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Introduction to Safe Use of Vehicles on Construction Sites

Explore essential safety measures for the use of vehicles on construction sites with our latest blog. Based on HSE’s guidelines, it covers everything from vehicle operations planning to specific safety practices for construction vehicles, aiming to prevent accidents and enhance safety on site.

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Introduction to Safe Use of Vehicles on Construction Sites

This guide, adapted from HSE’s HSG144 (Second edition), focuses on preventing accidents involving vehicles on construction sites. It covers planning and managing vehicle operations, selecting and maintaining vehicles, and safe driving and working practices. Targeted at clients, designers, contractors, managers, and workers, it aims to manage transport operations effectively throughout the construction process.

Planning and Managing Vehicle Operations

Planning for vehicle safety starts before the construction phase, involving roles such as clients, designers, and contractors. The focus is on establishing a safe workplace for vehicle operations, primarily by separating pedestrians and vehicles and creating hazard-free traffic routes.

Pedestrian and Vehicle Separation

Regulation 36 of CDM requires organizing construction sites to ensure safe movement of pedestrians and vehicles. Principal contractors should establish pedestrian-only areas, safe pedestrian routes, vehicle-only areas, and safe vehicle routes around the site.

Loading and Storage Areas

Work on site should minimize vehicle movements and unnecessary deliveries. Loading and storage areas should be away from pedestrian areas, have one-way systems, sufficient room for vehicle movements, and adequate lighting and visibility aids for drivers.

Vehicle Selection

Choosing the right vehicle for the job is crucial. Important considerations include vehicle stability, safe access, effective braking systems, driver visibility, protective features for the driver, and safety from work hazards.

Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance

Regular visual checks, inspections, and servicing of construction vehicles are essential to prevent defects. Maintenance should include checks on braking systems, seat belts, tires, steering, visibility aids, lights, safety devices, and cab protection devices.

Safe Driving and Work Practices

Managing transport risks is a primary duty of the principal contractor. It involves ensuring safe reversing operations, loading and unloading practices, driver training and competence, and the use of signallers for directing vehicle movements.

Specific Vehicle Safety Practices

Site dumpers, among other construction vehicles, require specific safety practices. These include managing gradients, ensuring driver training, maintaining braking systems, and providing stop blocks at excavation edges.


By following these guidelines, construction vehicle accidents can be effectively prevented, ensuring the safety of workers, site visitors, and the public during construction activities.


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Richard O'Connor is a Director at First Mats. He has deep knowledge in areas like Manufacturing, Warehousing, Marine, and Health & Safety. Richard's insights have been featured in well-known publications such as Bloomberg Business, The Sun, and Reader's Digest. His blend of industry expertise and passion for sharing makes him a sought-after voice in his fields.

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