Construction Site Road Surfaces - Gradients
Not only can the actual surface of a road contribute to an increased risk (or decreased risk if it is made better) of a vehicle on site losing control and causing an accident, so too can a gradient or slope. Driving styles will need to be adjusted in order to take account of the gradient, with a failure to do so potentially leading to an accident occurring.
When going down a gradient, extra effort and stopping distances are required to bring the vehicle to a halt. If the driver does not allow for this, they may collide with a person or object in front of them, with possible serious consequences. If the roadway is wet, muddy or icy the vehicle may struggle to come to a stop at all until it hits something.
A vehicle may find itself sideways on a slope; either deliberately driven like that or by accident, for instance if a vehicle is sliding on a slippery top surface. Driving sideways on a gradient is extremely dangerous as there is a high chance of the vehicle toppling over. This is likely to be increased even further if it is a vehicle carrying a load such as a forklift truck or digger, as this may further offset the vehicle's usual centre of gravity and cause it to topple over. Depending upon the severity and length of the slope, the vehicle may either come to rest on its side or roll over and over. Whilst the second outcome is more dangerous, either way can still cause severe injuries or death to a driver, passengers or anyone working nearby who cannot get out of the way in time and is struck or crushed by the out of control vehicle.
For more information on construction health and safety courses such as the SMSTS, SSSTS and the NEBOSH Construction Certificate please use the "Health & Safety" drop-down at the top of the page to view the various course outlines. Alternatively, please contact us online or call 0844 800 3295.