The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSE NI) and the 26 local district councils have urged employers to make sure they have all the information they need to manage the risks from vehicles in workplaces.

Between 2004 and 2012, 40 people in Northern Ireland died in incidents related to workplace transport. A statistic which highlights just how dangerous vehicles in the workplace can be. The message comes at the beginning of the new joint inspection and enforcement initiative, where officers from district councils and the HSE NI will carry out 1,000 inspections across a variety of key industries, such as construction, wholesale distribution, retail, agriculture and builders' yards.

During these inspections, the officers will focus on three main areas:

  • safe site;
  • safe vehicle; and
  • safe driver.

They will also discuss with employers what provisions they have made to ensure people's safety on-site.

Deputy Chief Executive for the HSE NI commented, “It is often the most simple and inexpensive measures that make a huge difference in helping to reduce the risk of an accident in the workplace involving a moving vehicle. Employers need to think about things such as checking for potential problems (risk assessments), well designed layouts, good driver training and proper systems to detect and correct unsafe practices. Think about what really happens on-site rather than the theory and then make the changes needed to keep people safe.”

He continued, “This will also save companies time and money by reducing incidents and damage to vehicles and products. So I'd urge employers to contact the HSE NI or their local council's environmental health department for advice on how they can make sure their workplace transport is safe – or to discuss any concerns they may have.”