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Loading/Unloading machinery - responsibility

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5T3N
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Loading/Unloading machinery - responsibility

Post by 5T3N » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:16 am

Hi, please forgive if I have posted in the wrong section or started a topic the has already been discussed; I'm a noob to forums and have battled to find a place to ask the following question. :?

At my place of work we have many different hauliers turning up to collect/deliver various items of machinery and I would like to know where the responsibility for insurance and liability crosses over when loading from our grounds onto a trailer owned by another company.

I'd like to find a way to guarantee in some form of writing that I am legally covered to load these trucks when drivers arrive that have no experience or training to load the machinery themselves, this is often the case and my direct manager keeps asking me to load the trucks - I am more than willing to do this but I'd like to know that if something were to happen such as tipping over the side of the bed that I were covered.

The item I am predominately loading is a large tractor that is very wide and with the tyres hanging over each edge by a few centimeters so that I can not see the edge of the bed I'm driving onto; it feels quite uneasy with only the driver as a banksman to ensure I keep the machine central when loading.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.
5T3N.

Steve M
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Re: Loading/Unloading machinery - responsibility

Post by Steve M » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:26 pm

Welcome to the forum

Get a copy of the risk assessment for loading or unloading the trailers, I guess you do not have one so get The Health and safety department to do it, you need one.


So many issues here, lots of variables that you have not mentioned, you say you drive onto the trailer, is this via a dock leveller, what is the weight of the truck driving on, what weight can the dock leveller support (if you have one).

You should not be driving on these trailers unless you have been trained, the equipment does not sound suitable for driving on them, if you drive on the trailers and have an accident it is likely the company will be prosecuted, you are likely to lose your job depending on company attitudes, prosecution is not likely but not impossible, it is your responsibility to look after your health and safety, driving on the trailer is putting yourself at risk.

One thing I tell all the guys at work, if you believe you are putting yourself or others at risk of injury "DO NOT DO IT".

Please feel free to ask if you require further clarification

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5T3N
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Re: Loading/Unloading machinery - responsibility

Post by 5T3N » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:42 am

Thank you for such sound advice; I'll see what I can do about getting a Risk assessment done and gather as much info as I can toward the matter.
If my manager requests that I do it again I'll ask that he send me authorisation to load by email.

I am trained to drive the machines and also to load and unload them but I am unsure whether we as a company are insured to load on to a truck owned by another company and whether I am liable for damage or injury if a machine were to fall off the edge of the truck for instance.

My feeling is that it is the truck drivers responsibility to load his truck as he is responsible for his truck and his load.

The problem is that we still keep having drivers/hauliers arrive with no training or experience with plant or agricultural machinery, in the future they will be refused until I am sure that it is OK to load them.
Kind regards,
Steve.

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Re: Loading/Unloading machinery - responsibility

Post by Andyblue » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:06 pm

Is the concern over insurance once things have gone wrong? That's what the employers have insurance for. Who pays, which may be your question is not related to how the task is done.
As for loading the trailer - perhaps going back to basics is the best route. Can you drive and set the load on your own - sounds like you need a second pair of eyes/ banksman. Would you load on your own? If you have or would, then that's one item that needs to be addressed.
Is there no other company employee there who can assist you? Explore and exhaust that option.
Be careful of double standards, so if you won't allow an lgv driver to load the trailer on their own, you must likewise never load on your own

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Re: Loading/Unloading machinery - responsibility

Post by Dodds » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:38 pm

Also worth remembering, if they're on your premises then its under your duty of care. Keep that in mind.

Steve M
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Re: Loading/Unloading machinery - responsibility

Post by Steve M » Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:53 am

5T3N wrote:
Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:42 am
Thank you for such sound advice; I'll see what I can do about getting a Risk assessment done and gather as much info as I can toward the matter.
If my manager requests that I do it again I'll ask that he send me authorisation to load by email.

Good idea, get everything in writing, this should keep you your job if an accident occurs, however it is still your responsibility to only proceed if you believe it is safe.

I am trained to drive the machines and also to load and unload them but I am unsure whether we as a company are insured to load on to a truck owned by another company and whether I am liable for damage or injury if a machine were to fall off the edge of the truck for instance.

You may well be trained to drive the vehicle but are you trained to do the specific task? if there is a task that posses specific risks you should ensure there is a risk assessment, safe system of working and training for that task, as it stands, if you are told to do the task and you cause an accident the insurance company will ask for proof of those 3 processes being in place, as will the HSE if investigated, if the company can not supply them the insurance company may refuse to pay up for damage to equipment, the HSE may prosecute.
This also opens up the possibility for you to bring a personal injury claim, without these documents the company will have no defence.
If they had these 3 documents the insurance are likely to pay, HSE are less likely to prosecute and your reward for damages would be reduced.
You would never be liable for damages from an accident at work (even deliberate or neglect but you are likely to lose your job) the company are likely to be insured for loading or unloading even if the trailer is not owned by the company.


My feeling is that it is the truck drivers responsibility to load his truck as he is responsible for his truck and his load.

The driver is often just a driver, unless there is specific risk or requirements for unloading then it is your responsibility to load / unload on your premises.

The problem is that we still keep having drivers/hauliers arrive with no training or experience with plant or agricultural machinery, in the future they will be refused until I am sure that it is OK to load them.

If you are loading you need to ensure it is safe to be transported on their vehicle, if not you must refuse, if you have loaded it and you believe it is safe the driver must inspect it and ensure he is happy, if not he can refuse, as soon as that truck leaves your site it becomes his responsibility.



Kind regards,
Steve.
There are so many variables involved with my above comments but for most scenarios this is the case.
Lots of companies have agency drivers, if you are supplying the equipment it is reasonable expected that you should have the skills to load it safely.

Hope this helps

Steve

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