Transport safety in the workplace

Loading, unloading and tipping safety

Guide

Loading and unloading items can be one of the most risky parts of transport. This applies whether you are loading or unloading deliveries or moving goods within your premises.

It's essential to include loading and unloading as part of your health and safety risk assessment.

There are a number of things you should take into consideration when carrying out this part of your risk assessment, such as:

  • Ensuring that the area where loading and unloading takes place is safe. It should be clear of other traffic and pedestrians.
  • Sourcing safety equipment. For example, you might need guard rails or plates to prevent anything getting caught in machinery such as a vehicle tail lift.
  • Ensuring that the vehicle is stable and safe with any brakes properly applied.
  • Loading the vehicle safely. For example, you may need to spread the load evenly and avoid overloading.
  • Avoiding using vehicles that require the load to be sheeted and unsheeted. If you must use them, minimise the risks.
  • Unloading by tipping carries extra risks - for example if the load is tipped onto someone or if the vehicle overturns.