Health and Safety Dangers During Deliveries
Anyone Can Cause a Health and Safety Danger
Health and safety considerations and risk assessments will look at the actions of the company's employees, but it is also imperative that managers also consider the implications that the actions of those who are not employees can have with regards to the safety and health of everyone around. Managers who have taken health and safety courses and have experience of the role will know that health and safety hazards are not just caused by the employees of the company but can in fact be created by anyone who happens to present on the site.
Deliveries Can Be Dangerous
One such group is those making deliveries to the company. All businesses will take deliveries of many different items, but the majority will be items which pose little danger. Although non-hazardous items such as a stationery order may come in heavy boxes which may cause a manual handling injury whilst it is being moved to where it needs to be, or cause a potential fire hazard if the box blocks a hot air vent or is stored in front of an emergency exit, it will not cause a large-scale disaster and put numerous lives in danger.
Where deliveries can pose a danger to health and safety are when items are delivered to heavy manufacturing or industrial plants which require particularly hazardous substances to function. Although it will depend upon what the substance is, an accident involving such a large quantity can produce a catastrophic incident which can not only cause death or serious injury but can also have an effect over a wide radius and as such endanger the wellbeing of a large number of people if it led to a fire, explosion or large quantity of hazardous airborne particles being released into the air.
Potential Environmental Damage from Deliveries
These incidents can also cause damage to the local environment through pollution which poisons local ecosystems such as watercourses and kills plant life. The negative environmental impacts that businesses can have, both during accidents and as a result of normal everyday operations, is one of the reasons why environmental training has become more prevalent on numerous health and safety courses, with syllabuses of qualifications like the NEBOSH General Certificate containing environmental elements, as well as dedicated environmental courses like the NEBOSH Environmental Certificate gaining in popularity all of the time.
Risks to Health from Delivery Vehicles
Aside from the contents of the deliveries, the actual vehicles themselves can pose a health and safety danger to those in the vicinity. Delivery vehicles are often large in size to accommodate the goods/substances being delivered, which means they are unwieldy and difficult to stop quickly. Their size combined with the stopping difficulty means that anybody who happens to get in their way will be difficult to avoid and will not come off well in a collision. Even if the vehicle managed to swerve out of the way, it can still cause significant damage to structures if it were to hit them and cause health hazards if it were to spill its contents. Plus, large vehicles can be difficult enough to control in favourable conditions, but can be extremely dangerous in conditions found in locations such as construction sites where mud and gradients can make driving conditions treacherous.