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Just a thought...

  Macscouse 16:33 12 Sep 2011
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With the forecasts being so dire, do Transport Firms have to do risk assessments before sending high sided vehicles out in this weather?

  Aitchbee 17:04 12 Sep 2011

I would have thought that double decker buses are very stable; perhaps furniture vans, shop delivery vans, and the like, might be more vulnerable to high wind hazzards.

  Quickbeam 18:35 12 Sep 2011

"do Transport Firms have to do risk assessments before sending high sided vehicles out in this weather?" In a word no.

Transport managers put drivers under pressure to drive whatever the conditions, they in turn are under pressure to not risk losing a contract. The directors of the companies being serviced by the transport sector don't give a damn as long as their shops are stocked at all times. There is certainly a case for the dreaded H&S to have an influence in transport operations during sever weather conditions. When lorries start going over like ninepins, and they still keep coming, just like lemmings over the cliff edge, that is when someone should accept that delivery targets will and should be disrupted. Cranes aren't allowed to operate in high winds, so why do we sent trucks out in the same conditions?

Ridged box bodies are the most stable in high winds, cutainsiders the worst, especially when empty as the side curves in like a sail, and a sail is the ideal device to capture the force of the wind and convert the energy into movement, which if it's a sideways force on a motorway, is highly dangerous.

  Macscouse 19:07 12 Sep 2011

Quickbeam I thought as much. How does management get away with ignoring H & S Regulations? Surely they have to ensure that their staff are working in a safe environment.

  Quickbeam 19:27 12 Sep 2011

Because there is no specific rules to bind them like cranes which are rated by type as to the maximum safe wind speed that they can be operated in.

  caccy 20:30 12 Sep 2011

Why waste time on this type of futile exercise when any driver will know if side winds are dangerous. I have a medium size motor caravan and know when the wind is strong! Forget H&S and use COMMON sense.

  woodchip 20:41 12 Sep 2011

OK you asked a Question, Just think about this one from when I was in Wales Last Week went to Betwis-is-Coid no Idea if that's how they spelled it, but hears the point about a BUS one of those that take old bidis out for a outing pulled up lets them off with front Near Side tyre showing that it was Half Bold had tread re-cut so that canvas was showing, when son in Law told him that is bus Driver about it, he said that there was two tyres on the back, worse than the front one. That's why you see buses down in a Ravine on TV with Lives lost

  Quickbeam 21:03 12 Sep 2011

"Any driver who sets out with an empty curtain-sided lorry and doesn't tie them back..." The trouble with doing that is that you can end up with the roof being peeled back like a sardine can! A lot of companies will dismiss drivers that do that as the roofs are only pop riveted on.

"Most transport managers will have up to date weather forecasts..." They look out the window and say, "It'll be OK, just get on with it, or your replacement will..."

  morddwyd 21:39 12 Sep 2011
Answer

""do Transport Firms have to do risk assessments before sending high sided vehicles out in this weather?" In a word no."

In a word, yes.

Any undertaking must risk assess all aspects of all its operations, from unloading a mega-container into a confined space to a temp going downstairs with a sheaf of documents under his/her arm .

If there is a risk of significant injury such assessments must be made in writing (and H&S inspectors, I mean proper HSE ones not jumped up little local authority jobsworths, are expert at identifying waffle when you are asked why there is no written risk assessment and you try to explain the mental risk assessment you have made some time earlier, and the conclusions you came to and why!).

Such assessments must be made available to the workforce, either individually or through their accredited union safety reps.

Any attempt to demote, discipline or in any way discriminate against an employee who brings up H&S issues is an offence, in fact like all H&S offences, a criminal offence.

There's a lot of rubbish talked about risk assessment, as though it is a black art. We all carry out risk assessments hundreds of times a day, whether by deciding to overtake, dipping an elbow into baby's bathwater, or judging whether to pick up and eat a hot chip.

(If anyone is really interested, there is a very simple Five Step Guide on the HSE website, or in the past I have sent my own, even simpler, risk assessment guide out to a couple of members who asked for it)

  Quickbeam 09:36 13 Sep 2011

""do Transport Firms have to do risk assessments before sending high sided vehicles out in this weather?"

More precisely, In theory yes, in practice no.

The get out clause is that 'It wasn't that bad when he left the yard officer'. I know of any transport firm that would stand it's fleet due to a forecasted weather adversity. There's plenty of of H&S on handling and safe manoeuvring to keep the inspectors happy, but when it comes to someone saying they're prepared to stand a fleet due to weather, forget it!

  Quickbeam 09:37 13 Sep 2011

Correction ...I don't know of any.

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