Coronavirus: Employer’s resource centre — live guidance available here


Unsafe Loads

BY Matthew Ramsey
Health & Safety

Unsafe loads on vehicles injure more than 1,200 people a year and cost UK businesses millions of pounds in damaged goods. Unrestrained loads can increase the risk of vehicle rollover and load spillage and risk the life of the driver and other road users. The following could happen:

  • Should an unsecured load shift inside the trailer, this makes it more difficult to unload. The load may then have to be unloaded manually. By sending someone up onto the trailer bed to sort out a load that has shifted puts them at risk of falling off the trailer.
  • If the vehicle is in motion when the load shifts the vehicle can roll overbalanced and overturn.
  • All or part of the load may be damaged if it falls from the trailer. Product damage can be a significant cost to the business.
  • If there is a gap between the load and the headboard, the load can shift forward under braking, risking the life of the driver and other road users.

How do we secure loads?

To secure a load safely you need to make sure it is:

  • restrained – tied firmly down to the load bed; and
  • contained – it can’t move around (shift) inside the vehicle.
  • The only way to do this is with strong chains or webbing straps (lashings) attached directly to the vehicle.

We advise that should the load shift in transit, you should contact the originating depot and agree a safe way to sort it out before proceeding further.

About us

As trusted experts in employment law, HR and health & safety, we offer a range of flexible employee relations services under one roof. By delivering top quality, all-inclusive fixed-fee advice, we enable employers to take quick, confident and decisive action.

Read more

Areas of Expertise

Employment Law

Find out more

Health & Safety

Find out more