Avoiding Falls From Vehicles

Every year hundreds of people risk serious injury falling from vehicles. This talk sets out the basic steps you can take to prevent falls while loading and unloading vehicles.

Causes of Falls

  • Slipping and falling from loads and access steps and ladders
  • Broken ropes or torn sheets causing overbalancing
  • Inappropriate footwear
  • Lack of awareness and training

What do I Need to Do?

  • As with all work at height, there are basic steps you should take to reduce the chances of people falling and being injured.
  • If you can avoid the need for work at height then do so.
  • When you can’t avoid working at height you must take steps to prevents falls.
  • If there are any remaining risks of falls you should take steps to minimize them.

Safety Checklist

Addressing the issues covered in the following checklist you will be going a long way towards tackling the problem of falls from vehicles.

  • Always use all equipment provided to avoid work at height if available.
  • Don’t jump from vehicles or loads.
  • Report damaged, loose or inadequate steps and handholds - ensure that steps are safe for you to use.
  • Report slippery surfaces, for example those that are oily or greasy.
  • Keep the vehicle clean and free of loose debris - avoid creating tripping hazards.
  • Wear suitable footwear for the job.
  • Ensure steps and work areas are well lit.
  • Use edge protection on tail-lifts (where it is fitted).
  • Do not walk backwards near the rear or side of the vehicle bed.
  • Only use equipment such as ropes, straps, curtains, sheets, nets etc if you are sure it is well maintained and is in a good state of repair.

Following these basic steps will make you more aware of your own safety as well as the safety of others when working on or around vehicles.

Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.

Questions for Discussion

  • Before working in or on a vehicle, do you consider how to do it safely?
  • What can you do to reduce the chances of falling from the vehicle you are working on?