HSE working towards pallet weight restriction

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is looking at ways to reduce maximum pallet weights to 750kg to cut the risk of injuries to drivers making tail-lift deliveries.

The move follows the announcement last year by Palletline and Fortec that they were reducing the maximum tail-lift delivery weight to 750kg. In Palletline’s case it has continued to handle heavier pallets under a scheme called Lift Assist, which members charge a supplement for.

The RHA, which has been pushing for a change for some time, is spearheading a campaign to restrict pallet weights for single driver deliveries.

There is no law stipulating pallet weights, but an HSE spokeswoman told Commercialmotor.com it expected companies to conduct a risk assessment for drivers.

“They should take into consideration the real risk delivery drivers face of suffering musculoskeletal injuries from moving heavy loads as well as looking at what the safe working limit is for the lorry’s tail-lift,” she said.

“The HSE is working with the industry to explore reducing the maximum pallet weight to 750kg.”

Paul Johnson, MD at West Midlands haulier Transervice Express, said that after discussions with the HSE he believed it wanted the industry to take the lead. “They are waiting for the industry to come up with a workable, safe load and then enforce it. It is the industry that handles those pallets, they are looking to the industry to say what is safe.”

However, Johnson warned: “The problem is, if the industry doesn’t come up with a workable solution and it is left to the HSE, it could say ‘OK, we will call it 500kg’. And then we are in a mess.”

RHA head of technical services Ray Engley said: “The RHA is one of the biggest pushers of this. It is gathering momentum and the HSE is keen. We want to work with it to make sure that happens.”

O’Donovan Waste Disposal urges Khan to slow down on ULEZ

O’Donovan Waste Disposal has asked London mayor Sadiq Khan to give the road transport industry more time to adjust to the tough new emissions rules he plans for the capital.

Khan announced a raft of air quality proposals last week that include bringing forward the planned September 2020 launch date of Europe’s first Ultra-Low-Emission Zone (ULEZ) and extending its reach to the North and South Circular roads, requiring all trucks and vans to be Euro-6.

Jacqueline O’Donovan, MD at Tottenham-based O’Donovan Waste Disposal, said any acceleration in the rollout of the ULEZ will leave little time for operators to plan for the reforms.

“Khan’s clean air revolution will require HGV operators to reduce diesel emissions across their entire fleets, as well as require them to adopt new clean technologies. But this does not happen overnight,” warned O’Donovan.

“It is unfair to place such a strict time limit on these emission plans when we as a business have invested so much time and resources in recent times addressing a key issue for London’s streets – the safety of vulnerable road users.”