This blog can be delivered to your staff as a Toolbox Talk. If you require a specific Toolbox Talk for your workplace, please feel free to get in touch.
Reason: Mobile workers, and those who work with them, can be exposed to a range of risks. It is important to help prevent incidents while driving, travelling, operating and working from vehicles.
Outline: This talk covers the risks the mobile workforce can be exposed to and the steps that can be taken to reduce those risks.
- Mobile workers are people who have no fixed place of work.
- The main risks to mobile workers are lone working and risks associated with driving and fatigue.
- You are a lone worker if you are working on your own or without close or direct supervision. When lone working ensure you:
- have the means to maintain contact with your supervisor, raise the alarm or call for emergency assistance
- follow your safe system of work for lone working
- keep in contact with your supervisor, in line with agreed procedures
- know the emergency breakdown or recovery numbers and who to call if you have an accident
- are carrying appropriate emergency first aid and breakdown kits.
- Make sure you hold the correct licence and endorsements for the vehicle you are being asked to use.
- Conduct pre-use checks, ensuring any flashing beacons and cameras are working, mirrors are correctly adjusted, and everything is in good order and clean.
- Adjust the seat correctly – poor driving posture can lead to fatigue and long-term back problems.
- Ensure there is an adequate number of seats and seat belts for any passengers and that you always wear your seat belt.
- It is a legal requirement to ensure that all loads carried on or in vehicles are adequately secured. The gross weight allowed includes the vehicle, the driver, any passengers, fuel and the load. This includes tools, materials and equipment.
- Make sure you are alert and fit to drive. Being tired reduces your reaction time, vigilance and concentration.
- Do not drive when taking medication that causes drowsiness, or after drinking alcohol.
- Plan your journey, ensuring the designated driver takes regular rest breaks during the working day or shares the driving.
- Take into account the weather and road conditions and factor in additional time for your journey.
- If you need to stop on the verge or hard shoulder, always exit the vehicle by the passenger/nearside door – never open a door into oncoming traﬀic.
- What is your company policy regarding maintaining contact with lone workers?
- What should you do if you feel tired when driving?
- What actions should you take in the event of an emergency?
- If you break down on the hard shoulder how should you exit the vehicle?
Now inform your workers of the company policy regarding mobile and lone working.