face fines.

John Challen

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Health & Safety Executive

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