Workplace Transport - Some issues to consider

Workplace Transport - Some issues to consider  photo

Mechanical handling equipment such as forklift trucks, side loaders, reach trucks and telescopic material handlers are a common sight in a number of workplaces. However, it is not always appreciated that such equipment, whilst seemingly indispensable for running the business, can be extremely hazardous. Over the past five years, workplace transport has been responsible for over 50 fatal accidents involving employees and self-employed.

The control of the risks associated with workplace transport and lift trucks can be considered under a number of headings;-

Driver selection

Care should be taken when selecting drivers of plant and mobile equipment. The ideal individual should have shown themselves to be reliable and have already demonstrated a mature attitude and approach to work.

Driver training, assessment, testing and licences

All operators should receive training before being allowed to operate lift trucks or any workplace transport.

Refresher / familiarisation training

There may a need for refresher training on a regular basis.

Medication - use by drivers

If an operator is taking prescription medication then medical advice may be necessary in order to confirm that performance will not be adversely affected.

The influence of drugs or alcohol

Employers should consider whether it is likely that operators might use equipment whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Assessment after sickness absence

It is advisable to establish formal criteria for assessment upon return to work following sickness absence.

Training of supervisors and management

Those who are responsible for supervising operators of lift trucks and workplace transport need training.


It is advisable that information be given to pedestrians and other site users about the rules and procedures relating to the use of lift trucks and other transport.

Risk Assessment

Any use of workplace transport should be subject to risk assessment.

Incident Reporting and Investigation

There should be robust reporting mechanisms in place that ensures all incidents involving lift trucks or other vehicles are reported to management.

 These are merely the headings of the issues that need consideration, we can provide a full fact sheet with more detailed information. If you are interested please contact us.