Article date: 4 October 2007
Plumbers need to be aware of the dangers of unrestrained loads in cars and vans warns Norwich Union's motor risk manager Bill Pownall.
"Tools, equipment, goods and everyday objects can easily fly through vehicles in the event of sudden braking or swift avoidance action, often causing fatal injury in road accidents," said Bill.
"With some plumbers switching to estate cars the situation could be worsening. Light commercial vehicles and car-derived vans are often fitted with load restraining features, which are not always available on estate cars.
"There have been at least two recent fatal accidents involving unrestrained loads. In one a passenger in a small van was killed when a loose tool box flew towards the front of the vehicle. In another, the ‘overweight' load of a large commercial vehicle actually broke through the bulkhead killing the driver.
"Safe systems of work need to be identified and drivers should be trained in their use to ensure loads are carried correctly and cannot move when travelling.
"These safe systems and risk assessments should form part of a company's risk assessment process and health and safety policies, and be covered as part of drivers' induction training."
He added: "Basic risk assessments should be used to ensure that loads are properly restrained whether in an estate car, a van or any vehicle."
For further information, please contact:
Sam Bramwell at Staniforth or 0161 919 8024/077381 96667 or Erik Nelson at Norwich Union on 01603 682 264/ 07989 427 086.
Notes to editors:
Norwich Union is the UK's largest general insurer with a market share of around 15%, with a focus on insurance for individuals and small businesses.
It is a leading provider of life, pensions and investment products and one of the largest financial adviser (FA) providers. FAs provide over 70% of the company's long-term savings business in the UK.
Norwich Union's news releases and a selection of images are available from Aviva's internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media.