Safety Features for Heavy Vehicles

Employers are responsible to ensure a safe work environment for their employees. Motor fleet owners face additional challenges to ensure that vehicle specifications recognize safety features for both drivers and equipment. Therefore consideration is needed for proper engine, suspension and carrying capacity of equipment, as well as job task, employee safety, ergonomics, load securement, speed limiters, anti-jack-knife devices, stability control, fire-fighting appliances, ABS, suitable mirrors and so on.

Negative Positive
 
Minimal or no safety features are provided, except where they are fitted as standard by a manufacturer during the manufacturing process. Safety features in vehicles have been determined through a risk assessment process.
Any safety features provided have been determined without risk assessment and are included on economic grounds only. All safety equipment is inspected (and documented) at least on a monthly basis and are included in the carriers inspection and maintenance programme.
Some safety features may have been provided but training of staff has not been given and the “safety culture” does not recognize employee safety. All drivers/employees have received training in the use and capabilities of all safety equipment.
The carrier has specified features which are unsuitable for current operations. Policies are monitored and reviewed as part of the Safety Management process.

  • Decisions on safety features should include vehicle protection, employee safety and welfare, and protection or reduction of their liabilities.
  • Fleet acquisition/procurement standards should address vehicle and employee safety features.
  • All aspects of the carrier’s operations and the individual job tasks should be fully evaluated (risk assessed) and decisions on what safety features to be selected should be based on those findings.