Workers in the transportation industry can often be overlooked as lone workers.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) a lone worker is someone that works by themselves without close or direct supervision. Therefore, many employed in the transportation industry are classed as lone workers. Whether they drive a bus, train, tram or drive a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) all of these employees tend to work alone.
Being a lone worker can open you up to risks. Below is a list of dangers a worker may face in the transportation industry:
- Road Accidents – Being on the roads means you are automatically prone to being in a road accident. In 2017, there were 12,479 road accidents involving HGVs in the UK.
- Theft – The British Standards Institution reported that in Q2 of 2018, companies lost £14 million due to cargo theft.
- Aggressive Customers – Operating public transport can mean facing angry customers. A survey of 6,000 bus drivers revealed that 86% had suffered from verbal abuse.
- Tiredness – Often those working in the transport industry spend many hours driving. Even with designated rest break times, tiredness can still be an issue. It has been reported that tiredness may contribute to as many as 20% of road accidents.
- Remote Areas – Stopping or breaking down in a remote area can put a worker in a vulnerable position. As a HGV driver, stopping in a remote area can make you a target for cargo thieves. Remote areas often lack mobile network coverage, which can make calling for help extremely difficult.
- Ensure your vehicle is fit for purpose – any vehicle being driven for work should be in good working condition. Inspecting a vehicle regularly can mean spotting a problem which, if left untreated, could result in breaking down or an accident.
- Make your vehicle hard to steal from – Cargo theft is a big problem in the UK with soft-sided lorries being targeted the most. Equip your vehicle with cameras and slash-resistant tarps to dissuade any potential thieves.
- Take breaks – To combat fatigue, it is important to rest regularly. In most cases, drivers of commercial vehicles need to adhere to European Union driver regulation hours. These regulations stipulate that a driver should not be allowed to drive more than 9 hours a day or 56 hours a week. They must also have a minimum 45 minute break after 4.5 hours of driving.
- Report abuse – Reporting any abuse received at work can help to put in place measures to prevent it from happening again.
- Carry a personal safety device – carrying a personal safety device ensures that lone workers have a way of calling for assistance, at the push of a button, when they need it most.
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