Distributing goods on a 32 tonne HGV and being responsible for its load can be a hazardous occupation, especially in the construction and building industry. Whether you are operating a crane or handballing your pallets, it is important to put safety first and wear the right personal protective equipment (PPE) to help protect yourself and others around you.
At HGMS, we employ drivers across the country to deliver loads from building distribution company warehouses to active building sites, and provide all of our drivers with the appropriate PPE to mitigate the risk of injury when required.
What is PPE?
Personal protective equipment exists to help reduce the likelihood of injury by protecting specific areas of the body from hazards. Examples of PPE include face masks, gloves, and safety goggles. As written by the Health and Safety Executive, employers have duties concerning the provision and use of PPE at work, which must only be used as a last resort when other steps have been taken to lower the risk.
In situations where PPE is still needed after implementing other controls, it must be provided free of charge by the employer.
Why is PPE important for drivers in the construction industry?
Personal protective equipment (PPE) helps to mitigate the risk of injury on site for drivers at work. For drivers working with HGMS, PPE safeguards them from risks which other drivers may not be subject to on building sites.
As a minimum, HGV drivers should have access to:
- Protective footwear
- High-visibility clothing
For drivers entering building sites and construction zones, it is likely that further PPE will be required, including hard hats. When operating or working alongside a HIAB, crane injuries can occur, most of which can be mitigated with proper training and appropriate PPE. For example, wearing a hard hat and protective boots is a necessity for crane operators to prevent any falling goods from causing serious injury.
PPE best practices
As an HGV driver, it can be easy to get into a routine of trying to get from point A to point B as efficiently as possible. However, this should never be an excuse to not wear the appropriate PPE on site, even for a job that will ‘only take a few minutes.’
You should always ensure that your hard hat, boots, and any other PPE is in good condition, and if you notice any damage, you should notify your employer as soon as possible to arrange a replacement.
Other best practices for HGV drivers using PPE include ensuring that the appropriate training has been given to mitigate further risk of injury. If you are unsure of how to utilise a piece of PPE, speak to your employer.
HGMS Specialist Driver Resourcing is a recruitment and employment agency specialising in the HGV sector. Providing a managed service to industry leading building distribution companies supplying UK wide temporary and permanent HGV drivers, HGMS works closely with their clients on the recruitment and placement of drivers. If you are an HGV driver looking for work, contact HGMS today by completing our contact form.