Safety Alert - Unsecured Load - Shared by Port of Bristol

Published: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 15:36

PSS along with Port Industry Chief Executive has identified six key priorities for the sector, one of which is " Early Information Sharing". This sharing of early information among port members can help prevent a similar occurrence in other PSS member ports. This is a proactive method of managing Health & Safety within organizations and is a leading indicator of a positive safety culture.

An incident occurred when a visiting lorry driver was opening the curtain and load restraining straps of a curtain sider which contained various LDs



This safety alert highlights a priority area of concern for the regulator. If you have attended the last few PSSG meetings, the regular presentations from the regulator, Health & Safety Executive included numerous incidents such as these and the corrective/preventive actions to safely manage load security and integrity. This is vital to ensure the safety of not only the driver but other innocent road users and port employees The following safety information note is meant to supplement the findings noted in the earlier safety alert and help identify corrective actions as high up on the hierarchy of risk controls as is reasonably possible.

The comment below is from the regulator;

"Goods transported on the double-deck trailer should generally be secured as they would be on a single-deck trailer. Individual items or stacked items weighing less than 400kg can be secured using buckle straps, nets, or tarpaulins suspended from the roof rails as long as the load is not able to slide forward or backward on the load bed. Gaps in the load greater than 30cm should be packed using timber or empty pallets. Individual items or stacks weighing 400kg or more cannot be secured by anything that relies on the strength of the trailer body e.g. buckle straps and should be secured using ratchet straps or similar.

On the upper deck, because of the risk of injury, if something falls during unloading, internal mesh curtains (load hugging curtains) are an accepted way of quickly identifying unstable or shifted items and protecting those working at ground level. There should be nothing that weighs more than 400kg on the upper deck and items cannot be stacked.”

The DVSA provide an agreed line for the carriage of pallets which is equally applicable to this type of load:

A Good Practice Video on Load Securing has also been produced by the Health & Safety Laboratory for Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency. It is freely available on the DVSA website provided above.


General Responsibilities - The driver isn’t the only person responsible for the safety of the vehicle and its load. Everybody in the transport chain should make themselves aware of the rules set out in the DfT code of practice: safety of loads on vehicles.

For more information on the incident, lesson learned, actions that were taken and recommendations  on Fall from Curtain Side Vehicle  incident can be found in the attachment below

Thank you to our member port Port of Bristol for sharing this with the industry



Fall from Curtain side vehicle PDF (276 KB) Download (276 KB)