By the staff of CREARE

Working in the logistics industry presents a number of risks to employees; while these depend entirely on what specific sector within the industry you’re working in, the transport of sometimes dangerous loads, the manual handling and the use of potentially dangerous equipment/machinery all require careful consideration to ensure safety and management of risks.

What are the risks?

The best way to measure these risks is by looking at the data; the United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive collect data annually and their latest report has collected data specifically from the logistics industry over the last four years. Their report, named the ‘Statistics report for the logistics industry (road haulage and warehousing)’ is available online to download, and is the resource for all the data in this post; you can download the PDF here.

Breaking this down more specifically into accidents relating to load handling, transportation and logistics equipment, there are a number of risks that are present. You can see the dangerous occurrence kind and the incident rate since 2011 below:

  • Collapse, overturning, failure of lifting equipment – 217
  • Carriage of dangerous goods by road; release, escape of substances – 6
  • Accidental release or escape of substances liable to cause harm – 52

What we can gather from these statistics is that moving objects and accidents involving vehicles are two of the biggest contributors to injuries in the logistics industry, and both carrying goods and failure of lifting equipment are amongst the two biggest contributors of dangerous incidents.

How to safely secure loads during transport

With the transportation of loads, even smaller loads that aren’t transported using HGVs, presenting a big risk if not handled correct, how can this risk be minimised? Utilising ratchet straps specifically designed for industrial use are the best way to guarantee safety – but they’re only effective if they’re used and secure correctly.

The following steps, from Rope Services Direct, detail how to use a ratchet strap:

  • Make sure that both parts are a matched pair with the appropriate load rating
  • Thread the plain end of the webbing through the slot in the ratchet lever
  • Pull it tight to ensure any slack is taken out of the webbing
  • Unlock the lever and use until tight
  • Lock the lever handle back in place
  • Make sure your vehicle has appropriate safe anchor points
  • To release, depress the locking catch and release the handle

Source; Creare is a United Kingdom-based creative services firm.