Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY22 014 – Loading Dock Safety & Loading Bay Traffic Lights:
A Safety Flash has been issued by the Royal Mail Group Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Team (copy attached).
A recent incident occurred where a driver drove off from a loading dock when a red light was displayed, the dock leveller was still deployed and whilst the loading of the vehicle trailer was still in progress. As a result ‘SHE Flash FY22 014 – Dock Loading Safety’ has been issued. Would all ASRs please communicate the contents of the SHE Flash to drivers and those who operate dock levellers to remind them and raise awareness of the process to follow.
All drivers must adhere to the loading dock traffic light systems. Vehicles must not drive off from a loading dock when a red light is displayed. Drivers must complete the appropriate checks of trailers/rear of vehicles and ensure the dock leveller and loading dock doors are retracted and closed prior to departing.
A similar Safety Flash was issued with LTB No. 430/2020 (dated 25 August). This followed several ‘near-miss’ instances where drivers/shunters had driven off a loading dock when the traffic light was on ‘RED’, resulting in indoor staff, equipment and mail/parcels falling from height into the yard.
In this recent incident, a driver failed to follow the loading operation at a Mail Centre, and failed to put the vehicle keys on the roller shutter door while the trailer was being unloaded/loaded.
The ‘Mandatory’ Safe System of Work was not being followed when the incident occurred. The LGV driver involved in this incident was not adhering to the loading dock traffic light control system and pulled away from the loading bay dock against a ‘Red Light Signal’. There were also ‘Key Control’ failures which enabled the incident to happen.
Impact and Effect of the Incident:
Risk of serious injury or death of loading/unloading bay staff, falling from height whilst loading/unloading containers, mail and parcels from the trailer. The vehicle and trailer also risked departing from the site with unsecured load/doors along with the further potential for injury and damage on route.
Key Messages set out in the Safety Flash are:-
Where loading/unloading bay dock traffic lights are in use:
- Green lights = vehicles can move on or off the loading dock.
- Red Lights = no vehicle movements on or off the loading dock.
- Drivers to ensure they check the traffic lights and are looking at the correct set of lights for the loading dock in question.
- If no lights are showing – the driver should report this to management
Key Learning Points set out in the Safety Flash are:
- All drivers must adhere to the loading dock traffic light systems.
- Vehicles must not drive off from a loading dock when a red light is displayed.
- Drivers must complete the appropriate checks of trailers/rear of vehicles and ensure the dock leveller and loading dock doors are retracted and closed prior to departing.
- Vehicle keys must be placed on hooks on the roller shutter doors before the vehicle is accessed for loading and unloading.
- Full details on the correct process can be found in the Loading and Unloading SSOW Section 6.
Key Managers (PIC) Activities to be completed:
- Unit PIC to review current vehicle key control procedures to ensure they are robust.
- Unit PIC to ensure that vehicle keys are not handed back to drivers unless dock levellers have been retracted and the bay doors closed.
- Unit PIC to ensure yard rules have been cascaded/shared with all employees and are clearly displayed in key locations.
- Unit PIC to deploy targeted ‘Safety Conversations’ to confirm understanding and compliance to standards and procedures.
Area Health and Safety Reps:
Would all CWU Area Health and Safety Reps please note and communicate the content of the Safety Flash, supporting the key messages and learning points, reminding members of the importance of looking after their own safety as well as the safety of work colleagues when departing from loading bay docks. Additionally, carry out inspections focusing on compliance with the SSoWs, loading dock and yard rules and the key PIC/management action on vehicle key control.
A copy of RMG SHE Safety Flash ‘FY22 014-Loading Dock Safety’ is attached.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer