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Hazard Related Topics


The hazards and risks associated with the operation of site vehicles and mobile plant on construction sites can be minimised by careful consideration of the inherent problems and planning the site layout to take account of these factors. Suitable and sufficient steps should be taken to prevent or control the unintended movement of any vehicle.

Site Layout

Provide safe entry and exit points with adequate turning room and ensure drivers have a good view of any areas where people walk or other vehicles operate. Pedestrians should be kept separate from vehicles by providing separate site entry and exit points and barriered walkways. Attempt to provide a vehicle one-way system and avoid the need for vehicles to reverse. Set out clear routes across the site, avoiding sharp bends, blind corners, narrow gaps, places with limited headroom, overhead cables, steep gradients, adverse cambers and shafts and excavations.

Other Site Considerations

The running surface of temporary roads should be prepared and the use of hard core or other fill considered for providing purchase in muddy conditions and to repair potholes etc. Provide protection for temporary structures, such as scaffolds, or falsework, which might be damaged or made unsafe if struck by a vehicle. Provide barriers at excavations and alongside any water if vehicles must pass close by. Stop blocks should be used to stop vehicles surcharging or from falling into excavations when tipping materials. Consider using trained banksmen or signallers to control high risk situations i.e. where vehicles are reversing or visibility is restricted. No person must be allowed to remain within the cab of any vehicle being loaded with loose material by a grab or excavator if remaining places him in danger.


Train all vehicle drivers and ensure visiting drivers are informed about site transport rules. Ensure vehicles are driven or operated in a proper manner and not overloaded as it may cause them to be unstable, difficult to steer or have their braking efficiency impaired. The extra load may restrict the driver's visibility. Make sure that loads are securely attached and that loose material cannot fall from lorries or dumpers and strike pedestrians. Vehicles must be prevented from running away and must be fitted with effective brakes. Passengers must not be carried anywhere but in a place provided for them.

Other Considerations

Plant and vehicles should be properly maintained in good repair. This work should be done safely i.e. make-shift jacks should not be allowed and nobody should work under an unpropped vehicle body. Fuel tanks should not be drained or filled when the equipment is hot, or in a confined space and an easy to use refuelling system used. Excavating and materials handling machinery must be fitted with devices to protect the driver from being crushed if it overturns and to prevent him being struck by falling objects. Suitable plant and equipment must be provided to replace any rail vehicle which has become derailed.

Relevant Legislation

See Also